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Vital to improve health services for older people now

In the next 10 years Hawke’s Bay will experience a considerable increase in the number of older people in the community, which will place a significant strain on the region’s health resources.

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board, as part of its planning to meet this need, has released a consultation document today, titled Improving Health Services for Older People in Hawke’s Bay.

Project manager Andrea Jopling said in ten years time 21 percent, or 31,000 people, living in Hawke’s Bay’s will be aged over 65 and many will have complex health and support needs caused by  chronic conditions such as cardio vascular diseases, diabetes, renal disease or cancer.

Mrs Jopling said a number of health professionals, service providers and service users had taken part in designing a new way to deliver safe and sustainable health services for older people.

“Today’s consultation document brings those ideas together into a plan which will provide more effective ways of caring for the elderly in the future,” she said.

Dr Liz Dixon, General Practitioner Clive Medical Centre and project steering group member said the proposed new service model aimed to improve access to health services for older people, reduce duplication and provide well coordinated care and advice.

“A number of new initiatives have been identified, which we want feedback on, before any changes are made.

“It’s vital the DHB, the Hawke’s Bay health sector and the community have a road map for how health services will be delivered and maintained for older people in the coming years.

“The consultation process is all about seeking feedback from the community, health service providers and anyone else who is interested to ensure we have a plan which will provide a foundation for the future service developments,” Dr Dixon said.

The consultation document and feedback form is available on the DHB’s website.

ENDS: HBDHB MEDIA RELEASE: 12 April 2011