Thursday May 31, 2018
inbrief news App to help families with asthma Following World Asthma Day celebrations on May 1, Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ has launched phase three of the ‘My Asthma’ app, which can store more than one Asthma Action Plan per device. This means that families with more than one person with asthma will now be able to save multiple action plans, holding all the information to action when a person with asthma starts to feel unwell. Chief Executive Letitia O’Dwyer says the app is a “vital resource” for people with asthma all around the country and now has over 1150 users. It is available free from Google Play and Apple App stores.
Walking/ cycling investment positive A cost-benefit study published by Victoria University of Wellington and the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities found that a walking and cycling programme in two New Zealand cities has shown a good return on investment. The study shows the benefits of walking and cycling—primarily health gains and carbon emissions reduction—outweighed the costs of better facilities and associated educational campaigns by 10 to one. The research found that the most important economic benefits were health gains from use of active transport. The study estimated that the annual benefits for health were two lives saved plus significant reductions in cardiac disease, diabetes, cancer, and respiratory disease.
Doctors ‘perform unnecessary tests’ One in five New Zealanders think their doctor has recommended a test or treatment that wasn’t necessary for their health, a survey by Consumer NZ and the Council of Medical Colleges has found. Overall, 35 percent of consumers felt some tests or treatments did not benefit the patient. Council of Medical College chair Dr Derek Sherwood says just because tests and treatments are available doesn’t mean we should always use them. Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin says consumers should feel able to ask their doctor questions so they can make informed decisions.
Students polish vocal chords for Big Sing The Big Sing is returning for 2018, with secondary school choirs from around the region preparing for their big moment in the choral calendar. This year will be one of the largest on record, with 40 school choirs signed up - including new choirs from Paraparaumu College and Wellington High School. Ten choirs from five secondary schools in Wellington’s south and east will participate in this year’s event, to be held on June 18 and 19 at the Michael Fowler Centre. The Big Sing has been a firm fixture on the choral calendar in regions throughout New Zealand for over 30 years. New Zealand Choral Federation secretary Greg Maxted says Wellington’s competition has developed a special position, with a supportive festivallike atmosphere amongst the entrants, and participation rates that would be “unimaginable almost anywhere else”. Each choir will present three pieces in a 10-minute bracket
Wellington East Girls’ College’s senior choir taking part in last year’s Big Sing competition at the Michael Fowler Centre. PHOTO: Supplied
during daytime sessions, including an art song and one with New Zealand or Pasifika origins. From those sets, they will select one item to perform as part of the evening’s blockbuster gala concert. These categories are purposefully left broad enough for each school to bring their own style to what they present. As well as the overall award,
By Jamie Adams
It is a matter of wait and see as to whether Wellington Regional Hospital’s unionised nurses, midwives and health care assistants employed by Capital and Coast District Health Board (CCDHB) will go on two daylong strikes later this winter. Members of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) had earlier this week planned to walk off the job nationwide for 24 hours from 7am on Thursday July 5 and again from 7am on Thursday July 12 after protracted pay talks
broke down. The online and postal vote for industrial action followed two employer offers being rejected by NZNO members. However later that day the country’s DHBs had nearly doubled their offer to nurses, delaying the confirmation of strike action while nurses mull it over. The offer included 3 percent pay increases in June, August and August 2019, along with a $2000 lump-sum payment and an increase in on-call rates. “The offer will invest $520m between now and mid-2020 for
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for the industrial action in the event members do not ratify the revised DHB offer. “Full commitment to providing agreed life preserving services will be negotiated. Patient safety is paramount. We will be compliant with the Code of Good Faith for the public health sector,” Memo says. “This is a very difficult decision for members and is not taken lightly.” The CCDHB did not respond by Wednesday as to what contingency plan the hospital had in place should strike action go ahead.
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base pay increases, more staff and improving working conditions,” DHBs spokeswoman Helen Mason said on Monday. NZNO industrial services manager Cee Payne says the offer is likely to be voted on by members between June 5 and 15. “If members vote to reject any improved DHB offer the members’ next course of action would be industrial action,” she says. Its chief executive Memo Musa says NZNO has had a first meeting with DHB representatives to begin preparation
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Isaac Stone). Each went on to secure silver awards in the finale. Greg encourages the public to support these talented choristers as they start what they hope will be lifelong passions. The day sessions will begin at 10.30am and 2pm each day, with tickets available on the door. The evening gala concerts will begin at 7pm with tickets available via Ticketmaster.
Nurses on brink of striking as DHB ups offer
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adjudicator Judy Bellingham will award category prizes in an increasingly deep pool of talent. Next month’s event will be used to find the 24 finalists for the national The Big Sing Finale later this year. Last year two Wellington choirs were selected: Cantala from Wellington East Girls’ College (directed by Brent Stewart), and Blue Notes from Tawa College (directed by
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Cook Strait News 31-05-18