Updates from the Practice Team

Cornerstone Accreditation

May 18 2018

Cornerstone accreditation tells you that our practice has achieved the quality standards set by the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.  We are re-assessed periodically to ensure that we are maintaining our committment to continuous quality improvement.

There were three assessors at the practice on Thursday 17 May 2018, observing and interviewing us.  We had an enjoyable and positive day, and have a few items to complete over the next few weeks.  Once that's done, we expect to be re-accredited, and will then begin the next cycle, using the latest standards. 

Influenza vaccination 2018

Apr 24 2018

Update 24 April: The Influenza vaccine for children aged 6 months to 3 years is now available.  Please call and book an appointment.

Update 5 April: You can book in now to see a nurse, or choose specific additional Influenza vaccine clinics, scheduled on 27 April and 4 May (afternoons) for adults 18 years - 64 years. Please call and book a time.  We'll let you know of other flu clinic dates here once they're scheduled. 

Key points:

  • Around one in four New Zealanders are infected with Influenza ('flu') each year.  Some have no symptoms but can pass the infection on to others.  Children can pass influenza to adults who live with and care for them.  Getting an Influenza vaccination before winter offers you and others the best protection.
  • Pregnant women and their babies can suffer serious consequences as a result of influenza.  A free influenza vaccination at any stage of the pregnancy reduces this risk.
  • Older people and people with certain medical conditions are more likely to have medical complications from Influenza.  A free Influenza vaccination reduces these risks.
  • Influenza is a serious illness that can put anyone in hospital, or even cause death, including young and healthy people.
  • Influenza vaccine is safe, effective, and cannot give you the 'flu'.

Vaccines are given to people to help protect them against disease.


  • Influenza is caused by viruses, and spreads from person to person through sneezing and coughing, and by direct or indirect contact (e.g. these viruses survive on surfaces)
  • Influenza can cause a wide range of symptoms:  fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, cough, runny nose, sore throat, conjunctivitis, vomiting, diarrhoea
  • Influenza is not the same as the common cold
  • In some people, influenza can make underlying conditions worse (e.g. those with lung disease, heart disease, or diabetes)
  • Influenza viruses change (mutate) frequently, so revaccination is needed every year, before the winter months
  • Please phone our receptionists to book a time
  • Please allow at least 30 minutes for your appointment

The influenza vaccine is FREE until the end of December for:

Influenza is a significant cause of illness and time off school and work, so it's well worth being vaccinated even if you're not in any of the funded groups mentioned above.  Ask us about the cost.  Children between 6 months and 9 years of age require two doses of the vaccine, if it's their first time.

Our GPs and nurses recommend influenza vaccination to you, and are vaccinated each year themselves.



If you're over 65 or have an on-going health condition (e.g. heart disease, problems with your lungs, or diabetes) you might want to consider having pneumococcal vaccination with your influenza vaccine.

  • Invasive Pneumococcal Disease (IPD) is caused by bacteria that live in your nose and throat
  • The bacteria are easily spread from person to person by droplets in the air
  • If pneumococcal bacteria get into your lungs, they can cause bacterial pneumonia
  • IPD can also cause other serious health problems (e.g. meningitis, septicaemia)
  • There is evidence that having the influenza and pneumococcal vaccines at the same time may be better at reducing overall disease than having either vaccine by itself
  • Although influenza vaccination is required every year, pneumococcal vaccine is needed less regularly, and only some people need revaccination, after 5 years
  • Pneumococcal vaccine is not funded for most people.  Ask us about the cost, and your GP or practice nurse can discuss whether pneumococcal vaccination is a good choice for you


If you're aged 50 - 64 years you might want to consider having a (NON-FUNDED) shingles vaccination (either with your influenza vaccine or at another time).  If you're aged 65 on or after 1 April 2018 you are eligible for a FUNDED shingles vaccine.  There will be a catch up programme for people aged 66 - 80 for the first two years.

  • Shingles is caused by the chickenpox virus
  • If you've had chickenpox, you'll be carrying the virus that causes shingles
  • The risk of developing shingles increases over the age of 50
  • Shingles can appear as a blistering, painful rash most often on the face or torso
  • Shingles can lead to severe nerve pain which may last for months or years after the rash has healed
  • Shingles vaccine is not funded unless you are 65+ from 1 April 2018.  Ask us about the cost, and your GP or practice nurse can discuss whether shingles vaccination is a good choice for you

Overseas Travel

Feb 28 2018

If you're planning overseas travel, please contact us to make a dedicated travel appointment with your doctor as early as possible before you're due to depart.  Book at least a month before departure if possible.  Please tell our receptionists when making your booking that it's about overseas travel.  We can then arrange to send you a pre-travel questionnaire to complete and return ahead of your appointment.  Questions include your detailed itinerary and previous vaccination history.  Having this information in advance means your doctor can give you the best travel advice during your consultation. We may also schedule a nurse appointment following your doctor's appointment, for vaccinations and any further travel information as required. 

Costs include a normal GP fee plus the cost of each vaccine plus nurse fees for administering vaccines.

