Published September 11th 2019

From nurses visiting rural patients on horseback to the use of an e-Referral Smart Form, a lot has changed since Access Community Health was established in 1927.

However, one thing has remained the same – a total dedication to caring for people in the comfort of their own homes.

Access Community Health specialises in home-based healthcare and support around the country.

Referrals for the Canterbury region are now possible via Access Community Health’s new Smart Form, making the process much easier and quicker for Canterbury GPs.


Highly skilled workforce

Clinical manager Gwendolynn Johnson says Access Community Health’s team of skilled nurses and domestic support workers provide a range of services to people in the comfort of their own homes.

“We offer a district nursing service as well as domestic support to help them maintain an independent lifestyle,” she says.

“Our nurses assist with a range of health needs such as medication management of insulin, wound care, compression bandaging and complex negative pressure dressings.

“Our domestic support workers help with housework, meal preparation, shopping and personal care such as dressing, toileting and showering.”

Access Community Health, which recently became a member of the Green Cross Health group, also has a dedicated Palliative Care Team on board.


Wide range of patients

Patients range in age from the very young to the elderly, including some who are over 100 years of age, Gwendolynn says.

“We see a range of patients whose needs vary from simple assistance with daily household chores up to, and including, full personal care and healthcare for patients with debilitating illnesses. We also assist children with disabilities. We help them and their parents to ensure they can live a full life integrated in their community.”

Gwendolynn says there are many people in the community living with complex health needs who are living longer so there’s a real need for home-based support.

The nurses and support workers are available 24 hours, seven days a week for patients.

“We offer a very high standard of care and all our employees go through induction, training, and yearly competency assessments.”


How to refer to Access Community Health:

  • open the patient record
  • select the HealthLink icon
  • click on the Access Community Health link.

If you need help making a referral or have any other questions, please call Access Community Health on 0800 284 663.