Whānau Ora navigators to receive $49.8m boost

By Wikitōria Day

Whānau Ora Minister Te Ururoa Flavell says new operating funding of $49.8 million over the next four years will further support Whānau Ora navigators to work with families.

The new funding will allow the continuation of Whānau Ora navigators, who play a critical role in Whānau Ora.  Flavell says, "They act as brokers for the whānau and support them to achieve their goals.

As a result, whānau are seeing improvements across a broad range of outcomes, including accessing  relevant services, being employment-ready and adopting healthier lifestyle choices."

According to a 2015 Ministry of Health report, around 60% of patients enrolled in a sample of Whānau Ora general practices are high-needs patients, compared with only a quarter of patients in a national sample.

In the report, the Ministry of Health selected 11 health indicators to compare the performance of Whānau Ora general practices with the performance of a national sample of general practices.

The Whānau Ora sample performed the same as or better in eight of the 11 indicators, despite having a large proportion of high-needs patients.

The greatest improvements to the end of 2014 were in the cardiovascular disease, smoking cessation and diabetes patient review.

New funding for Whānau Ora navigators will be allocated to Whānau Ora commissioning agencies to enable about 230 navigators to work with whānau and families within their areas of focus.

"This funding demonstrates the Government's on-going commitment to Whānau Ora, in particular the potential for Whānau Ora commissioning agencies to invest in greater outcomes for whānau.

As I said earlier this month when responding to the Auditor-General's report on Whānau Ora, the report acknowledged the value of taking an innovative public policy approach to supporting families in need," says Minister Flavell.