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Service Profile - Kupenga Hao Ite Ora Support Net

Service Profile - Kupenga Hao Ite Ora Support Net

Bay of Plenty District Health Board’s Needs Assessment and Coordination (NASC) service Manager Don Sorrenson highlights the role Support Net plays in the provision of support services for the disabled and elderly.

Well, the name says it all really - Support Net.

“We’re here to support disabled people who need help with day to day activities to ensure they have the best quality of life that they can achieve,” says Support Net Manager Don Sorrenson.

Mr Sorrenson is referring to the Bay of Plenty’s Needs Assessment and Coordination (NASC) service for people with disabilities or difficulties carrying out daily activities due to age.

Support Net has a client base of approximately 10,000 throughout the Bay of Plenty region. The service assesses and puts together packages of care that can range from an hour’s home help for an older person who remains in their own home, or to support families with a severely disabled child.

Mr Sorrenson says his favourite part of the job, since commencing in the role in September last year, is the fact that Support Net is providing a service that people really want, and need.

What’s more, it’s a free service, and anyone can be referred to Support Net for help. Self-referrals, family referrals and doctor’s referrals are most common for people to be assessed for eligibility for free assistance to get on with living life to the fullest.

Fifty staff in four offices - Whakatane, Tauranga, Rotorua and Taupo - come from a variety of backgrounds including nurses, social workers and teachers to form part of the unique Support Net team.

At present no specific training is needed for needs assessments, however the Ministry of Health is currently working on training programmes to ensure national consistency for assessments.

There are about 20 NASCs throughout the country - only some are fortunate enough as Support Net to be part of a health board - others are private, or run by trusts.

Mr Sorrenson views NASCs as part of an integrated service within the health system, and is pleased that Support Net is part of the health board.


Who are we?
We are a Needs Assessment and Service Coordination (NASC) service. We work to help people who are older, or who have a disability to live the best life possible.

Where do we start?
You or someone you know contacts us if you think we can help. We check to see if you are able to receive Disability Support Services, then we arrange for one of our staff (Needs Assessor) to meet with you.

You can have a choice of assessor if you wish. You can have an assessor who is Maori. Please let us know if you would like to speak Maori during your assessment

The Needs Assessor will talk with you about:

- What you want to do
- What you need to help yourself
- What you can do
- What you need help with.

The free needs assessment takes one or two hours. A friend or family member can be with you if you want.

What happens next?
We use your information only to arrange services for you. Your needs assessment is then passed to a Service Coordinator. A plan is made with you to meet your important needs and goals. You will receive a letter that tells you about your plan, and the Disability Support Services you will get.

Where are we?
We have offices in Tauranga and Whakatane - both are wheelchair accessible. Please call our offices before visiting.

Community Health and Disability Services, Whakatane Hospital
Stewart Street
Phone: 07 306 0986

510 Cameron Road
Phone: 07 571 0093

Level 2, Hauora House
1142 Haupapa Street
Phone: 07 349 4213

Call free 0800 262 477


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