A group of nurses at Tui Ora is working alongside families and offering a unique holistic service.
Six nurses make up the Tamariki Ora team. They’re well travelled, visiting people in homes from Mokau in the north to Manaia in the South. Based at Tui Ora in Maratahu St, the team also includes two perinatal social workers as well as kaiāwhina or whānau support workers.
Tamariki Ora nurse Gaylene Corry says not all of the families it sees encounter barriers – but for those that do, the service is responsive and adaptable.
“We have the flexibility to go to families in their homes and often they’re more comfortable in a familiar environment,” she says.
The all-encompassing, wrap-around approach also begins at the perinatal stage meaning mothers can seek support before baby is born.
WellChild checks are a series of free health visits and support that start from six weeks of age. They encompass everything from assessing a child’s growth and progress, to discussions about breastfeeding, eating habits, sleeping patterns – anything bothering Mums and whānau.
The nursing service can also immunise a child through its outreach immunisation service, talk about the use of pepi-pods (the plastic portable cots that help prevent SUDI or sudden unexplained death of an infant) and provide B4 school and vision and hearing checks.
During discussions with parents, the nurses and kaiāwhina can talk about other factors - the ones that seem less health related but in actual fact impact on wellbeing.
Perhaps Mum is trying to quit smoking, maybe the house needs a smoke alarm, or there might be another child in the family with a bad cough. All these add stress to the job of raising children.
Being part of Tui Ora means the nurses know about the range of services available under the umbrella of their wider organisation. For example, Gaylene can refer a Mum for breastfeeding support, knowing a Tui Ora colleague will be in touch, or help source a free smoke alarm through the Tui Ora public health team.
Working alongside the family and Tamariki Ora nurses is a kaiāwhina/whānau support worker.
“Being there can start a conversation about other related issues that we can help them access. It prevents the problem of five different cars up the one driveway from five different services operating in isolation from each other.”
The Tui Ora team works alongside Plunket colleagues to ensure all whānau receive WellChild checks, care and support.