Updates from the Practice Team

Covid-19 (Coronavirus) update

Feb 13 2020

The new identity for Corona virus is Covid-19. 

Healthline has set up a number to manage enquiries: 0800 358 5453 24 hours, 7 days a week - International SIMs +64 9 358 5453 

The Ministry of Health website is updated daily: MoH coronavirus (COVID-19)

Face Masks

Jan 31 2020

We routinely ask those who have symptoms of fever, cough, runny nose or sneezing, to put on a mask at the door before entering our medical centre, and to use the hand gel provided.  These masks are designed for short term use (e.g. the duration of your visit), and need to be worn correctly to provide benefit in reducing the spread of respiratory infections.  Instructions for proper use are at the door. 

We have received information from the World Health Organisation about the use of masks in health care facilities, at home and in the community (WHO/nCov/IPC_Masks/2020.1). To quote:

"Wearing medical masks when not indicated may cause unnecessary cost, procurement burden and create a false sense of security that can lead to neglecting other essential measures such as hand hygiene practices. Furthermore, using a mask incorrectly may hamper its effectiveness to reduce the risk of transmission".

Please ask us if you have any questions or concerns about medical masks or the current Coronavirus situation.

Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV

Jan 24 2020

31 January 2020 update:  From 30 January,  2019-nCoV is notifiable to the Medical Officer of Health

General public health advice on novel coronavirus

Updated: 12pm 30 January 2020.

This advice is under active review and is updated daily. 
Advice updated as of today includes:

  • Information and advice for people who have recently travelled from Wuhan and the Hubei province.
  • Information and advice for people who have had close contact with a confirmed coronavirus case.

Specific advice under current review includes:

  • Information and advice for people who have recently travelled from China.

What are the symptoms of 2019-nCoV?

Symptoms of 2019-nCoV are similar to a range of other illnesses such as influenza and do not necessarily mean that you have 2019-nCoV. Symptoms include fever, coughing and difficulty breathing. Difficulty breathing can be a sign of pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention. We don’t yet know how long symptoms take to show after a person has been infected, but current WHO assessments suggest that it is 2-10 days. 

Health advice

The Ministry is taking this evolving situation seriously and is working closely with other Government agencies, DHBs and emergency management teams throughout New Zealand, and with Australia.

The World Health Organization does not recommend any specific health measures for travellers but is continuing to review the situation.

Everybody should follow the basic principles of hygiene and cough etiquette to reduce the risk of getting an acute respiratory infection or passing it onto others. This includes:

  • regularly washing hands (for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap and dry thoroughly)
  • covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze
  • staying home if you are sick
  • avoiding close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms
  • if you feel unwell you should avoid public gatherings and events.

Travellers recently returned from Hubei province

Recognising the evolving nature of the evidence and data for transmission of the coronavirus, the Ministry of Health advice for people who are at high risk of exposure because they have recently been to Wuhan or Hubei province is that they should self-isolate for 14 days after leaving Hubei province. 

This means you should avoid situations that could facilitate the transmission of the virus such as social gatherings and events where you come into contact with others in particular, child care/pre-school centres, primary and secondary schools (including staff and students), aged care, healthcare facilities, prisons, public gatherings.

People who have had close contact with a confirmed coronavirus case

If have been in close contact with a confirmed novel coronavirus case you should self-isolate for 14 days. If you develop symptoms including fever, coughing and difficulty breathing you should ring Healthline (for free) on 0800 611 116 or your doctor. 

This means you should avoid situations that could facilitate the transmission of the virus such as social gatherings and events where you come into contact with others in particular, child care/pre-school centres, primary and secondary schools (including staff and students), aged care, healthcare facilities, prisons, public gatherings.

We are closely monitoring the development of cases outside of Hubei province and will regularly update this advice.

What do I do if I am sick right now?

If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing please telephone Healthline (for free) on 0800 611 116.


WHO advises people follow the basic principles to reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infection. These are:

  • avoid close contact with people suffering acute respiratory infections
  • wash hands frequently, especially after contact with ill people or their environment
  • avoid close contact with sick farm animals or wild animals
  • people with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette:
    • maintain distance
    • cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing
    • wash hands.

As always, travellers who become sick within a month of their arrival are encouraged to seek medical advice and contact Healthline (for free) 0800 611 116 or a doctor. It is important to mention recent travel to Wuhan and any known contact with someone with severe acute respiratory illness who has been in Wuhan.

For further information , go to https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/pages/novel-coronavirus-information-for-travellers-arriving-to-new-zealand_0.pdf

Measles in New Zealand and Pacific Islands

Jan 15 2020

Update as at 15 January 2020:

From 1 January 2019 to 15 January 2020 there have been 2191 confirmed cases of measles notified across New Zealand. 1734 of these confirmed cases are in the Auckland region.  Management and vaccination advice remains the same as in November 2019. (Ministry of Health website)

Update 20 November 2019:  Current Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccination Priority groups within the Wellington region have been expanded today to cover Pacifica families and others travelling to Samoa, Pacific Islands and the Philippines.  If you and your family are travelling to these countries, especially over the Christmas period, please let us know.  We will check your immunisation status and offer a free MMR vaccination if you do not have documented evidence.  We will also give you an Immunisation Certificate to take with you in case Boarder Control requires the documentation.  It can take up to two weeks to get protection from the vaccine, so please contact us as soon as possible if you are planning to travel.

