The Canterbury Health System's integrated way of working has gained interest from health leaders from New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom, and this week they're together in Canterbury furthering their knowledge and collaboration as part of the HealthPathways International Conference on from 1-3 November.
The health regions committed to HealthPathways are responsible for the care of approximately 25 million people.
South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Chief Executive Dr David Hambleton and North of England Clinical Commissioning Support Unit (NECS) Project Manager Mark Girvan have come over from the United Kingdom especially for the conference and to learn more about Canterbury's way of working.
Dr Hambleton says South Tyneside CCG covers a population of about 150,000 people in the North East of England and is one of 11 health and social care integration pioneer sites for the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, which has led to linking with Canterbury.
"The work Canterbury is doing around integration across health care is seen as exemplary throughout the world," he says.
Canterbury's collaborative way of working was the model South Tyneside is aiming for in its own health system.
"It really resonated with us and we ended up with a formal agreement to launch HealthPathways in South Tyneside on August 18 this year."
Dr Hambleton says launching HealthPathways was a big public statement to say "we're all in this together".
Not reinventing the wheel had been a significant part of the attraction to adopting the systems that are already successful in Canterbury, he says.
"We love everything that we've heard and see that's coming out of the Canterbury Health System, as it's exactly what we're trying to build."
Mr Girvan says the response to introducing HealthPathways in South Tyneside CCG has been very positive.
"We had great engagement very early on in the piece when people saw what we're trying to do, everyone bought into it," Mr Girvan said.
*HealthPathways is an online tool that provides general practice teams with information to consistently assess and manage medical conditions, as well as the criteria for requesting health services in the respective health region. The clinical pathways are developed and agreed by general practitioners, hospital clinicians, and a wide range of other health professionals involved in the care of Canterbury patients all over the health system. It helps to improve the quality of care in the community and reduces the time people spend waiting, while supporting the delivery of more services closer to people's own homes.
HealthPathways was founded by the Canterbury DHB and Streamliners in 2007. Canterbury developed the initial 500 pathways, agreed to share them with other members of the Community, and continues to review and update the core pathways based on current evidence and specialist opinion.
Use of HealthPathways has steadily increased to the point that 99% of general practitioners in Canterbury surveyed use it weekly in their practice, and 80% use it more than six times a week. Use is also high by practice nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists, community nurses, and other allied health services.
HealthPathways is already being used in the following health authorities, with many more enquiries currently being followed up:
New Zealand DHBs
Southern; South Canterbury; Canterbury; Nelson-Marlborough; West Coast; Auckland Regional; Northland; Wairarapa; Hutt Valley; Capital & Coast.
Australia Local Health Districts
New South Wales: ACT and Southern; Central Coast; Hunter New England; Illawarra Shoalhaven; Mid & North Coast; South Western Sydney; Sydney; Sydney North; Western Sydney. Queensland: Cairns; Central Queensland; Wide Bay; Sunshine Coast; Mackay;Townsville, Western Australia. Victoria: Eastern Melbourne; Gippsland; Melbourne; Murray; Western Victoria, Tasmania.
South Tyneside – a local health authority serving around 150,000 people.
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