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Associate Health Minister on rest home audits

Liam Butler interviews Associate Health Minister Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga.


Liam Butler

Question:

How can older people and their families use the full audit reports for rest homes to decide which rest home is the best choice for them?

Rest home audits help ensure safe care. Our Government has made changes to the system of auditing rest homes over the last few years to ensure that the highest quality care and support is available for older New Zealanders.

The most recent change, last December, was for the Ministry of Health to publish full audit reports for all rest homes online (at www.health.govt.nz/resthomes).

Rest homes are independently audited against 50 standards and require certification to ensure they provide safe and effective care. The audit reports identify any risks and areas where the homes need to improve. Audits are conducted regularly to ensure our rest homes meet the necessary standards.

It is important to maintain public confidence in the standard of care provided in our country's rest homes. Certification, auditing and publishing results provides residents and their families with an assurance of quality care and enables them to make informed decisions.

The Ministry of Health audit website offers easy-to-access information on more than 650 aged care providers nationwide. This includes the types of rest home care, number of beds and length of time each one is certified for. Details about individual residents and staff are kept private.

Current and previous audit summaries are also provided, where they are available. Increasingly, the website also shows the problems that need fixing arising from the last audit and how each rest home is progressing with resolving them.

The audit report changes are part of a wider Government policy to make a difference in the lives of our older people. This Government plans to spend $966 million on aged residential care in the 2014/15 financial year.

Shorter summaries of the audit findings have been available online since 2009. In 2013 a year long trial was held in which 574 full audits were published on the Ministry of Health's website. The Government committed to continuing the arrangement following positive feedback from the public and organisations including Age Concern, Grey Power and Consumer New Zealand.

The trial showed the benefit of having the full reports available and this has continued in an improved, more reader-friendly format.

Rest homes are audited against the Health and Disability Services Standards 2008 which cover consumer rights, organisational management and continuum of service delivery (the provision of care). They also include safe and appropriate environment, restraint minimisation and safe practice, and infection prevention and control.

About Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga

Peseta Sam was born in Apia, Samoa and moved to New Zealand with his family when he was a child. He grew up in Mangere and was educated at Mangere Central School and Auckland Grammar School. He graduated from the University of Auckland with a Masters in Commerce (Hons), Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Law degrees.

After graduating, he joined Russell McVeagh McKenzie Bartleet & Co. as a solicitor, working in the area of corporate and commercial law. He later moved to England, where he worked for Bankers Trust as a financial analyst. While in England he graduated with an MBA from the University of Cambridge (Queens College). He has worked as an executive consultant with Macquarie Bank in Sydney before returning to New Zealand to work as a management consultant and advisor.

In 2008, Peseta Sam was elected as the MP for Maungakiekie and has held the seat since. He is an active leader in the Pacific community and holds the high chief (alii) title of Peseta. Locally, Sam is patron of the Maungarei Cadets, the Dolphin Theatre and the Onehunga Bowling Club. He is an active member of the Royal Oak Baptist Church and belongs to the Rotary Club of Penrose.

Prior to parliament, Peseta Sam was elected to the Tamaki-Maungakiekie seat on the Auckland City Council and was appointed Chairman of the City Development Committee. In January 2014, he was appointed as Minister of Pacific Island Affairs and Associate Minister of Local Government.

Peseta Sam is currently the Minister of Corrections, Minister for Ethnic Communities and Minister for Pacific Peoples (formally Minister of Pacific Island Affairs). He is also the Associate Minister of Health.

Peseta Sam lives in Onehunga with his wife Jules and daughter Hope.

For more articles like this go to the Eldernet Gazette


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