New chapter for child development services in BOP

File photo.

Healthcare leaders are welcoming an exciting new chapter for child development services in the Bay of Plenty.

After nearly 22 years, the current Western Bay of Plenty child developmental services – CDS- provider, Te Whanau Kotahi - TWK will be passing the baton to the Bay of Plenty District Health Board - BOPDHB from March 1.

The opportunity to improve and expand services for families were key factors in Te Whanau Kotahi’s decision says TWK Acting General Manager Beth Hughes.

“This decision was made after very careful consideration of how to take advantage of the significant opportunities to improve services presented by additional funding for Child Development Services through the 2019 Government Budget,” says Beth.

“The funding is intended to promote greater standardisation and access to Child Development Services nationally and to encourage local integration of services.”

CDS provide services for children who have neurological or developmental needs, and are mostly provided by therapists in the home or community settings.

With the BOPDHB already running CDS in the Eastern Bay, the fact it will now also oversee the Western Bay means greater opportunities for providing an accessible and integrated service. This will see the service evolve and develop for the children and families it currently supports, and for more children and their families in the future.

The Ministry of Health has been working alongside the parties, helping support a smooth transition and maintain continuity of service.

BOPDHB Community Paediatrician David Jones says he is excited at the prospect.

“I am very excited about the future,” says David. “With the new contract and innovation funding from the Ministry of Health, we have a fantastic opportunity to improve child development services across the Bay of Plenty.

“Through consultation with families, iwi, and our colleagues in education and the community, the DHB can develop a truly integrated service that will be responsive, deliver high quality care, and best meet the needs of local children and whanau.”

The BOPDHB wanted to recognise and thank Te Whanau Kotahi Trust for its work over more than two decades and its provision of such an important service.

All current TWK therapy staff have been offered employment with the BOPDHB going forward. In addition to this further staff members are being recruited.


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