Chris Lynch: Home care service cuts - our elderly deserve better

Author
Chris Lynch,
Publish Date
Thu, 2 Jul 2020, 2:31PM

Chris Lynch: Home care service cuts - our elderly deserve better

Author
Chris Lynch,
Publish Date
Thu, 2 Jul 2020, 2:31PM

It's sad to hear Nurse Maude has been forced to cut hours to some of its home care services because of the fall out of Covid-19.

If anything, you would have thought it would be increasing staff during uncertain times.

Many people called my show on Newstalk ZB saying they were taken by surprise.

One woman who phoned the show was getting an hour of help a week, but that’s been cut to one hour every two weeks - without notification.

Another caller said his home care services were reduced by 15 minutes an hour, placing additional stress on the carer to get the job done faster.

General Manager of Marketing at Nurse Maude Sue Bramwell told me all they've done is bring services in line with funding available for each person.

She says Nurse Maude has been “overproviding” services for many years because it was in a financial position to do so thanks to charitable donations.

But like every charity, Nurse Maude has been hit substantially, as they rely on donations.

And this is where the Government can and should help.

In May it announced an additional $3.92 billion over four years for district health boards across New Zealand.

 

Why can't some of that money be re-directed towards frontline staff at Nurse Maude immediately?  

Why is it difficult to allocate funds straight away when the need is clearly there?  

The news comes at a time when the Government is paying out millions to AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand to keep it afloat. It will receive a $5.1m grant in the first year, with a possible loan of up to $5.1 million in the second

That decision has been criticised as "corporate welfare.

AJ Hackett Bungy is owned by Bungy New Zealand, which has three shareholders – including Trojan Holdings, owned by Sir John Davies, worth reportedly $140 million.

Back to Nurse Maude – cutting home care hours?  This shouldn’t be happening, particularly at a time when cash is being thrown at government departments left, right and centre.

The Government's done a great job announcing funding decisions for important sectors, but even some benefactors have said, funding needs to be far more targeted.

No one in the community should have their home care services cut.

Let’s just hope the organisation that does so much in the community doesn’t have to exhaust its resources pleading for cash at a time when we should be particularly focused on providing as much help as possible for our elderly.