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Lack of clear co-ordination of aged-care services

Jo Goodhew MP
National Party Associate Health Spokeswoman (Aged Care)

30 October 2006

Lack of clear co-ordination of aged-care services

A lack of obvious co-ordination between the many agencies involved in providing aged-care services is jeopardising the level of care given to elderly people, participants at National’s latest aged-care forum said in Wellington today.

“We have learnt that elderly people and their families often don’t know where to turn for help,” says National’s Associate Health spokeswoman responsible for aged care, Jo Goodhew.

“There were also concerns raised about access to respite care for those family members who care for someone in their own home.

“National wants to work with the aged-care sector and other stakeholders to address these problems and further develop policies to encourage and advance aged care into the future.

“The sector is suffering huge uncertainty and financial pressure, despite Labour promising for the past seven years to address these problems.

“Residential-care providers and organisations that provide home-based support services find it difficult to retain and recruit staff, and DHBs have been slow to pass on funding increases to providers.

“They are also concerned about a lack of transparency and long-term planning.

“Their concerns have been ignored by a Government more focused on shutting down bad publicity than improving health services.”

Mrs Goodhew says there are five principles that National sees as crucial to managing the path ahead:

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- Independence and choice, so users of aged-care services have a choice of providers who meet nationally set standards of care.

- Continuum of care, to ensure that access to health and social-care services, including respite care, is seamless and professional.

- Sustainable funding partnerships, to improve our capacity to meet the growth in demand for residential-care services.

- A trained and skilled workforce, to ensure the delivery of safe, quality care.

- New technologies, to deal with aged-care issues in the decades ahead.

“These principles will underpin National’s aged-care work. National will not shy away from the challenge to deliver quality long-term care that is affordable to the Government, the independent sector and individuals,” says Mrs Goodhew.

Further consultation is planned for Northland, Helensville, New Plymouth, Hawke’s Bay, Palmerston North and Otaki.


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