Authors: Newtown Union Health Service
Event: 1999 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: NZ
Award level: Silver
Award category: Specialist Service or Innovative Part of a Larger Service
Abstract: The Newtown Union Health Services (NUHS) Primary Mental Health Programme is an innovative approach to involving general practice in the health care of people with on-going needs for mental health services. It commenced in 1993, when NUHS decided it needed to target mental health to meet a community need. By 1998 there werer 388 people enrolled in the programme. The programme is mainly delivered by a nurse and doctor. It uses a shared care and wellness focus that addresses physical, mental and social health needs. A pro-active approach is taken to health promotion and prevention. In depth networking and liaison with consumer groups, non-government providers and the community mental health service are undertaken to ensure good consumer and community input in an ongoing, developmental way. Another feauture of the programme is a fortnightly consulant liaison service provided by a psychiatrist. The programme actively lobbies key stakeholders in mental health to improve service delivery generally and it seeks to improve itself through research and evaluation. Description of Facility/Organisation: Newtwon Union Health Service (NUHS) is a primary health care service established in 1987 to provide appropriate, affordable, acceptable and accessible health care. It is community owned and governed by a Policy Board consisting of community and staff representatives. People from the Wellington South Electorate who are on low incomes are eligible to join. NUHS receives it core funding from the Health Funding Authority. The funding provided is determined using a capitated formula for routine primary care with additional funding for specialist programmes such as the primary mental health and refugee programme. Currently there are 7809 people registered at the service, of which 388 have an identified on-going mental health need that has required specialist input.