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Home health conference about facing challenges head-on

Aug 3, 2011

New Zealand Home Health Association media release, 2 August 2011

The challenges of providing care to more people with increasingly complex health needs – in a time of restrained health spending – will be a focus for delegates attending a conference of home health providers in Wellington tomorrow.

The conference, themed, Fronting Up, is being hosted by the New Zealand Home Health Association (NZHHA), which represents 48 organisations that provide health care, personal care and support for people living in their own homes. Members include both private and not-for-profit organisations across New Zealand.

The three-day conference, which runs from 3 to 5 August, is being opened by Minister of Health Hon Tony Ryall.

Keynote speakers include UK expert in health and social care, Gerald Pilkington, who will talk about the benefits of helping people to re-learn the skills necessary for everyday life; Dr Rod Watts from Presbyterian Support, who will talk about results-based accountability; Chai Chuah, Director of the National Health Board who will talk about key health trends and new models of care; Tania Thomas, Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner (Disability), who will talk about what it takes to be consumer-centred, and Phillippa Smith, Deputy Auditor General, who will talk about the recently released performance audit on home based support services for the elderly.

There will also be presentations on how health services responded to the Canterbury earthquake, as well as a look at some exciting new developments in homecare in New Zealand – including a presentation by Professor Matthew Parsons on intensive home support for people leaving hospital after surgery or illness.

NZHHA Chief Executive, Julie Haggie, says the conference will address critical issues for the home health care sector.

“As a larger proportion of our citizens age, networks and services in the community will need to be strong so we can be supported to live for longer, where we want to live.

“Our providers know that current and future demands on the health system can be eased through good service design, encouraging greater independence and self-care, and fully using and resourcing the home health care workforce.”

Ms Haggie says she doesn't expect the conference to come up with all the answers but believes it will provide the opportunity for reflection and learning.

“We hope it will give us all confidence that we can ‘front up’ to the challenges ahead.”

Media welcome

Media are invited to attend the whole or any part of the conference. For all media inquiries or information about the conference please contact Julie Haggie on 0274 989 126. During the conference, if Julie is not available, contact Neil Maitland on 021 944 448 or Gay Maitland on 021 446 809.

What: NZHHA annual conference, with theme Fronting Up
When: Wednesday 3 to Friday 5 August 2011
Where: Conference floor, level 16, James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel, Wellington

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