Published September 4th 2018

Sport Wellington has taken the bold step of saying farewell to the frightful fax machine.

It no longer accepts faxed referrals for its Green Prescription programme from primary care providers with access to HealthLink’s e-Referral system.

Sport Wellington’s Ashleigh Baker, Lead – Adult, Healthy Lifestyles Team, says if the team receives a faxed referral, they use it as an opportunity to support the referrer to transition to e-referrals.

“People have been really receptive to the change and are happy to then provide us with the referral electronically,” Ashleigh says.

“We’re trying to influence the health sector to send through patient information in a way that’s not archaic. Electronic referrals are superior in every way – they provide more information about the patient, we can read what’s written, and they’re faster, more secure and better for the environment.”

Ashleigh says the more information they have about a patient, the easier it is to support them in their goal-setting and understand their motivation for wanting to join the programme.

“If we get a faxed referral with only a name and a couple of boxes ticked, we’re on the back foot because we don’t have enough information, or if the fax is ineligible we have to go back to the referrer to clarify and that can take a long time.”

Sport Wellington started phasing out fax referrals last year, but Ashleigh says it wasn’t until this year that they fully transitioned to being fax-free.

However, Ashleigh says they do allow a very small number of organisations to fax through referrals because they aren’t in a position to do it electronically.


Green Prescription programme

Sport Wellington is a Regional Sports Trust established in 1990 to lead the Wellington region’s sport and active recreation community to enable people to be more physically active.

It delivers the Green Prescription adult programme to patients over 18 years of age in the Capital and Coast, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa DHB areas. It also delivers the Active Families, Pre-School Active Families and Maternal Green Prescription programmes.

The free referral-based health and wellness programme has been running in New Zealand for 20 years and has helped support thousands of people to increase their physical activity and improve their nutrition to benefit their health and wellbeing.

After a patient is referred by a GP or nurse, they are contacted by a Green Prescription support person who will meet face-to-face and help them put together a health and wellbeing plan, focusing on small, sustainable nutrition and activity behaviours. Patients can also take part in weekly group physical activities and lifestyle workshops to help them learn practical skills and re-engage with their community.

“Green Prescription is about removing barriers and supporting people to set small, actionable, healthy goals that empower them to take charge of their health.”


How to refer to Sport Wellington

Sport Wellington are located in the Greater Wellington region.

To refer to Sport Wellington electronically:

  • open the patient record
  • launch the HealthLink homepage
  • using the CareSelect search bar – type “Sport Wellington” or “Green Prescription”
  • click “Compose Referral”.