Owhata Medical Centre adopts the Health Care Home

The latest evaluation of our Health Care Home

The Shared Medical Appointment Workshop

The Model of Care Requirements setting the standard for Health Care Home practices
Nicola Rowbottom (right) Clinical Pharmacist and Shayna Rameka, Community Support Worker, recent recruits to our Taupo team
John Macaskill-Smith and Helen Parker sharing the potential of the new Indici platform in Dublin
Patient feeds back their experience that day
John Macskill-Smith and Helen Parker with  Western Queensland colleagues

What are we up to?



We have commissioned Maura Thompson to undertake a qualitative evaluation of our Health Care Programme, collecting owner, staff and patient experiences and stories of providing, or receiving, a new model of care.  Publication due in September


We’re delighted to have formed a partnership with Melon Health to provide their patient engagement platform to our Health Care Home practices from 1st July. The digital platform gives practice teams the tools to support patients self-manage their health journey joining an online peer community with access to health coaching and relevant library resources. This first phase will be evaluated for efficacy and outcomes before rolling out to the Pinnacle network in Year 2.


The team are delighted to have commenced a 12 month programme of support to Te Tai Whenua o Heretaunga in Hawkes Bay who are beginning their Health Care Home journey. It will a mutual learning environment; for us to share our learning from the last 8 years of HCH implementation and to learn from their team about working with a Maori community to improve access and maintain health and wellbeing. Not to mention the wineries!


We were delighted to welcome guests working in Health and Social Care services from Guernsey and the UK to our review of Extended Care Team services in Taupo. The team are wrapped around our four Health Care Home practices to provide a wider range of services and care to that population delivering the whole Health Care Home integrated care environment. We spent the time reviewing what was working well and what could be improved. Was great to celebrate the success of taking services out of traditional settings to places where  people live their lives, increasing access considerably.


A new year and a new practice joins our Health Care Home community!  Owhata Medical Centre in Rotorua is doing great stuff already, taking services out of the practice to where people live their lives every day. The team felt they could do more to improve care for their patients and the workload for staff and agreed the Health Care Home approach aligned to their philosophy and goals for the future.



The Journal of Health Design published an article by Helen Parker  – ‘Establishing Patient Partners: The Health Care Home Model’. Download a copy here

We delivered a two-day Health Care Home bootcamp in Wellington to PHO Health Care Home leads. The bootcamp provides an in-depth view of how to support a practice to transition successfully from a traditional model of care to the HCH based on our learning here at Pinnacle.


Our Open Day was attended by practice and PHO staff from around the country.  Lots of great questions and debate from our presentation on the history of model development, model components, our learning and outcomes. Everyone welcomed the opportunity to visit a HCH practice on the day, speak to staff and see the model in action. Our 2019 Open Day dates and how to register can be found on our Events page

All our practices met in their locality peer groups. Lots of sharing of what’s working well and thinking through areas still a challenge and solutions found. Lots of ideas too for further model development. Dr Dan Asquith from Mercury Bay Medical Centre shared his experience of running his first shared medical appointment with 10 patients, how well it had been received by patients and been a positive move for him. The group talked through plans now to embed this form of consult as a core service offer.


Helen Parker delivered a webinar on the learning from eight years of HCH implementation hosted by the Health Services Research Association of Australia and New Zealand. Click here to view


We’re delighted to welcome Strandon Health in Taranaki as our next practice transitioning to the Health Care Home model of care. Already delivering a great service to their patients they want to take it to the next step and we’re looking forward to learning from them too.


We are delighted to now have a comprehensive online resource guide for establishing Shared Medical Appointments in general practice. All the information you need to plan and set up these appointments with tools and templates to download. It is available to all Pinnacle practices and members of the National Health Care Home Collaborative. Please contact your local Health Care Home lead for access.


We are delighted to publish the recent evaluation of our Health Care Programme undertaken by Ernst and Young. It demonstrates the very positive impact on patients, the workforce and the system overall. Read more about it here EY HCH Evaluation April 18


Come and join us for a lively debate and discussion in July. Is integrated care the holy grail that only dreams are made of?  Can we truly deliver really well-co-ordinated care for those patients that need it. Keynote speaker: Dr Robin Miller from the UK. Click on the link for more information Integrated Care Workshop July 25th


We are recruiting to the HCH team to help us with rolling the model out to more practices and continue to support our existing HCH practices. If you like opportunity and challenge in equal measure and having lots of fun along the way, these two full time positions may interest you. Here’s more information on how to apply

Helen Parker and John Macaskill-Smith are off to Western Queensland again to continue the support to the Primary Health Network in adopting the Health Care Home model. On the way, they are both speaking at a Health Care Reform conference in Sydney, sharing the outcomes and progress of the model in New Zealand.

