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Immunisation is your best protection says Hawke's Bay DHB

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Diseases don’t discriminate, and immunisation is your best protection, Hawke’s Bay District Health Board Immunisation Coordinator Fiona Jackson says.

Those pearls of wisdom are among the key messages for National Immunisation Week which starts on Monday (20 April) and continues until Friday (24 April).

The week serves as a timely opportunity to remind the public that there are a range of vaccinations needed from the age of six-weeks-old to the annual flu vaccination for pensioners, Mrs Jackson said.

"While immunisation against flu is the hot topic of the moment, this week vaccinators across the country are reminding the public that ‘On Time, Every Time’ should be the catch-cry across one’s lifespan with regard to immunisation," she said.

"The National Immunisation Schedule is wide ranging. A baby can, in three vaccinations, one of which is oral, be immunised against rotavirus, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, hepatitis B, the bacteria haemophilus influenzae type b and pneumococcal disease.

"Then there are scheduled immunisations for a variety of diseases at 15 months, 4 years, 11 and 12 years, when pregnant, 45 and 65. Diseases like measles, mumps and rubella are covered.

"And we should not forget the annual flu vaccination. Those with serious health conditions, pregnant women and people aged 65 and over are high priority for this vaccine.

"The well population should also get immunised to limit the amount of influenza circulating in the community so as to protect those that are most vulnerable - Influenza. Don’t get it. Don’t give it.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) ranks immunisation among the most cost-effective public health measures ever developed for prevention of disease and saving lives.

"The Ministry of Health’s key messages are that diseases don’t discriminate and immunisation is your best protection against some serious but preventable diseases," Mrs Jackson said. "To be best-protected, babies, children and adults all need to be protected on time, every time. Immunisation helps to protect your child, your family and our community."

Napier teen faces a long road to recovery.

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On Sunday the 29th of March, 14 year old Deane Aoterangi Peters was taking part in an adventure race for a Tamatea High School team. Always one to give his all meant that when he came off his mountain bike, he came off at a high speed causing a crack in his liver, a crack in his kidney, some damage to his lumbar, a broken wrist and some bruising on/around the brain with a small amount of bleeding on the brain also.

It is believed that over time because Deane is young, fit and healthy he will make a full recovery. His brain injury will need to be monitored to see if there is any long term impact.

His family are taking it day by day and showing so much strength and courage for their beloved Deane-Boy. He has his Mother, Father and older sister at his bedside ready for when he wakes up, and a constant outpour of aroha and awhi from his extended whanau and school community.

As we all know as much as events like this can cause our worlds to come to a halt, they do not put the bills on hold. This give-a-little page is started to help alleviate some of the financial stress for the family so they can focus on getting their boy better.

Please show your support for Deane, Kahui, Kerin and Michaela at this time by donating. No amount is too small, he iti he pounamu..

To Donate to to Givealitte fund http://givealittle.co.nz/cause/deanepetersroadtorecovery

Labour say DHB's like Hawke's Bay are being pushed to outsource hospital food.

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The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

"Hawke’s Bay, Nelson, Tairawhiti, Southern and Waikato regions are all in line to have Compass Group take over provision of food services.

"If those DHBs don’t accept the proposal they have to stump up thousands of dollars to come up with a business case for keeping the service in-house. That is borderline blackmail.

The move to outsourcing was initiated by Health Benefits Ltd, set up by the National Government to implement cookie-cutter solutions to rising costs.

"HBL, which is in the process of being wound-up, is being investigated by the auditor-general. Meanwhile our DHBs are having to pay for its mistakes.

"HBL has not been honest about the implementation costs for those DHBs with their own kitchens. They keep parroting the financial benefits of the plan. However the gains only occur if every region approves the proposal.

"DHBs are being forced to swallow an unsavoury scheme at a time when they are already under huge financial pressure from the Government to reduce debt.

"Labour warned this would happen. This is just the beginning of the HBL hangover," Annette King says.

 

Hawke's Bay DHB say "have a conversation that counts".

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Families are left suffering because of indecision about dying. That’s just one of many reasons why it’s important to have ‘Conversations that Count’, Dr Lucy Fergus says.

The Hawke’s Bay District Health Board doctor is the province’s Clinical Champion for advance care planning which celebrates its second national awareness day today (Thursday, April 16). Conversations That Count Day encourages people to think about, talk about and plan for their future health care.

"Advance care planning gives everyone a chance to say what’s important to them," Dr Fergus said. "It helps people understand what the future might hold, and to say what treatment they would and would not want. It helps people, their families and their healthcare teams plan for future and end of life care.

"This makes it much easier for families and healthcare providers to know what the person would want - particularly if they can no longer speak for themselves.

"And I’m not just talking about the old or sick - none of us knows what life will throw at us from one moment to the next."

Dr Fergus said the goal today was simply to raise awareness and encourage people to have the conversation.

