Co-location of Awhi Ora – Walk Alongside Support
Awhi Ora – Walk Alongside Support is a flexible and person-centred wellbeing support service, helping people to identify and work on the challenges that are important to them. Several non-government organisations (NGOs) deliver the Awhi Ora – Walk Alongside Support in partnership with various Auckland and Waitemata general practitioner’s (GPs).
The relationship between the GP and the NGO worker is critical to establishing the right type of support for the person in need. Some NGOs are co-located in a GP practice and spend a couple of hours to a few days a week working there. Below, Lexi, an NGO support worker, shares her experience of being co-located in one of the practices she works with.
“I’m really enjoying it, and the practice is super on-board and appreciative of the service we provide. They enjoy having check in’s and love hearing the success stories of the people I am working with. Most of the doctors and nurses have gone out of their way to chat to me and talk about the people they’ve introduced to me, so the genuine care is so great to see!
I’m noticing a big difference in the clients when our service is delivered in this way, compared to elsewhere. In co-located practices I have found clients much more open and vulnerable, they also appear to have clearer expectations and come ready with question/support needs.
Overall it’s been an enjoyable experience. The relationship with the practice is good, and because of this we are working with the introduction process collaboratively to find what works best for us all.
Interestingly - today we had a client re-introduced into Awhi Ora who had previously pulled out of the service before our contact with him. In this re-introduction, the doctor included that he is “not comfortable meeting in his home/coffee shop because of his symptoms - but can meet in the surgery room at the GP practice”. I thought this just confirmed how important co-location is/can be for some clients, because we can see in this case how feelings around meeting location can pose a barrier to accessing support and how some clients naturally feel safer in their GP practice”.
Thanks to Lexi for contributing to the blog and updating on how Awhi Ora – Walk Alongside Support continues to provide a much needed service.
The Awhi Ora - Walk Alongside Support service is offered by over fifty GP practices in the Auckland and Waitemata District Health Board area's. For more information on accessing the service, please contact us here.