School of Nursing

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Other completed projects: Stephen Jacobs  |  John Parsons |  Katey Thom


Stephen Jacobs

Pathway to postgraduate studies

Stephen worked in the Ministry of Health from 2000 to 2006, in the Disability Services Directorate, the Health of Older People team, and the Primary Health Care team. He was involved in the development of the Assessment Guidelines for Older People, support for family and whanau carer issues, and ageing in place initiatives. It is while working at the Ministry that Stephen became involved in funding and managing research projects awarded to the University of Auckland, and gradually decided to become a researcher himself. Prior to joining the Ministry of Health, Stephen managed a community and residential services for older people for five years. Prior to that he had experience as a family therapist and counsellor for the Department of Social Welfare, the Family Court, the Ministry of Justice, and in NGOs dealing mainly with family violence and sexual abuse. Even earlier Stephen was a primary and secondary school teacher.

Completed work

'Implementation as a systematic manageable process rather than a Pandora’s Box of confusion; reshaping community home care services for older people'

The population is ageing with a concomitant increase in people living with chronic conditions, leading to increased demand for home care services that support people to maintain or increase their independence and level of functioning as long as possible. Finding a methodical approach to develop and implement such services is a vital task for the people responsible for funding them. This research developed an implementation pathway, incorporating a performance management and measurement system, that is accepted by the sector as a method for developing and implementing restorative home care services for older people. Key stakeholders were District Health Boards, including planners and funders, members of the Disability Services Advisory Committees, Needs Assessment and Service Coordination agency staff, and home care provider staff. In Phase 1, participatory action research was used with focus groups in three District Health Boards sequentially to design an implementation pathway, plus a management scorecard with critical success factors. The acceptability of the results was then tested with a national focus group of District Health Board planners and funders. In Phase 2, the implementation pathway and performance management and measurement system were tested as part of a benchmarking programme with five District Health Boards. A standard process for developing, implementing and then performance managing restorative home care services in New Zealand was developed, using the Health of Older People Strategy as the common vision, with performance measurement using agreed critical success factors providing technical information that enables people to benchmark services as part of a shared learning process for quality improvement.

Current work

Stephen is currently a Senior Lecturer in the School of Nursing. He is involved in the development and researching of a communications, teamwork and leadership curriculum for undergraduate nursing. He is also involved in post-graduate teaching in the gerontology programmes and the leadership and a management in quality healthcare programme. Stephen is Co-Director of the Applied Ageing Research Group, researching in the areas of carers, dementia, workforce, leadership and management. The Applied Ageing Research Group also does consultancy work with District Health Boards and service providers, reviewing and redesigning services and assisting with implementation.