Update No. 2 - 1 February, 2024

Tēnā koutou katoa

Oh my, one twelfth of the year through already!! The big ticket item for me today is that Toitū Takata is now live. Thanks so much to the many people in general practices across the district who have been involved in the design and development of this programme. I’m also really pleased to say that we are able to support practices implementing the programme through funding Nurse Clinical Champion roles as mentioned below.  I look forward to seeing how you and your patients find it.


Its also worth noting that funding for Covid Clinical care has been extended unchanged until 30 June 2024. And that feedback is coming that these updates are becoming long and at times a bit hard to scroll through. So we are going to move to MailChimp as the format for these Email updates. This will let you click on internal hyperlinks (or whatever they are called :) ) to navigate more easily to the areas you are interested in. I am slowly getting with the times!


Key points today:

  • Toitū Takata now live!

  • Pertussis case Dunedin

  • Current DTaP vaccination coverage for enrolled patients for the Southern District

  • Crypto Update

  • UpToDate reduced corporate rate through WellSouth available

  • Another Awanui Labs Strike

  • Southern Primary Care Workforce – Professional Development Survey

  • NCNZ consultation on EN and RN competencies

  • Thalamus Immunisation Dashboard Update

  • Advance Care Planning

  • CPR course name change

  • Last chance: Otago GP Faculty Conference

  • Save the date - New Zealand Influenza & COVID-19 Symposium 2024

  • Covid Care Primary Care funding and Free RATs to continue until 30 June 2024

  • Covid vaccine info


What’s new


Toitū Takata now live!

Toitū Takata has launched to all practices on 31 January 2024. This is an exciting milestone in the redevelopment of our Long-Term Conditions care in primary care. We are delighted to have reached this point and thank all the many people who have worked with us on the project.

 A detailed information pack was sent out on Monday: Toitū Takata resource kit

All practices now have their allocations of patients on the programme for the remainder of the financial year – to 30 June 2024.

A Thalamus dashboard to assist with selecting patients is now available: https://thalamus.nz/?report-key=433

This report helps your team to select patients, noting that there will be more patients on this list than places on the programme.

This report continues to be developed and we encourage your feedback to help us make this tool really useful to your team. Please send your feedback to Caroline Fraser – LTC Project Manager caroline.fraser@wellsouth.org.nz (available from Monday 5th February)


Funding for Toitū Takata Nurse Champions:

We have heard your feedback on the time and investment required to have your team up to speed with Toitū Takata, and to do the work to implement the change within your practices.  We are very pleased to advise that we can offer funding to practices to help cover this time investment. This will be around having a named clinical champion, who is able to attend meetings every few weeks with WellSouth LTC team over the first few months of the programme, and that you are succeeding in enrolling your patients into the programme.  The funding will be in keeping with a half a day of practice nurse time each week for 4 months. We will contact you over the next week or two with the details of this funding and the commitment we ask from you as practices to be eligible to receive this funding.

Quick CLIC becomes Hāpai Atu:

In October we advised that Quick CLIC would have a name change to Hāpai Atu which translates as ‘to provide support and care’. We are gradually phasing this new name in over coming weeks. The name is all that has changed for now, it remains the same programme you know and love. Just a little reminder – this is still part of Long-Term Conditions Management so patients selected must have a Long-Term Condition.

Additional allocations in Quick CLIC/Hāpai Atu have been added today and are for the remainder of the financial year (30 June 2024).

Quick CLIC/Hāpai Atu programme information sheet


Severe and enduring mental health:

Message on behalf of Andrew Boyd, WellSouth Clinical Advisor Mental Health:

Dear primary care colleagues - as Toitū Takata rolls out I'd like to take the opportunity to advocate for our patients with severe and enduring mental health or addiction diagnoses, who for the first time this year are eligible for funded appointments under the programme.

People with such diagnoses can expect to die up to 25 years earlier than their counterparts who live without the burden of mental illness, mainly as a consequence of much higher rates of cardiometabolic disease. This Equally Well fact sheet summarises  some key facts about the health inequity experienced by this group of patients.

Primary care teams are ideally placed to provide the consistent, compassionate care required to support these patients improve their physical health. With cost a major barrier to attendance for many people with poor mental health, enrolment in Toitū Takata can transform their health and wellbeing. As you allocate your patients to Toitū Takata please remember that everyone should have the same opportunity to be physically well. If you have questions, or suggestions about resources that may help you help your patients, please contact me at andrew.boyd@wellsouth.org.nz.


Pertussis Case Dunedin

As noted earlier this week, a young child has been admitted to Dunedin Hospital with pertussis (whooping cough) on Monday the 29th of January.

So this is a reminder to be on the lookout for potential cases of pertussis in your interactions with families, both in general practice and community pharmacies. The link to more information on Health Pathways is https://southern.communityhealthpathways.org/13614.htm, username health, password p1thw1ys.

The following is taken from the HealthPathways advice:

If the patient has clinical history consistent with pertussis notify Public Health urgently. Do not wait for test results. Phone 0800 668-439 (0800NOTIFY), or (03) 474-0999. Do not leave a message. It is a great reminder to look at how to follow up very young children who are behind on their immunisation schedules.


Current DTaP vaccination coverage for enrolled patients for the Southern District.  (31.01.2024)

You may well be aware that the new Aotearoa Immunisation Register is still overcoming teething problems, and accurate immunisation information is a bit of a challenge currently. The tables below give our best indication of childhood immunisation coverage for our enrolled tamariki. Unfortunately, our youngest children, who are most vulnerable to Pertussis , have the lowest immunisation rates, in particular Maōri pēpi under 8 months.

