Consumer Council

Partners in West Coast Health

The West Coast DHB Consumer Council is looking for more representatives to provide advice to the West Coast health system.

About the Consumer Council

The Consumer Council was established in 2014 as a way for consumers to have a strong voice in planning, designing and delivering services on the West Coast.

The Consumer Council is invited to participate in, and comment on, many of the West Coast DHB initiatives to enhance a patient's experience.

The council is made up of a range of people, with diverse backgrounds and areas of interest. Their brief includes:

  • Enhancing the collection and use of feedback from a service user's perspective
  • Assisting to improve the organisation's information sharing responsibilities with service users
  • Contributing to the design or re-design of services and/or facilities by the DHB
  • Working in partnership with the DHB to improve the quality of the patient journey
  • Working to remove barriers for consumers whilst enhancing safe service provision

The Consumer Council meets approximately two-monthly in Greymouth, generally for around two hours. Council members are appointed for two years, and need to have a general understanding of West Coast health issues.

Consumer Council Members

The council is made up of a range of people with diverse ethnic backgrounds and areas of interest that include Māori health, Pacific health, mental health, people with long term conditions, people with physical, intellectual and sensory disabilities, older people, youth, men, women, rural communities, people with visual and hearing impairment and people with alcohol and other drug addictions.

As a 5th generation West Coaster I am very passionate about making the West Coast a wonderful place for locals and visitors. My late husband Rick was disabled due to a serious Stroke in 2005 which highlighted the needs of the relationship between Medical staff, Support workers and families as this benefits the wellbeing of the patient and family.

I am a cancer survivor, so have had ample insight into the health system here and in Canterbury. My goal is to ensure we have a great health service for this and future generations to come. Both of my children have careers and are settled back here on the West Coast. My extended family is increasing on the Coast and they are appreciative of the Health Services we can access whether it be locally or nationally depending on the relevant health condition and appropriate clinical input required.

I am one of the younger members on the Consumer Council and have experience both as a user of the health system and through working as a medical receptionist with the District Health Board at the Franz Josef Medical Centre. Working in South Westland gave me an appreciation of the challenges of rural medicine, and as a South Westland resident I am interested in improving access to services for people living down there.

Tourists are also becoming major users of South Westland health services and potentially bring their own issues such as the need for translation services and support people. I spend a lot of time in the mountains and currently work as an English language teacher.

I have spent many years advocating on behalf of people living in Tai Poutini in various local government; director and community roles. I appreciates that the Tai Poutini is a great place to live, work and play. However, I also appreciate that access to appropriate; timely and locally delivered health services will always be fundamental to the sustainability of our scattered communities.

As a member of the Kawatiri Maori Women’s Welfare League I am a passionate advocate of the need to improve and imbed cultural competency throughout all facets of health service delivery. Achieving cultural competency and implementing the IDEAL (Include; Discuss, Educate; Assess and Listen) in all patient care will go a long way to empowering West Coast people to improve their own health outcomes.

As a long term resident of Westland, I bring both personal and professional experience of being involved in the health sector. I have been an advocate of disability in local community organisations, health boards as well as local government.

Through personal experience of Traumatic Brain Injury from a motor vehicle accident I have been a patient and client of the Health and ACC systems for many years.

I was brought up in South Westland and attended boarding school in Canterbury. Further education at Massey University after a Traumatic Brain Injury enabled me to gain skills and expertise in Rehabilitation Studies and Community and Social work. I have worked in Canterbury and the West Coast. More recently working with clients with special needs in an education/community setting.

Originally from the UK with a Scottish heritage, moving to New Zealand 11 years ago seemed a natural thing to do! My UK work was with public and private enterprises primarily in the NHS fields of HR, Organisational Development and Project Management. Prior to moving to NZ, I had my own business as an External Auditor contracted to the UK Security Industry Authority.

Now a NZ citizen and settled on the Coast at Nelson Creek for 3 years I work part time for the National Brain Injury Association of NZ. I am involved in community groups; Secretary on the Nelson Creek Community Committee and Treasurer for the Kowhai Project. My interest in serving on the WCDHB Consumer Council is focused primarily on the patient journey and how the disconnect between necessary organisational policies and procedures can get in the way of communication patient focus and community needs. /p>

My own health issues, I have heart problems, have necessitated inpatient stays in Grey Base and in Christchurch hospitals and experiencing the issues of “being in the system” to “rural discharge” first hand. We do most things well, but we could do a few things better. /p>

My aim during the 2 years on the Consumer Council is to bring a patient view to the processes and ensure that by working in partnership with the DHB we can continue the good work by previous Consumer Councils both in DHB and Community engagement. /p>

I was born in 1958. Iwi is Ngati Porou. I have lived in the Grey area since 1970, have 5 children, 4 of which were born here. I work as a full time artist and mentor for youth. I had been on the Grey Main School Board of Trustees for 9 years and currently on the Grey High School Board.

My main areas of interest are maori mental health and wellbeing as well as youth. I have son with mental health issues. My main aim is to have a maori voice on the Consumer Council from a mataa waka angle to issues concerning maori health and recognition of practices for our well being “hauora”.

I currently live in the Greymouth region. Mother of two primary aged children, one who has an intellectual disability. Having a child with a disability I have had to advocate and be the voice. I am passionate about services on the West Coast and improving awareness and support.

Currently I am on the West Coast District Health Board’s Advisory Committee, MS-Parkinson’s committee and volunteer support for Greymouth Autism support group. I am also a member of the Accessible West Coast Coalition Group.

I am on my last year of study towards NZIM Diploma in Management.

I am the ultimate consumer of practicality all the medical services offered by the West Coast District Health Board since the sentinel incident at Grey Base Hospital’s Emergency Department, proven delay of treatment and medical misadventure by The Health and Disability Commissioner back in September 2010.

Before I was fit as, working as a Geological Field Assistant at Stockton Opencast Mine. I am medically retired now, but consider myself lucky. My American surgeon, who saved my life after I was finally transported to Christchurch General in a fixed wing plane, not a chopper, cause on too much life support exactly one week after the 1st quake. I had 4 operations on my brain then was transferred to Burwood Brain Injury unit for a long recovery. I had to learn everything again; speech language therapy, the works. The surgeon told my wife that eighty (80%) of individuals who have abscesses burst in the cerebral cortex outright die and the remaining 20% in wheelchairs, rest homes with constant minders.

For a 62 year old I am physically fit, can drive a car and live independently. I just can never work in that role again. But can definitely represent the consumers of the medical services on the West Coast. Looking forward to the challenge ahead.

I am a Reefton/Coaster with an understanding of our health system and how it impacts on the West Coast stakeholders.

I have been on previous health committees and action groups and am currently in the local Health Workstream group and a member of the Health Advisory Group. When attending these meetings my thoughts are always on the impacts decisions have on the consumer and their family and community.

I enjoy advocacy for those who need it and believe many need more support and advocacy while on their health journey.

Page last updated: 12 October 2018

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