Journal of Primary Health Care Journal of Primary Health Care Society
Journal of The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners
RESEARCH ARTICLE (Open Access)

Pegasus Health Pastoral Care Programme

Caroline Christie 1 , Simon Wynn-Thomas 1 , Bianca McKinnon 1
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

1 Pegasus Health, Christchurch, New Zealand

Correspondence to: Caroline Christie, Pegasus Health (Charitable) Ltd, PO Box 741, Christchurch 8140, (401 Madras Street, Christchurch 8013), New Zealand. Email: caroline.christie@pegasus.org.nz

Journal of Primary Health Care 9(3) 225-229 https://doi.org/10.1071/HC17033
Published: 25 September 2017

Journal Compilation © Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners 2017.
This is an open access article licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: In New Zealand, 41% of general practitioners (GPs) intend to retire by 2025. Increasing workforce shortages and other stressors are putting doctors at risk of burnout, which in turn can put patients at risk of harm. Offering a range of resources can signal an organisation’s commitment to physician wellness while improving patient safety and organisational stability.

AIM: To replace the current reactive approach to impaired doctors with a proactive system of monitoring performance with the goal of identifying problems early.

METHODS: This paper reports on an initiative of Pegasus Health Charitable to provide pastoral care to GPs in Canterbury experiencing increased stress, burnout or problems leading to impaired performance.

RESULTS: The pastoral care programme has been running successfully for 9 years and has helped 32 GPs. Because of the low numbers, the programme needs to be individualised and confidential.

CONCLUSION: Recent developments have seen Pegasus Health adopt a systematic approach to monitoring and supporting health practitioners. This includes the monitoring of available data on GPs at risk. Data collection is being used to manage the “psychological health” of doctors, including complaints, prescribing, referral data and attendance at education sessions.

KEYWORDS: Pastoral care; primary health care; general practitioner


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