Launch of new self-management support website

A much-needed New Zealand website providing healthcare professionals with information and resources about self-management support (SMS) is now live.

The Self-Management Support Toolkit website is for healthcare providers wanting easy access to resources that support them to better engage patients in their own health decisions and long-term condition self-management.

“A joint venture between Health Navigator and Health Literacy NZ, the SMS website will enable the sector to tackle the burden of long-term conditions faced by New Zealanders,” says Sue Riddle, Ministry of Health long-term conditions team manager.

The website is loaded with SMS information, services, tools and resources for a New Zealand context.

SMS is particularly beneficial for people living with long-term conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease or arthritis, because it supports them to continue to play a key role in the management of their own care.

Health Navigator founder and executive director Dr Janine Bycroft says the core principles of SMS are health literacy, person-centred care and cultural competency.

“SMS is essential for healthcare providers wishing to work alongside people with long-term conditions, acknowledging and building on people’s current skills and knowledge about how to manage their health condition(s) safely and well at home and supporting positive behaviour change for people,” she says.

Need for NZ content around SMS

Dr Bycroft, an Auckland GP, says SMS is a relatively new concept in health and there was a huge need for a New Zealand-centric, one-stop-shop of information and resources about SMS.

A range of core topics are covered to support SMS implementation, training and skill development. These include sections and training modules for care planning, health literacy, goal setting, positive behaviour change, social support and groups visits.

“The SMS information, case studies, tools, services, resources and training modules help healthcare providers see how they can work in partnership with people and their whānau to achieve the best health outcomes,” Health Literacy NZ director Susan Reid says.

The SMS website is funded by the Ministry of Health.

Visit the SMS Toolkit website at https://www.smstoolkit.nz/

About Health Navigator

Health Navigator NZ is New Zealand’s leading health information website for GPs, primary care teams and members of the public. It is a non-profit community initiative and was founded by Dr Janine Bycroft. The Health Navigator website is officially endorsed by the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.

About Health Literacy NZ

Health Literacy NZ helps health organisations look at health literacy from the perspective of reducing complexity and other barriers to access, as well as building workforce capability and improving information to help people better understand and manage their health.