So please keep up your focus on this important area, and reach out to your Māori and Pacific community health partners in your area when you need assistance.

*The programme continues to have challenges with data and the information provided should be considered as a guide and NOT conclusive, but as an indicator of rates.


Crypto Update

A message from Dr Emma Sherwood, Medical Officer of Health:

Funding for cryptosporidiosis testing ended on 1st January 2024 when the outbreak was officially declared over (two incubation periods post the lifting of the boil water notice on 8th December 2023 in Queenstown).

The source investigation concluded that human faecal contamination of the Two Mile water supply was the most likely cause of this outbreak.

Any patient with infectious gastroenteritis and a link to Queenstown no longer needs additional investigation or notification beyond the standard recommendations in health pathways.

Ngā mihi nui for your assistance supporting the response to this outbreak, it is hugely appreciated by us all at NPHS Southern



UpToDate is used by a number of clinicians across our rohe who value the clear, actionable, and evidence-based clinical decision support that it provides, and subscribing via WellSouth means a slightly lower annual fee.

As we will shortly be renegotiating our contract with UpToDate we are now asking any practices who currently don’t subscribe though us, but would like to, to email practicenetwork@wellsouth.org.nz by Wednesday 7 February, with the names and roles of all clinicians who would like access.

Please note, the advantage of signing up via WellSouth is lower fees and administration load, but the cost of the subscription will be passed back to practices.

At this stage we are unable to confirm the exact pricing as this depends on total numbers, however last year’s annual fee was $US370 per person (currently approximately $NZ605).


Awanui Labs Strike

Awanui Labs have received a notice from APEX of strike action on Monday 5 February 2024. This includes a complete withdrawal of labour by Apex union members from 00:00 – 23:59hrs. Laboratory and collection services will be significantly impacted during this period.
Please click here for the impact of withdrawal of labour in your region.


Opportunities to be involved


Southern Primary Care Workforce – Professional Development Survey

We would like to hear about your professional development and/or education needs in this short WellSouth survey for our Southern Primary Care Workforce. 

As WellSouth aims to support general practice to deliver high quality healthcare across Otago and Southland, we want to improve our understanding of primary care professional development, including for practice managers, administration, nurses, nurse practitioners, health improvement practitioners, health care assistants, and health coaches. 

Please click on the link to complete the survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CC52K9J


NCNZ consultation on EN and RN competencies

The Nursing Council are currently consulting on the proposed EN and RN competencies and are visiting Dunedin on Thursday 8th February to hold some focus groups on the proposed new competencies.  

Please refer to the attached flyer for full details.

This is an important opportunity to hear what changes are proposed, the implications and to provide feedback.

Consultation documents are available via the Nursing Council website.


Thalamus Immunisation Dashboard Update

We are looking for practices interested in joining our Thalamus working group to help us test and develop dashboards such as Immunisations. The data comes from our practices PMS and is run through an algorithm to better identify vaccination records according to the current schedule. Please contact your Primary Care Relationship Manager if you would like to participate.



Upcoming training and webinars


Advance Care Planning

Registrations are now open for Advance Care Planning workshops in March.

Training is available in Dunedin, Alexandra, Wanaka, and Queenstown.

For full information and dates, please see the Workforce Development Calendar.


CPR course name change

Our WellSouth CPR courses are undertaking a small name change. The new names align with the current Te Whatu Ora and the resuscitation council. When registering, please take note of the change and book the appropriate course. If you have any questions or would like to know which course is best for you, please do not hesitate to email workforce@wellsouth.org.nz

Level 2, Administration and Non-Clinical staff – Is now known as Basic Life Support

Level 4, Clinical Staff – Is now known as Core Immediate.

Our upcoming CPR events can now be found on our Workforce Development Calendar.


Last chance: Otago GP Faculty Conference

Last chance to sign up for the Otago GP Faculty Conference being held next weekend.

Learn and connect at this must-attend event, and join specialist presenters in picturesque Kaka Point.

Otago Faculty Members are eligible for a 50% discount.

Register here.

Full details on the flyer here.


Save the date - New Zealand Influenza & COVID-19 Symposium 2024 

IMAC's annual New Zealand Influenza & COVID-19 Symposium will be held in Auckland on 9am – 4pm, Thursday 14 March 2024.

Further details available here.


Covid-19 updates 


Covid Care in the Community Primary Care funding and Free RATs to continue until 30 June 2024

I was notified yesterday that the Covid-19 Model of Care for primary and community care funding is being rolled over until end June 2024, to help support ongoing antiviral therapy access to those at higher risk.  The model, funding and service specifications will stay the same as they currently are.


Also, free Rapid Antigen Tests (RATS) for COVID-19 testing will continue to be available to the public and the health and disability sector up until the end of June 2024, Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora has confirmed today. 
Full media release here.

And, no surprise, Molnupiravir is not longer available from today.


Covid vaccine info

A vaccine to combat the newer strains of COVID-19 has been approved and will be available in time for winter next year.

However, people should not wait to get a booster, if due, to protect themselves and their whānau for summer.
Future supply of new COVID-19 vaccines confirmed - Pharmac | New Zealand Government



So I hope you all have a good day on Waitangi Day, as we celebrate our founding document that brings us together as Aotearoa, the land of the long white cloud.




Ngā mihi nui