In an effort to improve access to pelvic health services, a new Southland facility is bringing them together under one roof.
Women wellbeing specialist Kate Watkinson, of Te Tipua, was among the dozens of residents and health professionals at the opening of Health Down South’s first multidisciplinary health centre in Invercargill last Thursday.
It met a need in the area for everyone, she said.
‘‘Before this, everything had been independent. As a client, you’d have to work a lot harder to find who you needed.’’
The centre was a ‘‘one-stop-shop’’ for those services.
‘‘It’s a really welcoming safe space . . . to tap into a lot of expertise in an accessible and friendly manner.’’
For Ms Watkinson and her fellow health service providers utilising the centre, it also had the benefit of being able to collaborate with and get support from each other.
Health Down South director Anna Thompson said that was exactly what she and business partner Zoe Mortemore were aiming to achieve with the pelvic health-focused facility.
‘‘We’ve got everyone doing the good stuff all in one place.’’
So far there was a nutritionist, an infertility coach, a massage therapist and a counsellor as well as a studio for yoga, Pilates and various other classes.
‘‘We’re looking at hopefully getting a private GP to do women’s health services, looking at a lactation consultant and hopefully some other services we can get in place with time,’’ Ms Thompson said.
The pelvic floor physiotherapist of 17 years had the idea in the back of her mind for a long time as her clients often benefited from a combination of health services, so to see her idea finally realised felt ‘‘surreal’’.
It was a facility that would benefit all ages and genders, she said.
‘‘Everyone’s got a pelvis. When things aren’t working well in the pelvis, it has a big impact on their quality of life.
‘‘Most people throughout their life will have some sort of problem at some stage. They just don’t all realise there’s something they can do about it.’’
She had developed a big client base, which included many people from Eastern Southland, so to have a central hub to access pelvic health-related services helped remove ‘‘that barrier of travel’’.
She hoped to eventually expand the business and set up a satellite clinic in Gore.