The country’s largest primary health organisation has appointed a new nursing director to help develop nursing services in its practices spread across greater Auckland.

Gabrielle Lord has been appointed as ProCare’s nursing director – the third for the PHO following the appointment in 2015 of Lorraine Hetaraka-Stevens as its first ever nursing director (the second was Erin Meads). ProCare represents about 180 practices across the Auckland Region with about 500 GPs and 600 nurses working with its more than 800,000 enrolled patients.

Joining Gabrielle Lord in ProCare’s clinical directorate is Anna Wright, who will take on the role of associate nursing director.

Lord said their initial focus would be to understand how best to support their nursing colleagues including developing resources and opportunities for nursing. “We appreciate that in some circumstances primary care nursing can be isolating and therefore we hope to strengthen our collective voice.”

Lord holds an MBA from Australia’s University of Newcastle and has worked as specialist cardiovascular nurse and a practice nurse both in New Zealand and overseas. She has been with ProCare for seven years, starting as a practice nurse advisor and most recently as clinical and change manager. She is to provide leadership to ProCare’s internal nursing team, as well as keep strategic oversight of nursing across the network and with external partners.

Wright will help to develop nursing services across the network including promoting the importance of nursing in primary care, providing clinical education opportunities, promoting models of care that will grow practice teams, and supporting health professionals to practice at the top of their scope. She has been with ProCare for two and a half years, and has more than 25 years’ nursing experience in New Zealand and overseas in a variety of settings. ProCare is also currently recruiting for the new role of clinical educator to provide co-ordination and support of ProCare’s clinical quality and education initiatives.

Dr Allan Moffitt, ProCare’s clinical  director said it was excited and optimistic about the opportunities that the new roles could provide for promoting and growing nursing in ProCare’s network. “Nurses are key to successful primary care practice and will play an increasingly prominent role as general practice continues to evolve.”

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