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Taranaki MDT success leads to contract extension


The Pinnacle MHN Long Term Conditions (LTC) programme is pleased to announce that Taranaki DHB (TDHB) agreed to extend the contract for the Taranaki multi-disciplinary team (MDT) this quarter.

The MDT was established in July 2016. In basic terms, its purpose is to provide improved integrated health care between primary care (GP) services and secondary care (hospital) services for the benefit of patients either diagnosed with a long term condition, or identified as at high risk of developing a long term condition.

Four health professionals, based in New Plymouth, are employed by Pinnacle MHN to work in the MDT. They undertake clinical pharmacy, social work, dietetics and podiatry work. Patients are referred to the MDT team, where services are individualised and delivered in the best setting for the patient. This is most commonly the General Practice or the patient's home. 

In July 2016 TDHB began funding the service. The latest evaluation of the service was for the period 1 July-31 December 2016. Key successes are as follows:

  • All 30 GP practices in Taranaki are referring to the MDT.
  • The service delivered 1782 contacts to 951 patients within the period, well in excess of the 6-monthly target of 1336.
  • A key component of the MDT was to decrease barriers to accessing high quality care for Māori and Pacific peoples. Results show that: 1) Patients identifying as Maori (25%) were overrepresented in the service when compared to the Taranaki population (16.5% Maori, according to the 2013 Census), and 2) 1.5% of service users identified themselves as Pacific peoples.
  • General practice reported that the ease of one referral into the MDT, compared to individual referrals to each discipline, has streamlined the service.
  • Patients are seen across the region, demonstrating regional equity of access.

Ultimately, the evaluation showed the MDT to be a great success, leading to the continuation of the contract. We are grateful for the lengthened contract, and especially thrilled that this service has been recognised as a robust example of integration between primary and secondary care.

Photo: MDT team members: Clinical pharmacist Tess James, podiatrist Karyn Lehrke, social worker Hannah Gulliver and dietician Scott Campbell.

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