"My name is Bronwyn and I have muscular dystrophy, which mostly affects the muscles in my upper body so that I can’t sit or stand unsupported for very long.
“While a lot of people have a disability, the symptoms and the needs of people with disabilities aren’t all the same. People often don’task what your needs are and that’s more important than knowing that I have a disability.
"I really like having a Health Passport as it means I can keep all my information in one place, like the list of the medications that I’m taking which can be hard to remember. It’s a pain to have to tell the doctor or a specialist what my situation is every time, and now I don’t have to.”
Around 30% of people walking through the doors of Hutt Hospital identify themselves as disabled, with one in four people in New Zealand living with a disability. Anyone with a long term condition or disability, who has support needs, would benefit from using the Health Passport.
The Health Passport has information about your health which belongs to you. You choose to write in it what you want a health professional to know about you. Examples could be how you want to be communicated with, or what gives you anxiety. When you go into any healthcare situation you choose to hand over your Health Passport. The healthcare professional will be able to read it and know all the information without you having to explain.
You can get a Health Passport and find out more by visiting the Hutt Valley DHB Disability Initiatives team who are on hand every Monday from 10 am to 12 noon in the main entrance foyer at Hutt Hospital. You can also email SRDAG@sidu.org.nz or phone 0800 347 224 (0800DISABILITY).
If you have a long term impairment or disability the Disability Alert can improve your experience in hospital.
When hospital staff enter your name in our patient system, a Disability Alert icon comes up on your patient records. Like a Hospital Passport, you get to decide what information goes into the alert.It’s also a great way to let district health board (DHB) staff know that you have a Health Passport. Only DHB staff who have access to the patient system int he hospital can access your alert information.
To get a Disability Alert icon put on your records you can contact the Sub Regional Disability Advisory Groups (SRDAG) on SRDAG@sidu.org.nz or ring 0800 347 224. You will be given a form and if you need assistance to fill it in, just ask.You can also get a form from the information desk in the main entrance of Hutt Hospital.
Empowering disabled people
The Wellington region’s DHBs run a Disability Responsiveness Programme to empower our disabled community, making sure they have a voice within the health system and that their needs are addressed.
DHBs feel it is the environment,rather than an impairment,which disables a person and the environment can be adapted to meet the person’s specific needs.
SRDAG works to improve the quality of health services for people with disabilities and advises the DHBs on ways to make this happen. As well as having members representing areas from across the region, the advisory group has been set up to ensure representation from the Māori and Pacific communities,youth and children, older people,family members, disability self advocacy group People First, and the New Zealand Disabled Persons Assembly.
Please get in touch if there is something you want to say about improving our health services for people with disabilities.You can contact SRDAG on SRDAG@sidu.org.nz or phone 0800 347 224 (0800 DISABILITY).