Priority groups are:

  • all children on time at 15 months  and four years to maintain the national Childhood Immunisation Schedule

  • susceptible close contacts within 72 hours of first exposure to measles when possible
  • babies aged six months to 11 months who live in Auckland or who are travelling to Auckland or overseas to a country that has an active outbreak of measles

  • children and adolescents aged 15 and under who have not had a single dose of MMR

  • people under the age of 50 travelling from New Zealand to Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji

  • People travelling to a region where there is an active outbreak of measles – regions with measles outbreaks can be found at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/measles-global


We're continuing to work with our DHB and PHO to coordinate the availability of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine (MMR vaccine).  We're focusing on offering vaccination to the established priority groups (see above), which include our 15 month and 4 year old children. 

We have a waiting list for others who wish to be vaccinated, and will be in touch with these people as soon as sufficient stocks of MMR vaccine become available. 

We've had many enquiries for details of individuals' MMR vaccination status, and are very happy to provide information from our files.

If you suspect that you or your child or family member may have measles*, please call us: our nurses will discuss the situation, and if we feel that you need to see a GP, will make you an appointment.  We ask that you call us when you've arrived on The Terrace, and wait outside the medical centre until we have a room ready.  This is so that you won't spend undue time in the waiting room.  Measles is a highly contagious disease and we want to do all that we can to contain the outbreak.  We'll be grateful for your understanding.  Please always cover your nose and mouth with a mask (available at our front door) when you have a cough.

* The illness begins with fever, cough, runny nose and conjunctivitis (inflammation in the eyes), which lasts for 2–4 days. It may be possible to see small white spots (Koplik spots) inside the mouth. A rash appears 2–4 days after the first symptoms, beginning on the head and gradually spreading down the body to the arms and legs. The rash lasts for up to one week.

For more information you can go to www.immune.org.nz

Primary Care Patient Experience Survey

Nov 19 2019

The Health Quality & Safety Commission and the Ministry of Health have introduced a national online primary care patient experience survey.  Our practice is participating in the survey to understand what your experience with health care is like and how your overall care is managed.

The survey is conducted every three months.  The current survey period runs from 18 - 22 November 2019.  Patients seen during this week could receive a unique survey invitation by email or text later in November.  Participation is voluntary, and you can opt-out while you're here for your appointment if you never wish to participate in the survey.  You can also opt-out of receiving the email invitation if  you do not want to participate in this round of the survey.  However, if you are contacted and decide to take part, your responses will be anonymous and your privacy protected throughout.

By taking part in the survey, you will be helping to improve care and access to health services in local communities across New Zealand.  For more information go to http://www.hqsc.govt.nz/our-programmes/health-quality-evaluation


Dr Martin Harris is taking extended leave

Oct 31 2019
Martin will be away now until January 2020.  We're very pleased that Dr Don Barrett will provide locum cover for him Mondays to Thursdays from 4 November and into the new year, excluding the two holiday weeks in December.  A reminder that Martin doesn't work on Fridays now, and we're fortunate to have Dr Roger Jubert working in his place on Friday mornings.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Click on the heading for information about a new breast self-examination phone app.

Oct 16 2019

Pre Check is a new wellbeing tool for women in New Zealand. It's been launched by Breast Cancer Foundation NZ in time for Breast Cancer Awareness month.  It’s an innovation that empowers women by giving them confidence to take control of their own breast health. Click on the link for more information:


Here’s a short clip about it on Breakfast TV: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/breast-cancer-foundation-launch-app-signs-and-symptoms


Download links:

Apple: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/pre-check/id1481444475

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=nz.co.colensobbdo.precheckapp

PHO notification of unauthorised cyber access

Oct 05 2019

Yesterday our PHO advised us that, while investigating a breach of their website during a  global cyber incident in August,  they found evidence of criminal intrusions to their IT systems dating back to 2016.  This morning's Dominion Post has reported about this. 

Tū Ora Compass Health PHO has put support services in place for those people who are concerned or who want more information about this issue. Some key points about the situation are as follows: 

1. Our General Practice systems were not part of the Tū Ora Compass Health cyber-attack.


2. To support us to provide you with health services we send some of your personal information to Tū Ora Compass Health


3. There is no evidence that any of this personal information has been accessed, but Tū Ora Compass Health cannot know for sure.


4. Your doctor’s notes are safe. They are not affected by this cyber-attack. Nor is your patient portal.


5. Personal information on you that may have been accessed could include your name, date of birth, national health identity number and prescription information.


6. If you want more information or are concerned, please visit the cyber incident support page (see link below) or call the Ministry of Health hotline on 0800 499 500 , available from 7am on 5 October 2019




Copyright : Compass Health 2020