START (Supported Transfer Accelerated Rehabilitation Team)
Supported Transfer and Accelerated Rehabilitation Team (START)
Supported Transfer and Accelerated Rehabilitation Team (START) is part of the Waikato DHB's Older Persons, Rehabilitation and Allied Health service. It provides intensive rehabilitation for up to six weeks in patients’ homes following a stay in hospital or presentations at Emergency Department.
Following discharge from hospital The START team create a ‘virtual ward’ in the patient’s home. Patients identified are over 65 years of age and must have rehabilitation potential. A registered nurse, physiotherapist and occupational therapist will all visit the patient at home and help them to set some goals of their choice. A health care assistant may come and visit them up to three times per day to support them to achieve these goals.
The service has been proven to be effective.
- It delivers care in the person’s own environment and on their terms
- It helps them to achieve real life goals of their choice
- It reduces length of stay in the hospital
- It also supports the person to stay at home for longer and as a result halves the chances of the person being readmitted to hospital again.
START is now the benchmark supported discharge model that other district health boards in New Zealand are looking to replicate. In 2017 the service won an international award for innovation at the Health Round Table in Australia. The service is being replicated in DHBs such as Canterbury and Counties Manukau, and has had enquiries from Hawkes Bay, Mid-Central and Taranaki DHB looking to replicate a similar model.
START teams operate across the Waikato DHB health district.
Phone: 07 839 8669
Clients suitable for START are referred to the START team by hospital services as part of a planned discharge.