More than 300 Hawke's Bay doctors, nurses and health care professionals will come together for the first Primary Care Symposium this weekend.

The symposium, jointly hosted by the Health Hawke's Bay, the region's Primary Health Organisation (PHO) and the local faculty of Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) is being held at the Napier Conference Centre tomorrow.

HB PHO chief executive Wayne Woolrich said the symposium was aimed to build stronger relationships across the region's primary and secondary care sector, enabling health providers to share knowledge in a more informal setting, instead of attending one-off education sessions throughout the year.

"We also wanted to bring primary and secondary [hospital] care together, so we can learn from one another.


"Primary care is on the cusp of change and it will be great to set the way forward to help deliver the best health care to all in our community.

"In the past, education sessions, mainly directed at GPs and nurses, have often been held after a long day at work, which isn't ideal, so based on feedback from the sector we decided to look at doing it differently," Mr Woolrich said.

It's the first time the PHO and the local faculty of RNZCGP have come together to make an event like this happen in Hawke's Bay and the first time the PHO has included non-clinicians to ensure education of interest is provided to the entire primary care workforce.

As well as discussing changing models for primary health care delivery, over 25 topics involving 60 speakers will be discussed over the two days.

Hawke's Bay Faculty RNZCGP chair Dr Penny Henley said the symposium provided a "fantastic opportunity to bring general practice teams together, to learn from each other and to celebrate the work that we do".

"Great things happen in primary care. Strengthening our relationships with each other, and with our secondary care colleagues, will make great things even better."

The RNZCPG AGM will be held at the conclusion of the symposium.

Health Hawke's Bay Board chairman Bayden Barber, who will open the symposium, said: "This is a very exciting time in primary care with the change in Government and its new list of priorities, as well as developments locally to better align the delivery of primary care across our rohe."

Feature sessions include a forum on mental health involving senior psychiatrists from the Hawke's Bay DHB, bowel screening, the changing nursing roles within general practice, social media and health care, a forum on improving "the frontline", the waiting room environment and cultural competency within a practice.

The Alaskan primary care model (NUKA), and Health Care Home model of care that is being implemented within general practices across NZ will also be discussed.

Rongoā Māori, a traditional Māori healing system, will also be a topic tomorrow.