Tēnā koutou katoa


Welcome to another update. What a fortnight it has been, with flooding and pestilence – well, at least crypto – today there have been 45 cases of cryptosporidiosis confirmed, 17 probable cases, and 3 under investigation. Thanks everybody for supporting the effort to understand the cause of the outbreak, and I really feel for those of you who are living in the thick of it. Kia kaha.


Key points today:

  • Toitū Takata (LTC programme)

  • Transfer of Care Framework finalised and attached

  • Introducing our new Clinical Advisor Māori, Pou Haumanu, Miriama Ketu-McKenzie

  • Update from Hospital Eye Department regarding change in outpatient discharge summaries

  • Newly graduated nurses seeking positions in general practice commencing January 2024

  • Palliative Care programme funding criteria

  • Endoscopy Oversight Group

  • National paediatric palliative care working group – Calling for expressions of interest

  • Health Pathways Webinar: Breast Health Pathways

  • NZ Osteoarthritis Summit 2023

  • Annual Southland GP Education Conference

  • Ngā Manukura: Clinical Leadership Programme for Māori Nurses and Midwives

  • Wānanga Tōkeke: Equity in Health Workshop – new dates added!

  • Revised Model of Care for Covid-19

  • WellSouth Covid Care in the Community Team



What’s new


Toitū Takata (LTC Programme)

We are continuing to develop the new LTC Programme, Toitū Takata, which will be available for patients in the new year. In anticipation of the launch of Toitū Takata, we will be offering a range of events to support delivery of the programme. This includes Toitū Takata Nurse champion workshops along with online webinars, Q&A sessions, and videos. These online sessions will be held late this year, and early next year, covering a wide range of topics.

The Toitū Takata Nurse champion workshops will be held around the region in October and November. The purpose of the workshop is to introduce Nurses to Toitū Takata and provide an opportunity to share ideas about ways of engaging with patients and improving outcomes for those living with long term conditions. Ideally these workshops will take place face to face, but online options will be available. Workshops are filling up fast, so please make sure to register here: https://training.wellsouth.nz/

We recognise that pronouncing te reo Māori can be challenging. To support you to pronounce Toitū Takata, please listen to this recording.

Make sure to bookmark the Toitū Takata webpage and check back often as we will be adding resources and videos over the coming weeks. You can find the webpage here.


Transfer of Care Framework finalised and attached

We are pleased to announce the finalised Transfer of Care framework which formally sets out expectations around transfer of care between secondary and primary care. This policy explicitly comments on routinely copied results and whose responsibility it is to follow up investigations. The policy has been worked on by Dr Andy Shute (GP Liaison for Southern Region) and Dr David Gow (CMO) and has gone through numerous feedback and engagement sessions with both the primary and secondary care communities. I want to acknowledge the huge effort Andy and David have put in to leading this work, thank you for a great end product.

I would encourage you all to read this document. It is attached here and will shortly be added to Health Pathways under the ‘Our Health System’ section.

Moving forward, if you experience inappropriate referrals, handovers or copied results I would recommend the following process:

  • Make direct contact with the appropriate clinician highlighting the issue and directing them to the framework (feel free to copy me in to be aware)

  • If the response is inadequate or there are serial concerns from an individual or department, please directly get in touch with Dr Andy Shute detailing the communications so far and he will take it up with the department directly: andy.shute@wellsouth.org.nz

Any feedback is welcome at the same email.


Strike notice from senior doctors on Monday 2 October

We have just received another strike notice from ASMS for the first 12 hours of Monday 2 October – please find this attached.


Introducing our new Clinical Advisor Māori, Pou Haumanu, Miriama Ketu-McKenzie

He mihi māhana ki a koutou katoa,

I have recently been appointed as Pou Haumanu – Clinical Advisor Māori for WellSouth. I whakapapa to Ngati Tūwharetoa (Turangi), Ngati Raukawa ki te Tonga (based in the Horowhenua region) and to Ngati Kuia (Nelson/Marlborough).

I spent my early years growing up in the rural Waikato town of Morrinsville, then relocated as a teenager to the (even more rurual) town of Shannon in the Horowhenua in order to be closer to wider whānau.

