The Newborn Enrolled Programme was established to encourage and support early enrollment and engagement with the babies’ local medical centers. Its aim is to provide faster and more timely intervention to children when needed. It also ensures that immunisation is kept up and the rates required by the minister are achieved. It links the families and caregivers with the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening programme, the General practice teams, the National Immunisation Register, Well Child/Tamariki Ora providers and Child and Adolescent Oral Health providers. It is a wrap around service with benefits in the long term for ongoing care. With a coordinator based in Palmerston North this initiative is going particularly well with some notable successes to ensure good health care for babies.
There have been 532 babies born in the first three months of 2014 and the number of babies (originally 157) who were discharged with no known GP has now dropped to 4 thanks to the work of the coordinator. This is extremely good news for primary health teams as babies are off to a better start with an identified well child health provider. This initiative has only been going since October last year and has already proved to be of benefit to mums and babies.