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Home care contracts halted

18 March 2002 Media Statement

Home care contracts halted

Disability Issues and Associate Health Minister Ruth Dyson today called for an immediate halt to the process of contracting home care services for people with disabilities in the lower North Island.

Eight out of 15 current providers of home care services in Hawkes Bay, Hutt Valley, Manawatu/Horowhenua/Tararua, Wairarapa and Wellington/Kapiti had not had their contracts renewed.

Ms Dyson said her main concern was the effect of the changed contracts on people receiving home care services.

“I want to give immediate reassurance to all clients that the provision of their home care services is secure. The contracting process has created unacceptable uncertainty and disruption for people who rely on these essential services. I have asked the ministry to put an immediate halt to the contract changes, roll over existing contracts unless otherwise requested by the provider, and develop a process to address the outstanding concerns.”

Ruth Dyson said she wanted the ministry to develop a new process in partnership with providers, caregivers and clients to achieve:
- high quality, reliable and secure services;
- a stable workforce with appropriate training;
- monitoring provisions which include client satisfaction;
- open and informed complaints procedures, and opportunity for improvement of services in response to any complaints;
- cooperation between the Ministry of Health, district health boards and ACC on provision of services;
- constructive partnerships and working relationships between all parties – the ministry, providers, clients and caregivers.

Ms Dyson said the ministry would report to her by the end of April on the future process for arranging and ensuring the provision of high quality, reliable and secure home care services.

“My immediate concern is to reassure clients that their services are secure. Beyond that I want an open dialogue about the future objectives of the contracting process, constructive engagement on a pathway forward, and the participation of all parties to achieve those objectives.”

ENDS

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