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Alcohol and Drug Service

Prompt response to phone call

Getting a licence back

Reinstatement at a residential Alcohol and Drug Service

Addiction Services Counselling

Timing of Prescriptions

Fulfilling the needs of the consumer

Problem with methadone clinic

Fitting methadone treatments around employment

 

 

 

 

Prompt response to phone call

Community A&D Service ~ Right 4 ~ Appropriate standards ~ Right 10 ~ Right to complain

A consumer sought the support of the advocacy service as he had not received a response from a provider. He said he had requested a reduction in his prescribed medication and when he received his new prescription the reduction was significantly more than he had requested.

Due to his inability to phone the service provider, and their lack of response to his letter he asked the advocate to phone the service and discuss his concerns.

As a result of the advocate's phone call, the consumer's file was checked and it was found a prescribing error had been made. The staff member who took the advocate's call spoke to the doctor and pharmacist, and the error was rectified immediately. The consumer was contacted and advised a new prescription had been sent through and the staff member apologised for the error. 

The consumer was very happy that his issue was resolved so quickly.

He thanked the advocate for the assistance, saying he had found it very reassuring to know there is a great advocacy service available, that works so well and is also very fast.

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Getting a licence back
Alcohol & Drug Addiction Services ~ Right 5 ~ Effective Communication ~ Right 6 ~ Fully Informed ~ drivers licence
The consumer had been attending Alcohol & Drug Addiction treatment.  He said he had made successful progress. He had turned his life around with stable employment and no longer drank.
He contacted the advocacy service because although he had passed all the tests to have his driving licence reinstated (such as clean blood tests)  he had been unable to obtain a clearance.  He believed the assessing Doctor had not been fully informed about his progress by the Caseworker.  He had tried unsuccessfully to obtain reasons for the withholding of this key information.
After considering his options, he chose to have advocacy support to write a letter requesting a fresh and fair assessment that would acknowledge the changes made.  In response to his complaint letter, he obtained an appointment for a new assessment by a different Doctor.  This Doctor gave him a partial clearance for work purposes.  The consumer was pleased with this progress as the lack of a licence jeopardised his work. He had hopes of moving to a full licence in time.

Getting a licence back

Alcohol & Drug Addiction Services ~ Right 5 ~ Effective communication ~ Right 6 ~ Fully informed ~ Driver's licence

A consumer had been attending Alcohol & Drug Addiction treatment. He said he had made successful progress. He had turned his life around, had stable employment and no longer drank.

He contacted the advocacy service because although he had passed all the tests to have his driving licence reinstated (such as clean blood tests)  he had been unable to obtain a clearance. He believed the assessing doctor had not been fully informed about his progress by the caseworker. He had tried unsuccessfully to obtain reasons for the withholding of this key information.

After considering his options, he chose to have advocacy support to write a letter requesting a fresh and fair assessment that would acknowledge the changes made.  

In response to his complaint letter, he obtained an appointment for a new assessment by a different doctor. This doctor gave him a partial clearance for work purposes.  

The consumer was pleased with this progress as the lack of a licence jeopardised his work. He had hopes of moving to a full licence in time.

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Reinstatement at a residential Alcohol and Drug Service

Residential Alcohol and Drug Service ~ Court referral ~ Breached rules ~ Reinstatement ~ Right 4 ~ Optimising quality of life

A young man was referred by the Courts to a Drug and Alcohol Facility with stringent conditions attached to the referral. When he was discharged from the facility for having breached the rules he emailed an advocate requesting a meeting. He advised he had recalled meeting her during an education session a couple of months earlier.

During the meeting with the advocate he stated he wanted to go back to rehab as he was doing very well staying "clean", and had family support. His preferred option for resolution was to meet with the provider to discuss whether he could go back.

He also wanted to apologise to the provider and requested the advocate contact the facility manager to determine whether they would consider meeting with him. Despite some reluctance the manager agreed to meet the consumer and his supporters.

Prior to the meeting with the provider, the advocate discussed the protocols for the meeting and that it was up to him, with her support, to put forward his request for reinstatement.

At the meeting the consumer, firstly, apologised for breaching the rules and then asked for reinstatement.  He confirmed that he had been doing well as far as staying "clean" but felt he needed to finish the course to enable him to understand and be able to make choices that would assist him to stay clean. Although reluctant, the provider agreed to take the consumer back to complete rehab, subject to a vacancy arising. They were very clear that any further breaches would result in his being discharged and the Court informed.

The consumer was happy with the meeting and later advised the advocate he was back in rehab and doing very well.

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Addiction Services Counselling

Addiction services ~ Counselling ~ Right 4 ~ Consistent with needs

A consumer phoned and requested to meet with an advocate regarding his concerns about the counselling he was receiving from the local addiction service.

At the meeting the advocate outlined the options and provided him with verbal and written information about the Code of Rights and the advocacy service. The consumer decided to take these home and study them to gain a better understanding of both.

