Taranaki patients benefit from pill-free prescriptions

16 September 2016

A pill-free prescription being offered to Taranaki patients is improving their health and wellbeing, and reducing the burden of disease by encouraging more frequent activity.

79 percent of all Taranaki referrals from the Ministry of Health’s Green Prescription initiative are either taking steps towards changing their lifestyle behaviour for the better, or have already succeeded.

The Green Prescription initiative is a collaboration between the Taranaki DHB and Sport Taranaki, and is a health professional’s written advice to a patient to be physically active as part of the patient’s health management plan.

Becky Jenkins, Taranaki DHB GM Funding and Planning said “Taranaki DHB is committed to supporting people to live healthier more active lives.”

“There are a variety of reasons someone might receive a Green Prescription from their doctor or nurse.  Patients may have heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, weight issues, or have arthritis,” said Mrs Jenkins.

Sport Taranaki has the local contract to deliver Green Prescription locally, and is one of eight national providers who continue to meet Ministry KPIs on a yearly basis.

Sport Taranaki’s Green Prescription team works with more than 100 patients per month to assist them with setting appropriate goals around physical activity and nutrition, and their hard work is paying off.  Over the period of July 2015 – June 2016 over 1,000 patients of the 1,300 referrals received in Taranaki either participated in the Green Prescription programme or successfully completed. 

Gaylene Phillips, Green Prescription Advisor, believes this is a great achievement for both the patient and staff who provide the service.  She said success with making healthy lifestyle changes depends on a number of factors.

“People need to have a realistic plan that helps them achieve goals in stages or steps.  Another factor is having support to stick with the plan. When people tell us that our support and guidance has helped them we feel honoured and pleased, not only for them but for the satisfaction of a job well done,” said Ms Phillips.

Of those who participated or completed the programme 18% were Maori and overall there was only a 21% drop off rate in participants.

The full results from the Green Prescription patient survey are available on the Ministry of Health website: www.health.govt.nz


For more information please call
Beth Findlay-Heath
Communications Advisor
027 665 017


Last updated: Friday, October 7, 2016

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