News and Notices

New home support service providers announced

After two years of consultation, planning and a robust public tender procurement process Nelson Marlborough Health has contracted two new providers of home-based support services for the region.

Access Community Health and Nurse Maude were successful in their bids for the new five-year contracts starting 26 September 2017. Currently, Access Community Health, Healthcare New Zealand, Presbyterian Support, Nelson Nursing Services and Florence Nightingale Agency provide these services.

General Manager Strategy Primary & Community Cathy O’Malley says that the Access Community Health and Nurse Maude proved their experience, innovation and capability to deliver a new model of restorative care that aligns with global best practice, the Ministry of Health’s Healthy Ageing Strategy and the South Island Alliance’s strategy.

“Restorative care puts people at the centre of their care, where support services are designed to help people achieve their goals of independence in their own home,” Cathy says.

“Supporting our older population well is very important. Decisions made now must be robust enough and flexible enough to meet the challenges coming with our ageing population. Currently, over 65yr olds account for 15 per cent of our population but that will have increased to 22 per cent by 2033.

“We support people to stay in their own home for as long as they are safe to do so, which is what the majority of older people and their families in our region want,” Cathy says.

“This is where the expertise of nurses, occupational therapists and physiotherapists comes in under the restorative model. Support workers will also receive new and more advanced levels of training.”

Cathy says that the client is at the centre of care. “We will continue to assist all people who have been assessed as eligible for these services in the best way for them, but we know from our assessment processes that most people want to stay independent and as strong for as long as possible to avoid hospitalisation.”

What the changes mean for people who receive home-based support

People who currently receive home-based support will continue to receive the care they are getting. The eligibility criteria for care and support will not change.

All current recipients of home-based services were written to in May and a second letter confirming the new providers will be sent this week. There has been a series of community meetings and information sessions for clients as part of the process.

Services will continue to be delivered by consumer’s current providers until 25 September.

What the changes mean for support workers

We value support workers in our region and all current support workers will be offered employment under the same terms and conditions with the new provider.

Most support workers will have the option to continue working with their current clients. Nelson Marlborough Health is working with unions to aid this transition.

The consultation process

Consultation with service providers and health of older people stakeholders (such as Age Concern and Grey Power) started in February 2015. This coincided with national work on the NZ Healthy Ageing strategy.

At these meetings Nelson Marlborough Health sought opinion and information on what the local direction should be within the bigger picture of regional, national and international strategy.

Consultation was also held within the DHB before the NMH 2016/17 Annual Plan was approved by the Ministry of Health. When the plan for change was approved, current providers of home and community services in our region were informed about the tender and procurement process.

Current recipients of home-based services were informed about the new model in June, and will receive further notification by post this month, followed by a phone call from a provider.

The procurement process

Nelson Marlborough Health undertook an open procurement process as per the Government Rules of Sourcing. This process included a Response for Proposal document being made available on the Government Electronic Tendering System on March 6 2017.

Interested providers were able to respond to this tender, which closed April 21 2017.

The evaluation of responses was a two envelope system, with an evaluation panel evaluating each respondent for their ability to deliver the service, as well as their capability and capacity.

An evaluation panel was assembled to evaluate all responses to the RFP. This panel comprised service managers, the General Manager Strategy, Primary & Community, a community GP, a Nurse Practitioner, and a manager from Age Concern. This group evaluated the proposals and selected the most capable candidates for consideration by Nelson Marlborough Health.

A second evaluation process was undertaken after the responses were evaluated for their ability to deliver the service, which evaluated the proposal’s value for money.  A final selection of preferred providers was made after this second evaluation process.