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PHO-based Smokefree Coordinator Workforce an Effective Strategy for Waitemata DHB

Case Study

posted by Danielle Crooks on 8 July 2011

Covering a large region of Auckland, Waitemata District Health Board (Waitemata DHB) serves 525,000 people, representing a culturally diverse population that is the largest DHB population in New Zealand. Since March 2009 the DHB has implemented a unique approach to supporting the routine application of the ABC intervention within the district’s primary health care sector. As a result of this approach, delivered through a network of six PHO-based Smokefree Coordinators, a high proportion (63%) of the approximately 558 general practitioners (GPs) and nurses working in primary health care within Waitemata have completed ABC training within a 12-month period. Moreover, prescription rates for nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) have increased by approximately 100 percent and the practice of recording patients’ smoking status has become much more widespread.

During December 2010 interviews were held with eight key staff of Waitemata PHOs and the DHB, including the DHB Smokefree Coordinator and three PHObased Smokefree Coordinators (at Waiora Healthcare, Te Puna PHO and Harbour Health). The purpose of these interviews was to identify the factors that helped to drive these performance outcomes, along with the challenges, barriers and outcomes to date. The findings from those interviews have been outlined (attached).