As New Zealand went into the first COVID-19 lockdown last year, Whānau Āwhina Plunket, with the Ministry of Health’s support established a prioritised virtual service (PVS) for our Well Child Tamariki Ora services. Through the PVS, we were able to continue to deliver these services to our thousands of clients and families, even as our ability to visit people in their homes was restricted. 
We were very keen to learn from this new service, and with funding support from the Ministry and the Gray Family, we commissioned Malatest International to undertake an evaluation of the PVS. The evaluation included surveys of our whānau, staff; sentinel site visits as well as ePHR data analysis. 


Key findings

Here are some of the key findings from the evaluation:

  • Almost all Whānau Āwhina Plunket staff felt that prioritisation targeted whānau with the highest needs, although some wanted to exercise discretion and judgement. Staff felt a key factor was to identify whānau needs in a partnership approach.  
  • The evaluation showed that having clear guidance can have significant impact in our response to whānau Māori and Pacific families. 
  • Over 80% of whānau reported contacts with Whānau Ᾱwhina Plunket answered their questions on child health needs. Around 70% of whānau also said we answered their own health questions and helped them feel confident about their parenting. 
  • Around 80% of whānau were very positive about their contact with Whānau Ᾱwhina Plunket over the COVID-19 lockdown period. Almost all felt respected and listened to, trusted the Whānau Ᾱwhina Plunket staff member they spoke with and thought Whānau Ᾱwhina Plunket spoke with them in a meaningful way.