Em­mer­son House prob­lems pro­vide a warn­ing

Kapi-Mana News - - CONVERSATIONS -

On the face of it, the sit­u­a­tion at Em­mer­son House does not seem easy to re­solve.

The res­i­den­tial care fa­cil­ity in Ranui was crit­i­cised by res­i­dent Matt Gard­ner in our May 10 is­sue over con­di­tions he en­coun­tered there. He claimed staff came into his shower room while he was bathing and were ne­glect­ful to his and other clients’ needs.

The own­ers of Em­mer­son House, NZCare Dis­abil­ity, said Gard­ner’s con­cerns were be­ing ad­dressed but would to go into any more de­tail, cit­ing pri­vacy is­sues.

Since that story was pub­lished, other peo­ple have con­tacted us to tell us of their ex­pe­ri­ences at Em­mer­son.

One was a staff mem­ber there in 2012 and 2013 and she agreed with Gard­ner’s as­ser­tions that was was not a pleas­ant en­vi­ron­ment to work in or for the res­i­dents. An­other, Pa­tri­cia Curd, said her sis­ter re­ceived sub­stan­dard care and was re­moved af­ter frac­tur­ing her skull in a fall.

Coun­ter­bal­anc­ing those ob­ser­va­tions, how­ever, one man told us his son had ex­cel­lent care at Em­mer­son over a num­ber of years and that staff were dili­gent and cour­te­ous.

We put fur­ther ques­tions to NZCare Dis­abil­ity re­gard­ing staff train­ing and spe­cific ac­tions be­ing taken to ad­dress is­sues at the fa­cil­ity, but they were not an­swered.

NZCare Dis­abil­ity and other ser­vice providers in a con­tin­u­ously grow­ing in­dus­try have a duty of care for res­i­dents and their fam­i­lies. It is a dif­fi­cult en­vi­ron­ment for staff to work in. That is ob­vi­ous.

Clients have a mul­ti­tude of phys­i­cal and men­tal dif­fi­cul­ties that must be han­dled on a daily ba­sis.

it is im­por­tant NZCare Dis­abil­ity in­ves­ti­gates com­plaints thor­oughly and takes any steps nec­es­sary to en­sure the stan­dard of care it is of­fer­ing is top class.


Last week we farewelled ed­i­tor Joseph Ro­manos, who has been on board since 2013. The news­pa­per has been ably led dur­ing that time - we have been a Canon Award fi­nal­ist each year un­der his stew­ard­ship.

Joseph’s re­place­ment will be Amy Jack­man, in a slightly dif­fer­ent role. She will be in charge of a group of com­mu­nity news­pa­pers in the Welling­ton re­gion, in­clud­ing Kapi-Mana News.

We hope the Porirua and Tawa com­mu­ni­ties con­tinue to sup­port us, let­ting us tell your sto­ries each week –

Kris Dando.

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