I am a Registered Clinical Psychologist with a PhD in Psychology and I am joining WellSouth after having worked as a clinician within the Department of Corrections, Wakari Hospital, Dunedin Public Hospital and Oranga Tamariki. In addition to working part-time for WellSouth, I also work as a Senior Professional Practice Fellow in the Clinical Psychology Programme at University of Otago and I run a small private practice seeing predominantly Maori clients under an ACC sensitive claims contract. I’m also a māmā to three school aged tamariki.

My clinical expertise is in the area of early developmental trauma and later life health outcomes, with a particular focus on the role that the HPA axis plays in stress regulation. I am passionate about improving health outcomes for whanau Maori and I am happy to answer questions about providing quality care for Maori.

Mauri ora.



Palliative Care programme funding criteria

You will recall that we recently advised of our intention to make changes to the eligibility for registering patients onto the Palliative Care Programme.

From Tuesday 3rd October, patients will not be able to be registered onto the programme if they are permanently residing in an aged care facility. This applies for people who are self or government funded.

You will see the box below when registering the patient onto the programme in the WellSouth portal.

All other aspects of the programme remain unchanged.

We are very aware that Palliative care provision is a challenging space, and we are commencing a review of Palliative care services funded by WellSouth. Stuart Barson is leading this project, and if you would like to be involved, please contact me or him at stuart.barson@wellsouth.org.nz.  We anticipate that this project will be report back before Christmas.


Update from Hospital Eye Department regarding change in outpatient discharge summaries

The following message is from Natasha Robinson at Te Whatu Ora. She is keen for any feedback you may have regarding these changes, via Andy Shute.

“On August 1st 2022 The Eye Department at Dunedin Hospital transitioned to digital patient records. This system has been up and running for 12 months now, we hope that you are finding it beneficial.

On the Tuesday 19th September 2023 some further updates are taking place, in line with our district partners Christchurch.

  • Following each Eye Consultation, a summary record will be sent to your inbox.

  • Summary’s that require NO ACTION will state this clearly on the report.

An example of how the summary will look is attached.

Unfortunately, consultation time for this change was not given, so we please ask if you have feedback you submit this to your GP liaison Andy.shute@wellsouth.org.nz.  Your feedback will help to refine the process & reduce unnecessary work.

Hopefully you agree that this is a step in the right direction and will ensure that patient information is communicated to primary care effectively.

Natasha Robinson

Unit Manager (Kaiwhakahaere wae) – ENT & Eye Department, Te Whatu Ora Southern”


Newly graduated nurses seeking positions in general practice commencing January 2024

It is wonderful to learn that there are many nurses graduating at the end of this year who want to work in general practices in Southland and Otago. Details about the Te Whatu Ora Nurse Entry to Practice (NETP) and Enrolled Nurse Support in Practice (ENSIPP) programmes including funding can be found here.

If you have a position that you would like to offer a new graduate RN or EN, or you would like to know more about the program, please contact:


Or, Kate Norris, Wellsouth Professional Nurse Advisor - kate.norris@wellsouth.org.nz or phone 0225604176.



Opportunities to be involved


Endoscopy Oversight Group

Te Whatu Ora Southern is seeking primary care representation for an Endoscopy Oversight Group.

The purpose of this group is to provide a means by which all matters pertaining to governance of the Te Whatu Ora Southern endoscopy service can be managed to ensure quality and equity of the services provided. To receive and review overall quality indicators, such as quarterly reports, and to outline overall expectations should changes be required.

For full details and the key objects of the group, please click here.

Meetings will be one hour in duration, held Quarterly on a Friday.

WellSouth will fund a primary care representative to attend meetings.

Any questions please contact Craig Ashton General Manager Te Whatu Ora: craig.ashton@southerndhb.govt.nz


National paediatric palliative care working group – Calling for expressions of interest

Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand holds responsibility for developing a palliative care work programme co-sponsored by Te Aka Whai Ora – Māori Health Authority. The purpose of this programme is to support a nationally consistent approach to palliative and end-of-life care planning, funding, service delivery and outcomes that ensures services meet the needs of all New Zealanders and their whānau.

Our national palliative care steering group are excited to announce that Expression of Interest applications are now open for our first working group: models of care – paediatric.

This working group will develop a national model of care for paediatric palliative care in Aotearoa, and provide recommendations to the steering group for this model to be successfully implemented.

If you’re passionate about improving palliative and end-of-life services for tamariki (children) and rangatahi (adolescents & young adults), are keen to work collaboratively and have capacity to be involved in this national work – we’d love to hear from you!

