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Heather Robertson

Doctor of Philosophy, (Health and social services)
Study Completed: 2014
College of Health


Thesis Title
A single case study: an evaluation of the impact of the implementation of the Primary Health Care Strategy on the primary health care nursing workforce in Tairawhiti

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Primary health care nurses were considered crucial to the implementation of the 2001 New Zealand Primary Health Care Strategy. This strategy pledged a significant shift in health service funding and delivery in order to reduce inequalities and improve health outcomes. Ms Robertson investigated the impact of the strategy’s implementation on primary health care nursing in Tairawhiti. She found that there was limited communication with key stakeholders (including nurses), minimal philosophical change, and multiple sources of resistance that negated the effective deployment of primary health care nurses. Ms Robertson demonstrated the complexities inherent in health service delivery, the importance of organisational readiness, the need for a planned approach to change, early attention to detail, and the necessity for meaningful engagement following policy change. Nursing could, and should, play a key role in improving the health of populations pending significant investment as well as enabling legislative and practice environments.

Professor Jenny Carryer
Dr Stephen Neville

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