Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Govt addresses issues in Ben Chandra-Hills report

23 June 2000 Media Statement

Government addresses issues in Ben Chandra-Hills report

An independent review into the care of Ben Chandra-Hills found no breaches of
professional or ethical behaviour, but says gaps in services and poor inter-agency communication affected the quality of his care.

The Director General of Health commissioned Professor David Holdaway, a retired professor of paediatric medicine from Otago School of Medicine, to review Ben's treatment, following the nine year-old Auckland boy's death in February this year.

Releasing the report's findings today, Minister of Disability Issues Ruth Dyson expressed sympathy for Ben's family.

"Ben's mother, Jane, battled hard for her son throughout his short life. I am determined that we will learn some lessons from this case, so that we can prevent the deaths of more children."

Ben had severe epilepsy, developmental delay, behavioural difficulties and attention deficit disorder, asthma, eczema and recurrent otitis media. He died after an epileptic seizure.

Professor Holdaway was asked to look at the health and disability services provided for Ben and his mother after allegations that the system had not worked well for them.

He concluded that the health and disability services offered were of a high standard. However, lack of local facilities and staffing limited their effectiveness.

Ms Dyson acknowledged the professionalism of the people working on Ben's behalf, but said their efforts were hampered by gaps in services.



"A decade of health reforms, driven by competition and dollar signs, has failed to look after our most vulnerable citizens. There are now appalling gaps in services for people with disabilities, especially in residential and respite care."

Ms Dyson said last week's Budget meant the shortfall could begin to be addressed.
"We are putting an extra $40 million over the next four years into disability support services - respite care, residential care and home support. About a third of that money will go to the Auckland area. These are all services which would have helped Ben's family."

Ms Dyson said Ben's case was very complex and more than 100 people were involved over a seven-year period. However, no one took overall responsibility for the case and communication between different government agencies was not good enough.

"It is disappointing that Professor Holdaway's report once again identifies a breakdown in communication between different government agencies. Cooperation doesn't cost anything. Yet it seems to be something agencies have been incapable of doing.

"Good communication is not only critical to the quality of services we provide, but it also lowers the frustration felt by families and the time involved in dealing with complex issues."

Ms Dyson said her appointment as Minister for Disability Issues, and the establishment of a disability directorate in the Ministry of Health, were clear messages from government that people with disabilities need an across-the-board response to their concerns.

She said health and social service agencies are developing an inter-sectoral strategy to address inter-agency communication and other issues for children with severe mental health, disability and behavioural problems. The agencies will report to the Ad Hoc Mental Health Committee in late July.

Ms Dyson said Professor Holdaway's findings about barriers facing families and caregivers of people with multiple, complex needs will also be considered in the development of
the New Zealand Disability Strategy. The strategy, which is currently being drafted, aims to address structural barriers which prevent people with disabilities participating fully in society.


Attachment: A 4-page summary of Professor Holdaway's report is attached. A copy of the full report is available on request.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK


Gordon Campbell: On Trump’s Open White Nationalism

At one level, this has been the week that the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln – which once led a civil war that ended the slave economy of the South – has now defined itself openly as being the party of white nationalism.

By telling those four elected, American born and/or raised women of colour to “go home”, US President Donald Trump’s racist agenda has come out of the shadows. More>>

 

RNZ: Trades Hall Bombing Case Re-Opened, Evidence Released

The cold case has been reopened and the police have recently revealed more details about the bomb's components - including that it was wrapped in a 1977 edition of The Evening Post. More>>

Safety: Govt Targets Fewer Deaths On The Road

“Most roads deaths and serious injuries are preventable and too many New Zealanders have lost their lives or been seriously injured in crashes that could have been prevented by road safety upgrades,” said Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Rise Delay: Teachers Unions Plan Legal Action Against Novopay

Both of the teachers unions - NZEI and the PPTA - have confirmed they will be taking legal action against Novopay. More>>

ALSO:

Emission Statement: 'Consensus Reached' On Agriculture

Today the Government launched a consultation document, informed by the work of the Interim Climate Change Committee (ICCC), on how to bring agriculture into the emissions trading scheme, a key part of the Government’s plan to tackle climate change and reduce New Zealand’s emissions. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On What’s Wrong With Wellington

For many Wellingtonians, it hasn’t been the normal hardships – the workings of central government and the lousy weather – that have recently pushed their tolerance into the red zone. It has been the inability of local government to maintain even the basics. More>>

ALSO:

$1m Compensation Paid: First Gun Ban Event In Christchurch

The Police Minister says the first ever firearms collection event in Christchurch over the weekend was a huge success. But Stuart Nash had concerns about whether the participation reflected the number of weapons in the region. More>>

ALSO:

The Kids: Youth Parliament 2019 Event Kicks Off

120 Youth MPs and 20 Youth Press Gallery members have gathered in Wellington to attend the two-day Youth Parliament event ... More>>

ALSO:

Friends Like These: Foreign Minister To Visit USA

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington D.C. today for talks with senior members of the US Administration, and to attend the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Aussie Banks’ Latest Fee Hike Excuse

When the Reserve Bank sought feedback on its plans to require the country’s major banks to raise their capital reserves then you might have expected the banks to whine and complain. And so they have. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels