What is home and community health support?
Home and community support includes a range of services available for people who need support to live at home. Services include personal care, household management, nursing treatment, and complex care for people with serious needs.
Community-based agencies and companies employ support workers, caregivers and health care professionals to provide these services. Home support for those living with disability and injury related needs can also be provided by family carers. It can be managed by the person using the services or by their representative.
Who pays for home health care services?
Funding may come from District Health Boards, ACC, the Ministry of Health Disability Support Services, or the Ministry for Social Development, depending on the health need. Home health services may also be purchased privately, including from any of our members.
For those over 65 the person's doctor can organise an assessment to determine what government funding is available, or people can ask for one themselves from a needs assessment agency. The District Health board pays the needs assessment agency to meet with the client, and run a needs assessment, which is a series of questions and possibly more clinical assessment, to establish what the person's needs are. When the assessment has been done, and if home support is allocated to the person, the District Health Board pays a provider organisation (one of our members) to provide the service. Our member organisations employ mainly support workers to do this. They also employ nurses and sometimes also physiotherapists and other health professionals.
For those living with a physical, intellectual or sensory disability (or combination) the Ministry of Health Disability Support Services pays Needs Assessment Agencies to work with disabled people to identify their strengths and support needs, outline what support is available and decide on eligibility. People can then decide on how they want their services to be delivered, which can include support services through our members.
For those living with impairments caused by accident or injury, a doctor or other health provider will complete a referral form, or people can contact ACC directly. If ACC accepts the claim and agrees to pay for home support, it will allocate a 'package of care' in straightforward cases, or arrange a more detailed assessment for more complex cases. The services can then be delivered by support workers employed by organisations including our members.
What do I do I have a concern about the home and community support services that I use?
Never hesitate to voice any concerns you have, or make a complaint, about your home support services. The organisation that provides your home support services wants to know if anything is bothering you so that they can address the problem and improve the services that they provide. Often a small problem can turn into a bigger problem if it is left unresolved, so it’s a good idea to raise any concerns you have early on.
Your right to home support services will not be affected if you raise a concern or make a complaint. Good advice is available at this link on the Ministry of Health website.
Seeking employment in the sector?
For general information about employment in the sector look at Careers NZ. That site also provides a listing to a range of others job sites including supported employment for people with disabilities.
If you are currently based overseas and looking to emigrate to New Zealand, a new useful resource on working in aged care is provided by Immigration New Zealand Settlement Services.
Information about qualifications and training in the sector can be found at Careerforce.