This month 12 General Practices from across New Zealand were officially certified Health Care Homes, in the inaugural certification for this new model of care. The Health Care Home model is designed to ensure primary care remains fit for the future; able to cope with increasing demand, an aging population and workforce challenges whilst at the same time delivering improved patient outcomes and satisfaction.

Taking the best of successful international models, Health Care Home has been adapted to a New Zealand context and aims to actively manage patient demand through: clinician triage, to provide ready access to urgent and unplanned care; proactive care for those with more complex needs; better routine and preventative care; expanded roles within the general practice workforce and improved business efficiency and sustainability.

Martin Hefford, Chair of the Health Care Home National Collaborative comments, “It’s very satisfying to watch this unique NZ model of care maturing to the extent that practices can be certified by a national group. It’s also great to see the group maintaining a very high and consistent standard, so that patients from Kaitaia to the Bluff can expect consistent service ethos from a health care home practice.”

Northcare Practice Manager, David Gaines said “It was a good exercise to go through mapping the practice activity to all the national HCH requirements and said it was now easier to focus on the areas of change that had been identified by the practice team.”

Dr Harley Aish, GP, Otara Family and Christian Health Centre commented “Otara Family and Christian Health Centre has been on the Health Care Home journey for almost two years. Some aspects were challenging, so it is great to have achieved certification. The benefits are being realised now, both from our patient’s perspective, and those working in the practice. We look forward to achieving the final standards, and gaining further rewards, in the way we work as a team.”


Dr Jan Widdowson, Doctors Kamo noted “Managing acute load and demand has made a big difference, telephone triage is a really useful thing, patients really appreciate getting a call from us and it helps prioritise our workload which has really reduced the stress on our team.”

“Given that this was the first Moderation, the process was supportive, robust and transparent. This is a good reflection on how the Collaborative has grown and matured since its establishment.” Melissa Simpson, HCH Programme Lead, Compass Health.

The first New Zealand practices certified as Health Care Homes are:
Organisation Name of Practice

Clendon Medical Centre
Otara Family and Christian Health Centre
Pukekohe Family Health Care
Turuki Health Care

Northland DHB
• The Doctors Kamo

• The Lakes Surgery - Taupo
• Northcare Pukete Road
• Northcare Thomas Road
• Northcare Grandview Road

Compass Health
• Johnsonville Medical Centre
• Raumati Road Surgery
• Hora Te Pai Health Services


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