"Most people have home and life insurance, and wills organised. Even funerals. On the other hand not many people find it easy to think or talk about what is important to them, and what they would like or not like to happen if they could not talk for themselves."

Health professionals know that decisions are easier to make when previous discussions have been had and documented.

"Decisions such as continuing life support when there is no hope of recovery, or agreeing to treatment options can be a huge burden for family members at a time of already great stress," Dr Fergus said. "With an Advanced Care Plan there is less grief and distress.

"Talk about what’s important to you as you get older, how you want to live the rest of your life and your future healthcare needs. Do it today - have a conversation that counts, and then continue on with them."

For more information go to www.advancecareplanning org.nz or www.conversationsthatcount.org.nz or talk to your health professional.

New service to combat falls in Hawke's Bay

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Hawke’s Bay District Health Board is forming a Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) to reduce injuries from falls which in a recent financial year cost the DHB more than six-and-a-half million dollars.

Service Director Older Persons, Options HB, Mental Health and Allied Health Allison Stevenson said the 2012-13 financial year highlighted the need for the service which has the potential to dramatically decrease falls numbers.

"That year 303 people aged over 50 years were admitted to Hawke’s Bay Hospital with a fracture of the femur incurring an estimated annual cost of more than six-and-a-half million dollars," she said. "The Ministry of Health’s expectation is that the DHB establish an FLS to improve the quality of service and reduce costs through a reduction in unscheduled admissions for hips and other fragility fractures.

"The service will seek to identify patients who have suffered a fragility fracture and attempt to prevent it happening again. This adds up to an opportunity to intervene in half of all potential cases of hip fracture in the future."

The new service’s imminent arrival coincides with the Health Quality and Safety Commission’s six-month patient safety campaign focus beginning with April Falls Awareness Month.

The FLS will be staffed by a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) and a Geriatrician, and they will have the ability to access up to 400 bone density scans and a similar number of pharmaceutical packages valued at nearly $300 per person.

"Bone density scanning is an enhanced form of x-ray technology used to measure

osteoporosis, which is bone loss," Mrs Stevenson said. "Research tells us that less than 25 percent of fragility fracture patients have been routinely referred for a bone density test after fracture, and many haven’t been prescribed osteoporosis medication. The FLS will help to address those statistics.

"Ideally when a falls patient leaves us they will have had a future falls risk assessment, been provided with osteoporosis treatment if needed, and given exercise and education programmes. Their future management plan will also be comprehensively communicated to their GP."

Mrs Stevenson said the primary goal was "reduction in the current hip fracture rate".

"There is evidence that falls in older people can be prevented. Over the next six months the DHB will support the drive to help consumers and health professionals learn more about steps to take so our older people can stay safe and independent."

It's time to book your flu vaccine in Hawke's Bay

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Now is the time to book in for your influenza vaccination, as the vaccine has started to arrive at GPs and other licenced vaccinators.

This year two of the three strains in the vaccine for the Southern Hemisphere have been changed from those in the Northern Hemisphere vaccine to have a better match with the predicted circulating influenza viruses as per World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations. Changing the strains from those that were in the Northern Hemisphere’s vaccine has meant extra time was needed to develop the vaccine.

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board Immunisation Coordinator Fiona Jackson said that this was the reason for the later start to the vaccination season.

"It’s important that we have a continuous supply of vaccine before we start the programme," she said.

"In reality the flu season generally picks up in the winter months. But the vaccine has now started to arrive at GP practices and with other licensed vaccinators, so with it taking up to two weeks to build antibodies now is the time to make a booking to have your vaccination."

Mrs Jackson urged all eligible people to get immunised and avoid catching or spreading influenza this season, but stressed that high priority groups were those with serious health conditions, pregnant women and people aged 65 and over.

Influenza immunisation is free for New Zealanders at high risk of complications - pregnant women, people aged 65 and over, and anyone under 65 years of age with ongoing medical conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease (including asthma if on a preventer), kidney disease and most cancers. Children under five who have been hospitalised for respiratory illness or have a history of significant respiratory illness also qualify for free immunisation.

"The well population should also get immunised to limit the amount of influenza circulating in the community so as to protect those that are most vulnerable - Influenza. Don’t get it. Don’t give it.," Mrs Jackson said. "Immunisation is still the best form of protection from influenza, so Come On The Bay: Get Immunised."

Chief Medical Officer at the Ministry of Health, Dr Don Mackie says the aim is to immunise more than 1.2 million New Zealanders.

"More than half a million vaccines are now in the country."

The subsidised influenza immunisation season will end on July 31.

Snorkeler almost drowns at Hawke's Bay beach

A man has nearly drowned while snorkelling at a Hawke's Bay beach.

The 48-year-old was airlifted to Hawke's Bay Hospital from Kairakau Beach about 2pm yesterday, the Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter says.

The remote beach, east of Waipawa and south of Havelock North, is a popular camping spot with a settlement of holiday homes.

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