Faster access to services for concussion patients


A collaboration between Pegasus Health, ACC, Auckland PHO ProCare, and the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) will mean the more than 3,000 Cantabrians who experience a concussion every year will have a shorter wait to access specialist care.

Pegasus Health Strategic Development Manager, Dr Akshay Shukla, says a new pathway  will be available from March for GPs to refer patients. The pathway means that trained GPs can refer patients directly to one of three concussion services in the region, without approval from ACC. Currently, ACC must approve a patient’s referral to a concussion service. ProCare PHO in Auckland is also trialling the Pegasus Health-initiated pathway.

Akshay says the new initiative will reduce waiting times for patients and help their recovery from the often life-affecting condition.

The pathway is a pilot and will first involve practices using the MedTech 32 patient management system.

Akshay says GPs can get training on a tool to assess a patient’s situation following concussion and their ongoing management needs. The assessment could involve referring the patient to a specialist multidisciplinary concussion service. Practices will soon be sent an expression of interest, and those who want to be involved in the pilot can apply for training. Education material will also be developed for patients and their caregivers, Akshay says.