Health News

Local solutions improve rehabilitation outcomes after major trauma in New Zealand

Kat Quick – Clinical Lead for Trauma Rehabilitation, Health Quality & Safety Commission, Wellington, New Zealand

Major trauma in Aotearoa New Zealand is defined as a serious threat to life, and the costs of treatment (including rehabilitation) are covered by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). Trauma care has improved over the past five years, and rates of both mortality and long-term disability have reduced; however, there has been no certainty that people receive equitable access to rehabilitation or that services are meeting patient needs.

Work by the National Trauma Network and the Health Quality & Safety Commission (the Commission) identified several key system issues that, if addressed, could enhance patient recovery: poor care coordination, difficulty in navigating the health system, delays in accessing essential care, unwarranted variations in service delivery and inequity for Māori.
From March 2021 to June 2022, a national rehabilitation collaborative brought together 11 teams of rehabilitation clinicians from across New Zealand. Their aims were to identify and implement new initiatives that would remove barriers to achieving the best outcomes for patients with major trauma and to increase the quality improvement skills and knowledge of rehabilitation providers.

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