Support service anxiety meeting

Call for discussion . . . Dunedin parents Sandra Paterson (left) and Kate Hall for a public meeting to discuss the changes to disability support services provided by Idea Services in Dunedin, and the wider situation in disability services. PHOTO: BRENDA HARWOOD

Dunedin families concerned about the future of disability support services in the city have called a public meeting tonight (Wednesday).
The meeting will be held tonight, from 7pm to 9pm, at Caversham Baptist Church, on the corner Surrey St and South Rd.

Chaired by Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran, meeting will highlight families’ specific concerns about the closure of the IHC respite facility and home support for people with intellectual disabilities.

There will also be the opportunity to discuss wider issues around the provision of support services for people with disabilities in Dunedin.

Dunedin parent Kate Hall, (26), along with Sandra Paterson and son Sam (29), raised concerns through the Otago Daily Times about the closure of the respite house and the cutting of other Idea Services programmes. Idea Services is the operational arm of IHC.

The families have complained about the process undertaken by Idea Services for respite care and home support.

Lucas Hall and Sam Paterson have both benefited from respite care and one-on-one home support, which have helped them to develop towards having some measure of independence.

“The services have been dwindling for a few years, and they haven’t really been promoted among IHC members,” Mrs Paterson said.

Contacted by The Star, Idea Services spokeswoman Gina Rogers was looking to move out of some services when another provider or arrangement could be found.

“..We would not move out until people had transitioned to another support that works for them.

“We also expect staff to either move to a new provider, continue a relationship with the people they support directly or take on more hours in other parts of our business,” she said.

Idea Services expected its home support service to transfer to HealthCare NZ without any disruption of services for families.

The respite base had been used by very few people.

“.. However we know it was a very important service for the families that did.”

People could work with their Needs Assessment Co-ordination Service to discuss options and wider disability questions, Ms Rogers said.