Primary healthcare news, information & resources


Pinnacle quarterly highlights: April 2019


Welcome from Frank

The health system is currently awash with DHBs struggling to manage their budgets, reviews,consultation and change - it always is, but now feels like a particularly busy period. From a full and wide-ranging health and disability system review through to ACC roadshows and consultation on the Therapeutic Products Bill it feels like a lot to keep on top of...

We're talking with you

Pinnacle has always had an eye to the future, sensing where the sector is heading - and keeping ahead of the curve by designing our own future. In December we spent time with a group of owner GPs, and more recently with a younger group of salaried GPs, talking over issues we expect to see become'real' in the next 3-5 years.
  • What will the service model of general practice need to be?
  • What practice ownership might look like?
  • What Pinnacle needs to be and do to support general practice through it all?

The discussions have been incredibly valuable in guiding the board in thinking about what's next.

Why ask?

Pinnacle Incorporated is a membership organisation, designed to support GPs, their practice teams and the communities they work in. As a group we're inquisitive, courageous and we adapt with purpose - we're proud to be constantly pushing the boundaries. It's not our style to sit around and wait for government reviews to consult, conclude and trickle down a way forward to us. We'd rather get on with the business of improving the patient and provider experience right now - ensuring we are doing our part to support people to be as healthy as they can be. We know it's going to require coming at things from a variety of fronts like greater use of technology enabled care, more inter-disciplinary care teams integrated with practices, promoting sub-specialisation, working more collaboratively, delivering care in different settings and creating new ownership models and opportunities.

So how?

This is not insubstantial change we're preparing for, and we want to co-design new ways of working together. We're re-committing to working with our members - and helping members to work with each other - in a much closer and more collaborative way. The board and members of the Pinnacle management teams will soon be hitting the road to present our thinking to you. Watch out for more information in the Pin Points newsletter and from your practice support person. We look forward to meeting you and talking about our combined futures.

Frank Cullen 
Chairman, Pinnacle Incorporated

Also in this issue

  • Fit for the future: what's happening in primary mental health?
  • HiNZ Conference and the primary care pre-conference workshop
  • It's out 30th birthday - save the date

Practice news


Farewell to some familiar faces

The beginning of 2019 has seen some well-known faces retiring from lifelong careers in general practice. Check out our website to see farewell stories for Dr Mike Tombleson (Lakes Surgery, Taupo), Dr Carolyn Holmes (Hamilton East Medical Centre), Dr Barrie Winn (Little London Medical Centre, Hamilton), Dr Paul Stephens (Cambridge Medical Centre) and practice nurse Robyn Taylor (Hauraki Plains Medical Centre).

Celebrating 25 years at Fairfield Medical Centre

Dr Paddy Bhula recently celebrated 25 years working at Fairfield Medical Centre. Congratulations Paddy! 




#ICYMI - in case you missed it...


Pharmacogenomics training and pilot project launches

Ventures has worked with Callaghan Innovation to secure funding for piloting the use of PGx, introducing precision/ personalised prescribing and developing electronic clinical decision support tools. The aim of the pilot is not only to vastly improve outcomes for patients, but also to explore and refine the use of PGx, helping to 'mainstream' it in New Zealand. A CME evening was held in early April to give Pinnacle GPs information on the pilot programme and how to use PGx based prescribing in their daily practice, and to introduce the online training GPs need to do in order to deliver medication reports to patients. Read more or listen to John Macaskill-Smith talk about the programme on The Spinoff podcast.

DHB provider arm service access issues - share your examples with us

Thank you for sharing your stories of the barriers to patient care you experience every day when referring patients to DHB services. The feedback has been rapid and somewhat overwhelming from every locality. We know our specialist colleagues are often in the same situation as us - knowing the right thing to do for the patient but hampered by the resources available. This is not an exercise in undermining anyone, we want to support you, and your patients, to access the services they need. We'd like to continue monitoring this going forward, so please keep the stories coming to Dr Jo Scott-Jones, drjo@pinnacle.health.nz.

Safe365 join n3

As a Pinnacle practice your staff can access n3 discount vouchers for personal use from some of New Zealand's leading retailers such as Resene, Specsavers, Plumbing World, Avis Budget car and truck rental and Millennium hotels and resorts. n3 is pleased to welcome new supplier Safe365, software that allows your business to assess, improve and monitor your health and safety capability and culture. As a member of n3, you'll receive 12 per cent off the monthly or annual cost of the software.

Young people and online safety

There has been a lot of media coverage about young people's safety online. Mental health, non-suicidal self-harm, and suicide themes on social media continue to be an issue that both youth and adults face daily. We've collated some great resources on our website to support patients if they mention these concerns, or for more information contact Amanda Bradley, Mentally Well programme lead, amanda.bradley@pinnacle.health.nz.

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