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Refugee/migrant community

Respect for other cultures

Education session for a migrant families' autism support group

The Code of Rights for the Chinese community

Education for the Bhutanese community

Meeting at a medical centre

Assistance with complaint to clinic

Education session to women's refugee group

Making a difference through networking

 

Respect for other cultures
DHB ~ Right 1 ~ respect ~ Right 5 ~ effective communication ~ refugee cultures
A consumer from a refugee ethnic group visited the Refugee/migrant advocate at her office. The consumer was seeking support to make a complaint addressing concerns about poor communication and a lack of respect shown by some staff members at a clinic providing community health services.
Following discussions with the advocate the consumer requested the advocate write to the manager of the service advising him of her concerns. The letter was approved by the consumer prior to being sent. 
The consumer received a response from the Clinical Manager. He had discussed her concerns with staff and offered an apology on behalf of the service. 
The consumer has since visited the clinic. She told the advocate she could see that as a result of raising her concerns communication had improved and she felt staff had treated her with respect. She was very happy with the outcome and thanked the advocate for assisting her to exercise her Rights. 

Respect for other cultures

DHB ~ Right 1 ~ respect ~ Right 5 ~ effective communication ~ refugee cultures

A consumer from a refugee ethnic group visited the Refugee/migrant advocate at her office. The consumer was seeking support to make a complaint addressing concerns about poor communication and a lack of respect shown by some staff members at a clinic providing community health services.

Following discussions with the advocate the consumer requested the advocate write to the manager of the service advising him of her concerns. The letter was approved by the consumer prior to being sent. 

The consumer received a response from the Clinical Manager. He had discussed her concerns with staff and offered an apology on behalf of the service. 

The consumer has since visited the clinic. She told the advocate she could see that as a result of raising her concerns communication had improved and she felt staff had treated her with respect.

She was very happy with the outcome and thanked the advocate for assisting her to exercise her Rights. 

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Education session for a migrant families' autism support group

An advocate was invited to present to the support group about the role of the Health and Disability Commissioner, the Code of Rights for people living in NZ, and how the Nationwide Advocacy Service can assist people to resolve complaints.

It was the first time this particular group had heard about advocacy and HDC, so they were keenly focused on linking the Code of Rights to their own life circumstances.

Many of the participants shared their concerns about the difficulties they have communicating with providers. They told the advocate that it is particularly difficult for those with English as a second language, as well as lacking the confidence to speak up.

The group were pleased to know they can receive support from advocacy when they need to, and that an advocate can assist them to self-advocate when their concerns do not fit under the HDC Act. At the end of the education session two people approached the advocate requesting she contact them as they required her support to address their concerns.

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The Code of Rights for the Chinese community

An advocate was invited to speak to a Mainland Chinese Community group on the Code of Rights, the Advocacy Service and the role of the Health and Disability Commissioner. It was the first time this particular group had heard about these topics, so they were keenly focused on linking the Code of Rights to their own life circumstances. There was great discussion with the group as they identified a high need to be informed.

The advocate, speaking through a competent interpreter, delivered key messages about the contents of the Code of Rights by giving practical examples wherever appropriate, with a thorough explanation of Right 5, effective communication, and interpreter's indispensable role. This focused approach was very appropriate, because communication is often a barrier for this group of consumers who often have English as a second language, and who often do not have the confidence to speak up. Two of the participants, who had previously experienced difficulties with their GPs, were keen to share their concerns.

The group felt the advocate's presentation was helpful to them in terms of developing vital awareness among them about their rights and protections when accessing Health and/or Disability Services in NZ.  The information which was new to them, and made them feel empowered to speak up if necessary in the future. 

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Education for the Bhutanese community

At the invitation of the Bhutanese Refugee Community the local advocate presented an education session on the Code of Rights and the Advocacy Service. This particular group of people had recently arrived in the country after spending many years in refugee camps.

Using a qualified interpreter, the advocate provided the education session requested, paying particular attention to the Consumer's right to effective communication, as this is an area which can be a major barrier for this specific category of vulnerable consumers who are new to the county, are not able to speak English and have a low level of self-confidence. The audience was interactive, engaging in discussions and reflections on the various aspects of the Code and Right 5 in particular.

Four consumers, who had previously faced difficulties with their primary healthcare providers, wished to share their experiences. They said that interpreters were not provided in spite of their explicit request when they booked their appointments. The lack of interpreters meant there consultations did not go as well as they could have.

The group was pleased with the information provided, particularly when they were given handouts in their own language. They were pleased to know there is a free independent organisation to support them to have their Rights upheld.

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Meeting at a medical centre

A consumer, who injured himself during a fall, sought assistance at a medical centre. He contacted advocacy because said that doctor failed to diagnose his injuries and prescribed medication that upset his stomach. He also said that the receptionist initially refused to give him an appointment as she could not find his name on the database, and then laughed at him, which he believes was a result of his inability to speak English well.  He eventually requested a referral to a specialist and was diagnosed as having five fractured ribs.

As the consumer's first language was not that of the advocate, an interpreter was used during their meeting. The consumer opted to have the advocate write to the provider about his concerns and request a meeting to discuss them.

The advocate supported the consumer at the meeting where the doctor agreed to write him a letter of explanation, confirming that he had suffered five undiagnosed fractured ribs. The doctor also apologised on behalf of the receptionist and promised to speak with her regarding effective communication strategies. The consumer was very happy with the outcome of the meeting.

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Assistance with complaint to clinic

Refugees ~ Respect ~ Communication ~ Interpreters

A consumer from a refugee community visited the specialist refugee/migrant advocate at her office, seeking support to make a complaint about poor communication and lack of respect by staff members at a clinic providing community health services.

The consumer requested the advocate write to the manager of the service and advise him of her concerns. The letter was approved by the consumer prior to being sent.

The consumer received an apology from the manager on behalf of the service and an assurance that her concerns had been discussed with staff.

When she returned to the clinic she could see a big difference. Communication had improved and the staff treated her with respect. She was very happy with the outcome and thanked the advocate for assisting her to exercise her rights.

 

Making a difference through networking

Members from the migrant/refugee community were invited by the local advocate, in a provincial town, to meet the regional Refugee/Migrant Advocate. The focus of the discussion was to be on the rights in the Code as well as the role of an advocate. However, as the meeting discussions flowed it became apparent that the community also required support and information in relation to their cultural values and beliefs.

One of the gaps in their information was the need to find out the name of any local butchers who provided Halal meat in the region as consumers from their area were travelling over six hours to a major city to purchase their meat. Through her networks, the local advocate was able to find out where Halal meat was available in the area, and passed on contact details and the location of where it could be purchased.

This small action taken by the advocate has done much to create trust between this community and the advocacy service. 

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