For further information please see the attached the Expression of Interest application form and draft Terms of Reference. 
Applications close 29 September 2023.



Upcoming training and webinars


Health Pathways Webinar with WellSouth & Te Whatu Ora Southern
Breast Health Pathways – October 24th, 7pm. Online session.

Health Pathways offers clinicians locally agreed information to make the right decisions, together with patients, at the point of care. This session is presented by Dr Alice Febery and focuses on Breast Health Pathways. Please click here to register for the free workshop.


NZ Osteoarthritis Summit 2023

2–4 November 2023, University of Otago, Dunedin Campus

Registrations are now open for the NZ Osteoarthritis Summit 2023. This event combines the Osteoarthritis Aotearoa New Zealand Research Network | Te Anga Kaikōiwi o Aotearoa annual conference and the Taumata Kaikōiwi Aotearoa New Zealand Osteoarthritis Summit 2023.

Join us as we bring together the osteoarthritis research community of Aotearoa to hear about exciting current research, facilitate new collaborations, and build capability and capacity in the osteoarthritis research sector. 

For more information and to register visit  www.events.otago.ac.nz/2023-oa-summit




Annual Southland GP Education Conference

4 – 5 November, Te Anau

The Annual Southland GP Education conference is back for the 6th year, hosted by the RNZCGP’s Southland Faculty in Te Anau.

We have a fantastic line up of speakers lined up across the two days.

Practitioners from Southland will be offered a 50% discount. 

For full details on speakers and schedule for the day, and to register click here.



Ngā Manukura: Clinical Leadership Programme for Māori Nurses and Midwives – Enrolment now open for 2024

The Ngā Manukura: Clinical Leadership Programme has a strong reputation for contributing to building the clinical leadership capacity and capability. 

For participants to be eligible to be considered for the programme, they must be:

  • Māori (whakapapa); and

  • have a current Annual Practicing Certificate for nursing or midwifery; and

  • have the support of your employer (if applicable); and

  • committed to positive health outcomes for Māori; and

  • be open to learning; and

  • committed to attending all four wānanga; and

  • committed to completing the programme.

Details for the programme and enrolment form are here Ngā Manukura


Wānanga Tōkeke: Equity in Health Workshop – new dates added!

We have added a number of workshops to the Workforce development calendar. Check our website for workshops near you and register now!

Join presenters Riiti Conway (Tuvalu, Kiribati) and Emma-May Loretz (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Tamaterā) from WellSouth to learn about:

  • Mihimihi & pepeha

  • Foundations of Te Ao Māori

  • Equity in General Practice

  • Decolonising Primary Care: Overview of Cultural Safety and Cultural Competency

This workshop is open to anyone working in Primary Care and will provide you with a general understanding of the above topics while helping you honour your obligations to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and present you with some practical skills that you can take into your practices. 



Covid-19 updates


Revised Model of Care for Covid-19

Covid Care to focus on eligibility for antiviral medicines  

Eligibility for antiviral medicine to treat COVID-19 will become the key focus of primary, Hauora provider and community pharmacy care from 1st October.  This will ensure the people who are most at risk of serious outcomes from the virus receive the support they need. I have reattached the summary of changed criteria for funded Covid care consultations in general practice and community pharmacy. Funded initial consultations for people who meet the PHARMAC eligibility criteria (https://pharmac.govt.nz/news-and-resources/covid19/access-criteria-for-covid-19-medicines/covid-antivirals/) will continue for both general practice and pharmacy, and funding for advance prescription consultations.

The continued and greater focus on antiviral therapies reflects the transition to managing COVID-19 in the same way as other acute respiratory conditions. 

People who are not at high risk of serious illness from COVID-19 can still access related healthcare at their doctor, hauora provider or pharmacy, but they will be asked to pay just like they do for other health services. 

Follow this link to find a range of collateral resources for your use.


WellSouth Covid Care in the Community Team

Covid care in the community funding ends on 1 October, and we will no longer have a coordinator team for this service.  

The coordinator email and phone line will remain active and be monitored by our Pou Manaaki team until further notice:

Ph: 0800 477 116

Email: Coordinator@wellsouth.org.nz  


So I hope this is the last update with a Covid-19 section in it! And hopefully by the next CD update there will be clarity around the Crypto outbreak and an end in sight for our Queenstown colleagues.

All the best for the next couple of weeks, and remember to vote!


Ngā mihi nui