DHB reinstating home support care following outcry over cutbacks
Hawke's Bay App
Monday, January 13, 2020 4:24 PM
Hawke’s Bay District Health Board management has today met with home support providers to agree to reinstate care to all 605 people sent letters last week.
The letter, advising basic housework support would cease, followed a review of the service to ensure eligibility was standardised for all clients, so those who needed basic housework support, such as vacuuming and cleaning bathrooms, received it.
The letter was widely criticised, with one 93-year-old recipient calling it insensitive.
Acting Executive Director Planning and Funding, Emma Foster, said today its team acknowledged the new criteria was not robust enough having learned the letter was received by many people who still genuinely needed the service in place.
“DHB management unreservedly apologise for the hurt and upset this has caused so many people – not just those who receive the service, but organisations such as Age Concern who advocate for our elderly and do a fantastic job, as well as extended family members and of course our care support workers in the home,” she said.
“We have listened to our community and will be revisiting the eligibility criteria which will go through a vigorous process, including consumer council review before seeking board approval.
“This process may mean the status quo is retained or a new criteria that better meets the needs of consumers is introduced.”
Mrs Foster said reinstatement of services for all 605 clients would happen as soon as providers were able to get systems back in place.
“This could take up to two weeks.
“We are working as efficiently as possible to reinstate services in the home, but ask for some understanding as our providers work hard to get their staff and rosters for these clients back on stream.
“We rely on our providers to help deliver this care in the home and we thank them for working with us through this next period.”
An apology letter, including advising people their services are being reinstated, is being drafted and will be sent as soon as possible to all 605 clients.
The DHB’s needs assessment service has extra staff resource in place to manage queries regarding home support and can be contacted on Ph: 870-7485 Ext 5221.