Please note that if you're travelling to South America or Central Africa you may need Yellow fever vaccinations, and as we don't provide these here, you should contact a Yellow fever centre (e.g. Travel Doctor, Ground Floor, Guardian Trust House, Willeston Street, Wellington, Ph: 04 473 0991).

Repeat Prescriptions

Jan 16 2018

Please make requests for repeat prescriptions before you’re due to run out of medication.
• You may request a repeat prescription without an appointment, but your GP may determine that it's inappropriate to prescribe without seeing you.

You can request a repeat prescription by phone or in person at the front desk.  If you are registered for Manage My Health you can request a repeat prescription on-line.
- Please be ready with the name and spelling of the medication/s you're requesting, and make sure we have your correct address and contact details.
- Please tell us whether you want to pick up your prescription, or have us either post it to you, or fax it to a pharmacy.
- Charges apply for all repeat prescriptions. See the Fees section for a list of charges.
- There is an extra fee for posting and faxing.
- For urgent requests (prescriptions needed on the same or next day), there is an additional charge. Otherwise, prescriptions should be ready two days later, after 2.00 pm.
- If a doctor decides that providing a repeat prescription is not appropriate without seeing you face to face, we'll ring you and arrange a convenient appointment for you with your GP.
- We'll ring you only if there is a problem with providing a prescription.

Our home page photograph

Dec 01 2017

Our home page photo has been changed. We can no longer use our previous image, which was a detail of the beautiful panels which once decorated the front facade of 44 The Terrace,  from 1987 until their removal in July 2016.

When they were installed under the Wellington City Council (WCC) art bonus scheme, the 402 panels of coloured and leaded glass comprised the largest single public space glass art work in the southern hemisphere, measuring 55 metres by 5 metres.

Called Northern Lights, the panels were designed by Philip Trusttum (b. 1940), and made by Suzanne Johnson and Ben Hanly of The Glassworks in Auckland.  "Said to be inspired by an Indian necklace, the work bears Trusttum's trademark bright palette and forms that hover between abstract and naturalistic".  Sutton, Frances Art and About: A Pocket Guide to Wellington's Public Art, Steele Roberts Ltd, 2008  pp 80-81

We're hopeful that the WCC will be able to find a new location for the panels, which have been carefully stored in the meantime.


Advance Care Planning: Considering your own Future Health Care

Sep 15 2017

Advance care planning (ACP) is a way to help you think about, talk about and share your thoughts and wishes about your future health care. It gives everyone a chance to say what's important to them.  It helps people understand what the future might hold and to say what treatment they would and would not want.  It helps people, their families and their healthcare teams plan for future and end of life care.  This makes it easier for families and healthcare providers to know what the person would want - particularly if they can no longer speak for themselves.

Advance care planning is for people of all ages, including:

  •  those who are recently married/in a new relationship or with young children;
  •  those who have had a recent health scare or medical episode;
  •  those in middle age planning to continue doing all the things they want to do;
  •  those in older age wanting to ensure their health care professionals and whanau/families know their treatment preferences
  • those nearing the end of their life wanting to outline what's important to them, and what they do and don't want if they can't speak for themselves

You can set out what you want or hope for in an advance care plan.  You should keep your advance care plan up to date, especially if things change.  The value of advance care planning is in the conversations and shared understanding.

Please feel free to talk to your doctor or any of our nurses about advance care planning.    For further information and resources, please click this link:  http://www.advancecareplanning.org.nz 

Soar with SPARX

Mar 28 2017

When teens struggle with their feelings or bad moods, their academic performance, school attendance, behaviour and relationships with others can suffer.  SPARX can help.  They can go online, play the game for free and learn skills that they can use in everyday life so that they start to feel better.

SPARX is therapy in the format of a game designed to help teens with mild to moderate depression and is also  effective with anxiety and with feelings of anger.  The target age group is 12 -19 but other youth can use it too.

Play it at www.sparx.org.nz

Changes to the funded vaccine schedule

Feb 15 2017

1.  From 1 January 2017 funded access to human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has been widened to include both males and females aged from 9 years to under 27 years of age.

  • The HPV immunisation course is funded from 9 years of age in primary healthcare
  • NZ residents who have received at least one dose before 27 years of age can complete the course - there's no upper age limit to complete the full course.  We're working to identify, and offer the first dose to, our patients who are due to turn 27.  We welcome your enquiry if you haven't previously been vaccinated against HPV, you're nearly 27, and you wish to start a course of HPV while you're still eligible
  • A two-dose course will be funded for children aged 14 years and under
  • A three-dose schedule will be funded for people aged 15-26 years inclusive
  • The 4-strain vaccine will gradually be replaced by a 9-strain vaccine
  • The School-based Immunisation Programme delivers the vaccine to school students in year 8
  • Non-residents must be aged under 18 to start the funded vaccine course.

2.  From 1 July 2017 a single dose of chicken pox (Varicella) vaccine will be funded for children at 15 months old.

For more information you can visit the Immunisation Advisory Council website on www.immune.org.nz

Copyright : Compass Health 2019