This last year has been paradoxically one of the toughest years we’ve seen, while also continuing to provide significant opportunity for innovation and service improvement.
The pandemic has pushed health care services to continue providing care for those with COVID-19 in the community when staff are also sick, GP and nurse vacancies persist, and the usual demand for care and support remains. We are very proud of how our practice network and PHO services have risen to the challenge, and the continued focus on ensuring we are driving equitable health outcomes in all that we do.
Pinnacle has a strong reputation for innovation, and whilst the current network environment has not been conducive to major change improvements, we are proud of what we have achieved together. These developments are described in this report, with examples including a new after-hours GP telehealth service to increase access to primary care; clinical dashboards providing our clinicians with clear visibility of clinical outcomes to support greater equity in decision-making; adding collaborative, co-funded roles with other organisations, such as Diabetes New Zealand, to our teams, or partnering with community organisations for outreach activities.
The passing of the Pae Ora Bill in June introduced major health system reform, and this has created opportunity for us to keep doing what we love to do — add value in service innovation and improvement at a system level. We were pleased to support the health reforms directly by seconding our CEO Helen Parker and CFO Dean Cross to Te Whatu Ora and our Māori Health Director, Brandi Hudson, to Te Aka Whai Ora.
We were also delighted to have the opportunity to play our part in two of the first nine locality prototypes selected by the new authorities to develop the policy and learning framework for planning and organising primary and community services. We expect different opportunities will begin to emerge in Taupō-Turangi and Hauraki through this work, and look forward to contributing our skills and ideas alongside other providers and partners in the localities.
This last year has maintained our focus on ensuring the network data we have is used effectively to promote high quality equitable care across the network. Our strength in this area has been recognised and we have been actively supporting national data and digital developments. Five new clinical dashboards developed by the Pinnacle data team are being used by an increasing number of practices in the network to help drive more equitable primary care services, with more in the pipeline.
Whilst we have stayed true to Pinnacle’s vision kia hauora te katoa, kia puaawai te katoa— everyone healthy, everyone thriving, this year has seen the long-term challenges of primary care funding and national workforce planning increase, particularly in our rural communities.
"We strongly believe there is still room for optimism even while these long-term challenges continue to prevent the true potential of primary care from being realised in the system."
We have continued to do what we can to develop and sustain our workforce and have strongly advocated for recognition of the value of primary care to the whole system, and for its contribution to a reformed health care system to be well-articulated and funded. We will hold our course, and we will transform our own contribution to health care in Te Manawa Taki in line with the reform agenda.
Justin Butcher, CEO and Craig McFarlane, Chairman