Lucy Afemui has been with us for just a few months but she's already making a huge difference for families and children in South Auckland.
Lucy’s passionate about enabling local families to have a voice in decisions that affect them, so soon after she began her role as a Plunket Community Services Team Leader she set about doing just that. She met families, listened to their stories and swung into action to help them get the best possible service from Plunket.
In March 120 team members from The Warehouse will embark on a cycle relay the length of New Zealand (2,213km) to raise funds for Plunket Playgroups. Pedal for Plunket, kicks off in Cape Reinga on Wednesday 4 March, crossing the Cook Strait on the Bluebridge Ferry on Thursday 12 March and then finishing in Bluff on Tuesday 17 March. Plunket and The Warehouse are encouraging Kiwis to support the ride by adding a dollar to their purchase at The Warehouse stores nationwide (from 4 March), visiting http://pedalforplunket.
The NZNO Young Nurse of the Year for 2014 is Katrina Coleman, 27, a Plunket nurse in Newtown, Wellington. She works with a large number of new migrant families, and helping improve their health outcomes is just as likely to see her advocating to move them to better housing, as assessing children’s growth and development. The communities have changed since Plunket began over a century ago, but Katrina’s work today in building trust with families, and connecting them with the people and services they and their children need to thrive has a lot in common with those first Plunket nurses.
A recent email from a Plunket mum led us to an astonishing discovery: a Plunket mothers’ group that first met in September 1951, and continues to meet today!Kellie wrote to tell us about her grandmother who, now 87 years old, is an active member of the ‘Plunket Old Girls’ – a group of women who as young mothers formed the Royal Oak Plunket Mothers’ Club. With their babies as their uniting force, the mothers initially met for afternoons of fun and friendship in a local church. Later, and as their children grew older, they held evening meetings in borrowed rooms and each other’s homes, and more recently they’ve chosen to lunch at a local cafe.
We have four – with your help we could make it more!
Unfortunately our existing buses are fast approaching their use-by dates. We currently have four buses in the Auckland and Northland regions and we’ve recently leased one in Canterbury to meet the increasing need for our services in the post-earthquake environment. We’d love to expand our fleet of buses (Wellington and Hamilton are top of the list) - however, it’s difficult enough to fund the maintenance expenses, let alone find the $55,000 it will cost to replace those beyond repair.
PlunketPlus – the new electronic client information system that will enhance the way Plunket nurses work – is now being tested externally with our clients. A group of 10 nurses and health workers are testing PlunketPlus in two Auckland suburbs – Sylvia Park and Otahuhu – and have a current workload of approximately 4,000 clients. Every child seen will have their information recorded electronically via the use of a mobile tablet device.
Eight years ago, and thanks to the support of our donors, Plunket launched new mobile clinics – ‘clinics on wheels’ designed to reach out to families who, for any number of reasons, weren’t accessing child health checks or preferred not to be visited at home. The aim was to ensure that, no matter what their circumstances, babies and children could get the checks and care they needed, and parents and caregivers could access support, information and advice. Today the mobile clinic is an increasingly important part of the Plunket service; we now have four on the road, covering Northland, Waitamata, Auckland City and and Counties Manukau.
Plunket is in the first stage of the development of PlunketPlus – the new electronic information system – which will eventually see Plunket nurses being able to access the records of every Plunket child in the country, via the use of tablets. When developing PlunketPlus, Plunket wanted to do more than simply move from a paper based system to an electronic one. Plunket’s General Manager of Service Delivery Brenda Hynes says “Plunket will connect us in new ways with our clients and other service providers across New Zealand, and will transform the way we access information at the point of care with the children and families we work with”.
On 12 May, the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, it’s time to celebrate nurses around the world through International Nurses Day. Plunket CEO Jenny Prince says that nurses make a huge contribution to society and are often unsung heroes. “Plunket nurses have been a part of New Zealander’s lives for over 100 years, giving parents the advice and support they need to nurture healthy, happy kiwi babies.