An innovative Waitemata District Health Board education programme to overcome cultural barriers in communication with patients has been recognised at the 2018 Diversity Awards NZ.
The eCALD programme was announced as joint winner of the Cultural Celebration Award at the ceremony last night. eCALD was developed at Waitemata DHB’s Institute for Innovation and Improvement (i3) to meet the needs of health professionals working within an increasingly diverse community.
It delivers online and face-to-face training across a range of areas including refugees, migrants, mental health and religion to improve understanding – and ultimately – communication with patients.
Initially launched in 2006, it has since been rolled out nationally by the Ministry of Health and engaged more than 27,000 learners.
National Programme Director Sue Lim says eCALD has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on health practitioners’ cultural awareness and the application of learning into practice.
"We all live and work in culturally diverse communities and cultural competence is becoming an essential part of our professional and personal lives. eCALD courses provide learners with insight into how different cultures respond to health-related situations, diverse health beliefs, faith-based practices, different health seeking behaviours and expectations from health systems".
Waitemata DHB CEO Dr Dale Bramley says a workforce that is culturally aware and as diverse as the community it serves is an essential part of providing the best care to every patient.
"Empowering our staff and further reducing barriers to healthcare provision, particularly within vulnerable groups, is vital as our communities continue to diversify. The Institute for Innovation and Improvement plays an important role in helping us achieve that through the development of programme like eCALD, and we have seen the programme go from strength to strength as it rolled out across the country," says Dr Bramley.
Waitemata DHB continues to champion diversity through its recruitment efforts as well and has nearly doubled its Maori workforce in the last three years. To continue boosting numbers, it recently announced the creation of an additional 50 positions for Maori nurses at all levels.
For further information, contact:
Waitemata DHB Media Line
Ph. 487 1276
PHOTO CAPTION: The eCALD team from Waitemata DHB’s Institute for Innovation and Improvement (i3) pictured left to right: National Programme Manager Sue Lim; Associate Director of i3 Jarrard O'Brien; eCALD Project Manager Annette Mortensen; and Director of i3 Penny Andrew.