Confusingly, there are three agencies with the power to investigate complaints about rest homes:
- District health boards (DHBs): DHBs distribute public funding to rest homes. Under the terms of funding contracts, they can act on complaints and investigate any rest home to ensure it’s providing a safe service.
- Ministry of Health: The Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act gives the ministry the power to enter and inspect any rest home to assess whether health care services are being provided in a safe and satisfactory manner.
- Health and Disability Commissioner: The commissioner has the power to investigate complaints about the provision of a health or disability service to a rest-home resident.
The Health and Disability Advocacy Service is also available to anyone with a concern about a rest home (or any other health or disability provider). It doesn’t have powers to investigate complaints: its role is to support consumers, as well as those acting on their behalf, in resolving problems.
- Age Concern: www.ageconcern.org.nz
- Aged Care Crisis (an Australian site with useful consumer info): www.agedcarecrisis.com
- Alzheimers New Zealand rest home checklist: www.alzheimers.org.nz
- Eldernet provides a searchable database of aged-care facilities: www.eldernet.co.nz
- Health and Disability Commissioner: www.hdc.org.nz
- Health and Disability Advocacy Service: advocacy.hdc.org.nz or freephone 0800 555 050
- Rest home certification audits: www.moh.govt.nz
- Work and Income: www.workandincome.govt.nz
More from consumer.org.nz
Report by Jessica Wilson.
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