COVID Clinical Health and Welfare Support Teams

Updated: Jul 25


Do you know what to do and who to contact if you or a whānau member get COVID? When you test positive, your general practice is notified and will follow up with a phone call to see how you are doing and what support you might need. This is one of the reasons that it is important to register your test result with My COVID Record. If you are not clear on how to do this, then contact the Ministry of Health helpline on 0800222 478 and choose option one.


If you do not have a GP, you will be contacted by the Virtual Team; operating from the Whanganui Regional Health Network and run by primary and secondary clinicians, supporting the community response.


“General practice contact and advice is the best option for ensuring your health needs are being monitored, to support you to manage your COVID illness at home while isolated from your community. If you do not have a general practice, the Virtual Team will contact and monitor your health and wellbeing,” says Jude MacDonald and Dr Ken Young, COVID Clinical Hub Leads.


To assist your welfare needs while isolating there are four hubs operating in the Whanganui region. The support they provide is based on your whānau circumstances and includes food/hygiene/pēpi parcels if you require one, support with scripts/medications, RAT test access and directing you to other support services.


“If you are COVID positive and need some welfare support, but still haven’t connected to the My COVID app, the welfare team can also help you with this. You are encouraged to use your own whanau support systems first, but if you can’t connect with them, then that is what the welfare team are there for. To manaaki, to help you during your isolation,” says Wheturangi Walsh-Tapiata, Whanganui Hub Lead.


Before COVID-19 escalated in our rohe, key mainstream and Iwi health providers established a strong partnership and have been working behind the scenes since last year, supporting those who have tested positive for COVID and their household members. The community led response is to make sure we can keep people well and supported in their homes while they are COVID positive, to avoid people being admitted to hospital and overwhelming services, and to ensure the needs of non-COVID patients are still able to be met. Keeping you, your whānau and the community safe.

Members of the collaborative include Whanganui Regional Health Network, Whanganui DHB and Iwi providers; Te Oranganui Trust, Ngā Waihua o Paerangi (Ngāti Rangi), Mōkai Pātea Services and Te Kotuku Hauora (Ngā Wairiki-Ngāti Apa).


The Whanganui urban hub can be contacted Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm and Saturday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm on 0800 202 004, the Ruapehu hub on 0800 672 644, the Taihape hub on 06 388 1156 and the Rangitīkei hub (Bulls/Marton) on 0800 227 2494.


The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) COVID welfare helpline 0800 512 337, is available 8am to 8pm, seven days a week. You don’t need to be an MSD client or on a benefit to call the welfare line. It’s available for all.


For further comment please contact WRHN Communications & Technology Coordinator, Karen Veldhoen on (06) 348 0109 extn 708

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