We have changed our name from Homecare Medical to Whakarongorau Aotearoa.
In 2018 we began a process to review the name of our organisation. The purpose was to find a name that would better describe the work we do and reflect our commitment to equity. We have over that time de-prioritised this work as we have focussed on service delivery, most recently on supporting the Government’s COVID response. We have now finalised this work, with input from our staff, with design support from a contemporary Māori artist, and with appropriate guidance from our advisors.
From 31 March 2021 we have started to use our new name and logo. Rather than a ‘big bang’ rebrand over a short period, we will slowly update artefacts over the next 6-12 months as they are due for review or stocks are reordered (e.g. our website, office signage, stationary).
Whakarongorau is a word to describe the many ways to listen - whakarongo (to listen) and ā-rongorau (a modern word for multimedia, the many ways of communication or media). It is derived from the old Māori word whakarongorua (to listen with great intent and purpose). The English version of that name is New Zealand Telehealth Services.
Below is our new logo - the icon with the name.
We are a social enterprise
Whakarongorau Aotearoa is a social enterprise running the Government-funded free to the public, 24x7 national telehealth services across seven digital channels.
We want to give everyone in Aotearoa the opportunity for wellness. We focus on the connected world of digital care, where we can help join all the dots, and select the right services, advice, support and help for the right need.
The services we run include General Practice After Hours services, and those that are funded as part of the National Telehealth Services Contract with Government (from 2015) including Healthline, 1737 – Need to talk?, Peer Support, Quitline, ambulance secondary triage, the Gambling Helpline, the Alcohol Drug Helpline and Poisons advice.
Since then, we have launched other services - the national sexual harm helpline Safe to talk, the Puāwaitanga counselling service, the cervical and bowel national screening coordination centres. More recently we have supported the Government’s COVID response by establishing the COVID Healthline, the COVID Vaccination Healthline, and the COVID Welfare services.
These services are co-funded by the Ministry of Health, ACC, Te Hiringa Hauora Health Promotion Agency, Ministry of Social Development, and the Department of Corrections.
The services are supported by clinical teams of registered nurses, mental health nurses, psychologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, counsellors, doctors, paramedics, poisons officers, health advisors, family and sexual harm professionals, and emergency triage nurses.
Whakarongorau Aotearoa is owned by ProCare and Pegasus Health. [link to them]
Across all our services we responded to 1.33 million contacts in the twelve months ending 30 June 2020. That is an increase of 45% on the previous year and saw the team connect with over 700,000 individual people^ (1 in 7 people in Aotearoa).
^The total number of individual people in the year is the sum of unique service users each month, so may include users who have contacted the service in multiple months.
We have a professional workforce of over 2,000. They’re based in contact centres in Auckland, Kaikohe, Heretaunga, Wellington, and Christchurch and from their homes across Aotearoa.
Our COVID response support
Since March 2020 we supported the Government’s COVID response. There are four key telehealth services involved in that:
The Healthline service has operated in Aotearoa for more than 20 years and throughout this pandemic, the Christchurch terror attacks, other national disasters, and the annual flu seasons, has proven how vital it is to supporting the country and the health system. In addition to the usual Healthline service there are 3 key new services supporting the Government’s COVID response.
The COVID Healthline is supporting people with information and advice about COVID.
The COVID Welfare team do daily health and well-being checks for people in self-isolation.
The COVID Vaccination Healthline team provide vaccination information and help people who are unable to book online. We do not run the national booking system or Book my Vaccine.
Each of these services is supported by a clinical governance group and has very clear clinical triage protocols and processes.
In the first week of July 2021 the Healthline teams had their 2 millionth call since February 2020. And 97% of those 2 million calls were answered in 10 minutes.
As at 26 July 2021 we have recruited 1,800 COVID frontline kaimahi (staff) from throughout Aotearoa. These staff are supported by the more than 200 nurses and paramedics who work across the Healthline services.
Our equity focus
A key strategic key priority for us is to directly influence and drive better health outcomes for priority populations. This will be achieved through working collaboratively across the health ecosystem, improving access, choice and health outcomes for Māori, Pacific People, and people living in disadvantaged communities.
This means embracing cultural diversity or ‘whāngai’ is part of our DNA. Our activities are equity-led, lifting our cultural diversity and competency with all internal and external stakeholders.
With over 3,000 contacts received each day, Whakarongorau is the organisation entrusted to ensure that every New Zealander has access to free, high-quality health and social care, 24x7.
Whakarongorau works collaboratively with Government and other health partners to understand what problems we can solve, how we can reach more people and respond better, smarter, and faster by delivering deep, cross-functional service integration.
Our partnership principles
Service user focus: Our decisions are based on what’s best for – and what works for – people of Aotearoa New Zealand.
Partnership: We will work together as partners in areas of mutual interest, proactively seeking input, valuing the expertise and opinions of others. We will encourage innovation and keep an open mind.
Good faith: We will, at all times, act openly with honesty, trust and sincerity, and treat information provided by others with care and in confidence.
No surprises: We will provide early warning to our partners on matters that may require a response, may be contentious in any way, or may attract attention from shared stakeholders, media or the public.
Our commitment to quality
Our systems are certified to the ISO 9001 standard, which demonstrates our commitment to quality, productivity and customer satisfaction. ISO standards are recognised in over 160 countries.