December  We were delighted to have experts in Shared Medical Appointment delivery join us from the Australian Society for Lifestyle Medicine for a workshop on Saturday 9th. A great mix of GPs, nurse practitioners, practice nurses and pharmacists from PHOs across the North Island listened to presentations on the science and evidence for consulting in this mode and then discussed the practical aspects of running shared consultations. This is a core development of our Health Care Home programme and we will now we working with our HCH practices to implement.

October  Taupo Medical Centre went live with their centralised call management via our Patient Access Centre. From the first day we were seeing benefits to patients and staff. Quieter and calmer reception areas (and receptionists!), people getting through first time and calls answered very quickly. Just how it should be for good customer care.

September  We launched our Expression of Interest for joining the Health Care Home programme in Taranaki and held a briefing meeting for interested practices. Watch this space!

August  A core principle of the Health Care Home is tailoring the consult mode to the individual patient need, not a universal face to face 1:1 consultation. The team at Taupo Medical Centre have begun using the shared medical appointment model for group consultations and seeing some great results. read more about the great work they are doing here

July  The Health Care Home Collaborative has published the Health Care Home Model of Care RequirementsThese describe the care components expected of a Health Care Home practice over and above traditional care models. This will bring consistency to implementation of the model across New Zealand as more practices choose to transform how they deliver care. The Collaborative is continuing the work to agree measures for accreditation so watch this space.

June  We’ve recently recruited to the Health Care Home team in Taupo. Developing the extended care team model working with our practice teams we’ve added the skills of a Clinical Pharmacist  and a Community Support Worker. Both roles add real value to better care adding capacity and ensuring people get the care they need to stay well and self care more easily.

April/May  John Macaskill-Smith and Helen Parker are attending various events and conferences in the US, UK and Ireland presenting and leading discussions on the Health Care Home model. Starting in San Francisco, they participated in a 3-day cross-sector event at the invitation of Ernst and Young exploring the opportunities digital disruption creates for redesigning health and other social systems. They also have presented at various event in London, Birmingham and Dublin. The challenges and opportunities facing primary care are common to all countries visited. The trip is helping shape Pinnacle’s thinking in how the Health Care Home should be developed further to improve health, equity and patient experience. Watch this space!

March  Push my Button devices went into 14 practices this month to ‘test the temperature’ of the patient experience at the time of their practice visit. This alerts a practice quickly that there may be an issue with their service they need to explore in more depth. Patients have welcomed the opportunity to record their views in this way and says it demonstrates the practice cares. Practices are encouraged to display the findings regularly in reception with information on how it has been acted upon. Thankfully at the moment 96% of responses are overwhelmingly positive!

January The work and impact of our Community Health Worker, Rangi Paraha, made the local press. Describes well how this role supports behavioural change in the home and integrated with a patient’s clinical care plan. See Page 5.



December: Calling all Clinical Pharmacists. We have an exciting opportunity for a clinical pharmacist to support our three Health Care Home practices in Taupo, working as part of an integrated team. Contact Helen Parker for more information 021 925 812

November:  On the 28th November we held our annual Health Care Home Symposium. All our practices came together for a day to review their progress in adopting the model, share the pain and the gain and hear practice presentations. The need to provide more virtual care for those patients who don’t need a face to face appointment was a big discussion point!

We have hosted a number of Australian visitors this month, all keen to learn about the our progress and learning.  Colleagues from Western Sydney and Queensland have visited Northcare practices and spent time with the team.

Indici went live in Northcare Grandview. This is a very exciting development for us as our new Patient Information System is going to be a big game changer in delivering the core principles of the model.

September: John Mackaskill-Smith, CEO and Helen Parker, GM, Health Care Home, spent time in Australia supporting the development of the Commonwealth’s Health Care Home initiative. They visited the Department of Health in Canberra and spent time in Western Queensland, hosted by the Primary Health Network, visiting general practice in the most rural areas.

July: 60 people representing the Health Care Home Collaborative members, Ministry of Health, NZ RCGP and District Health Boards came together to agree on the core principles and national standards for Health Care Home accreditation. The purpose of these is to demonstrate the difference between a good, traditional general practice and the added value of one delivering the Health Care Home model. We will be publishing these standards soon so watch this space.