He had already requested a meeting with the provider and asked the advocate to support him at the meeting. He said he would advise the provider of her attendance. The advocate briefed the consumer on how the meeting would be conducted and they talked about the matters he wanted to raise which he said he had made the provider aware of.

Having heard what the consumer wanted to say, the provider suggested changes which the consumer felt were not acceptable. He decided to end the meeting. Following the conclusion of the meeting the consumer advised the advocate he wanted to return to his previous service provider as he felt respected there, even though it meant additional travel would be involved.

The significance of this event was the consumer felt empowered by the Code of Rights and was therefore able to make choices regarding his future care. He was pleased to have met the provider and hear their response but their plan did not meet his needs.

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Timing of Prescriptions

 Alcohol & Addiction Services ~ Prolonged pain ~ Morphine dependency ~ Methadone

A young woman contacted the advocacy service for help to get some answers to her situation. She had had a procedure which resulted in eighteen months hospitalisation, ongoing pain and a morphine dependency.

Following her discharge she was commenced on a monthly prescription of methadone. She wanted the advocate's help to find out why she could not get a three-monthly prescription. She told the advocate that her confidence had been affected by what had happened to her and she often felt very emotional. Her husband had attempted to provide support but had become frustrated and angry at the clinic staff. They refused to speak to him and had also had him trespassed.

After considering the options, the consumer said she did not want to meet or communicate directly with the clinic staff herself. She asked if the advocate could phone them and ask on her behalf why she could not receive a three-monthly prescription. The advocate agreed to do this. The clinic manager explained that it was considered best practice to only provide a monthly prescription as this provided doctors with the opportunity to review each consumer on a monthly basis.

The advocate contacted the consumer to pass on the information from the manager. Although the advocate offered to provide further assistance, the consumer chose to accept the information provided and not to pursue the matter.

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Fulfilling the needs of the consumer

A consumer, who had been on the methadone programme for 10 years, discovered he had Māori ancestry. As a result of contact with his whänau, a weekend at his home marae in another part of the country was organised so he could be introduced to his whakapapa, maunga and customs. He was unsure of the exact date but told the provider it would be within the next month and asked for alternative arrangements to get his methadone, to which the provider agreed. When a date was confirmed he contacted the provider only to be told he had not given sufficient notice.

The consumer decided he would like advocacy support at a meeting with his doctor and case manager, and asked the advocate to organise the meeting. The consumer explained how he felt he was treated like a naughty boy unable to make any life decisions because of mistrust, and mentioned his clean record. The provider acknowledged his concerns and record, and explained they have the discretion about whether "takeaway" is allowed. The doctor also explained that they had thought he would be staying on the marae and were concerned about the risk to others who may try to steal his medication.  The consumer responded saying he was going to visit the marae but was staying with his grandfather, and would have provided this information if asked. 

The consumer advised he had another trip planned and asked if he could get "takeaway" for that. The provider agreed, with the proviso the consumer submitted his planned itinerary as soon as possible and could prove he had a secure place to keep his medication.

The provider also committed to

  • ensuring arrangements for pick-ups at out of town chemists are well organised so people can get their medication,
  • looking at their processes for gathering information from clients wanting to apply for "takeaways",
  • putting the onus on the provider to ask the right questions to get the correct information to determine important decisions that affect the consumer.

The consumer was very happy with the outcome.

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Problem with methadone clinic

A mother of five children who had been part of the methadone programme for a number of years, contacted Advocacy as the clinic had abruptly stopped her 'takeaways' following an allegation that she had been selling her medication.

The advocate assisted the woman to write letter to the clinic, in which she strongly denied the allegation, expressed concern that it had been taken as fact and that had not been given the opportunity to discuss or defend the allegation.

The change to the pickup of her medication had a financial impact upon the family as well as the children being exposed to a part of her life she did not want to share with them.

The woman requested the opportunity to meet with clinic staff with the advocate for support. At the meeting, the providers explained their responsibilities and the guidelines and protocols within which they are required to work. They discussed an action plan that would allow the woman to return to her previous regime as quickly as possible.

Following the meeting the woman said she was happy that she had been heard. She was committed to following the action plan to speed the reinstatement of the original regime and restore normality to her family.

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Fitting methadone treatments around employment

An advocate was contacted by a consumer of a methadone treatment service as he was concerned around how his clinic appointments were being managed. The consumer was working two full days a week at the time and was upset that he would often be called and directed to attend appointments on the days he worked, with little time to inform his employer. He felt his job was in jeopardy and wanted support to let the provider know how the situation was affecting his work prospects.

The advocate assisted him to write a letter to the provider to let them know that the he had some issues he wished discussed at his next appointment. The consumer reported that he was able to address his issues with the provider and felt confident that future appointments would fit in with work commitments.

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