The health and support needs of our communities are changing and we are committed to moving with them.
MidCentral DHB is committed to well communities. We are taking a locality approach to better understand the priority needs of the different communities that make up our district and place people and families/whānau at the centre of planning decisions.
Plans are being produced for five different localities (TLA areas) across the MidCentral District. The Health and Wellbeing Plans aim to make a positive contribution to the health outcomes of the population by looking at how, within the current resources available, the DHB and partners can better meet priority health and wellbeing needs within each community. They will be used to make changes necessary to continuously improve our health system, as part of the wider health sector and social services network.
Health and Wellbeing Plans for the Tararua District, the Manawatū District, the Horowhenua District and Ōtaki have been completed and the second part of our Community Engagement process is underway for Palmerston North City.
We are working with the community to identify the priority health and wellbeing needs within Palmerston North. Over the past few months residents, community groups, service providers and organisations from across the community have been asked for their views on “what works well in the community to keep people healthy and well?” and “what are the key issues/challenges affecting the health and wellbeing of people and families/whānau in our community? During this time 529 surveys have been completed and 834 people have attended engagement sessions with groups of service providers, community groups or at community events.
Common responses from first round of Community Engagement
What works well in the community to keep people healthy and well:
- Strong Communities and community groups
- Free GPs for U13 and Dental for U18
- Community organisations, services and support groups
- Recreation areas and facilities – walking tracks, parks, pools, sports grounds, theatres, libraries, Youth space
- Health Services – hospital in city, hospice, good GPs
- Community Gardens and Community events
- Family friendly and easy to travel around
Key Issues/Challenges affecting the health and wellbeing of people and families/whānau in our community:
- Access to GPs – wait times
- Cost to see GPs and dentists for adults
- Lack of transport – to get to services and event
- Waiting times for hospital appointments/operations/ED
- Mental Health – lack of access to services, waiting times and support for whānau
- Housing – quality, cost and availability
- Cost of healthy food/prevalence of junk food
- Lack of knowledge of what support/services are available
- Poverty/cost of living/financial strains
- Drugs and alcohol/addictions
- Communication – language barriers, people not feeling listened to when engaging with health services/cultural responsiveness
- Family violence
- Lack of parenting skills
- Overburdened service providers – demand exceeding supply
- Inequity in education and employment opportunities/ lack of pathways for some
- Isolation – older people and refugees
We are now doing a second round of community engagement - taking the common themes back out to the community to identify priorities and what we should focus on first. After all community engagement is complete, three to five priority areas will be identified.
Focus areas will be identified within these priority areas and then we will look at the capacity for change. Work will be done with different service areas and partners to establish action points under each priority to make a positive impact. These actions will be implemented over a one to five year period.