Following IDEA Services decision to exit from its contract for home support for people with intellectual disabilities, HealthCare NZ has announced that its specialist disability provider NZCare Disability will deliver these services when IDEA Services exits.

IDEA Services’ decision to withdraw caused shock waves among its staff and clients, when it was announced in March this year. Support workers were reportedly unprepared and not consulted about the changes.

NZCare Disability and IDEA Services intend to work closely together over the coming months to transition people over so that their support can continue uninterrupted.

NZCare Disability general manager Vicki Stewart says they are committed to working with both IDEA Services and the Needs Assessment and Service Coordination agencies (NASCs) to make the transition as seamless as possible

“We understand the anxiety that people and their families/whanāu have experienced,” she says.

“One of our main focuses will be on maintaining relationships with people, their family/whānau and their support workers.”

Stewart says they are working towards employing many of IDEA Services’ support workers so that these relationships can continue where possible. She confirmed that any support worker who transitions to HealthCare NZ’s employment will keep their existing employment terms and conditions.

“We appreciate that there has been a period of uncertainty for affected staff and we want to assure them they will be welcomed into our organisation, and that their employment terms and conditions will be maintained. We will also be talking to any staff that transition to us about opportunities to work across some of our other disability support or home based services.”

People affected will be receiving further information about the transition very shortly, via letters and community meetings.

“We are working on transferring people and staff over region by region, and will be discussing this directly with everyone affected. There will be no gap in support for people, as IDEA Services will continue to provide support until people transfer over,” says Stewart.

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