Journal of Primary Health Care Journal of Primary Health Care Society
Journal of The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners

Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

A model of multidisciplinary professional development for health professionals in rural areas of Canterbury

Susan Bidwell , Andrea Copeland


Pegasus Health Charitable Ltd, a PHO in Christchurch is contracted by the Canterbury District Health Board to provide continuing professional development for primary care practitioners in the region. Rurally located health practitioners have largely been unable to participate because of the travel time and distances involved. This paper reports on an initiative to fill this gap by developing an accessible and high quality multidisciplinary model of professional development for GPs, nurse practitioners, practice nurses and community pharmacists in rural areas of North Canterbury. Methods: A survey was conducted to learn from the experiences of 14 health professionals in an existing multidisciplinary group which had developed as a local initiative in one rural community. Results: The survey had an 86% response rate. All respondents believed the multidisciplinary format worked well, had improved collaborative working and increased the consistency of patient care. Access to professional development had improved and the meetings provided a useful forum for the mostly part-time staff to interact as a group. The main caution noted was the potential to become inward looking without being exposed to fresh ideas from other practices. Conclusion. The multidisciplinary model was considered workable and valuable by the survey respondents. Based on our findings, the multidisciplinary model has been formalised by the Pegasus team responsible and three new groups are now operating successfully in rural areas of North Canterbury.

HC17049  Accepted 28 September 2017

© CSIRO 2017