Culturally appropriate care: making recommendations and tailoring our approach to meet the needs of whānau

A woman complained to HDC about the care her adult son received from a residential rehabilitation facility. He had suffered a severe traumatic brain injury following an accident, and now requires a high level of care.

The consumer’s whānau were concerned that tikanga Māori was not respected in the provision of care, and that there was a lack of whānau engagement in decision-making and an absence of culturally appropriate policies.

During the course of HDC’s assessment, it became apparent that the most appropriate way to achieve resolution was to facilitate a hui between the whānau, the provider, and HDC. The hui took place at the whānau’s marae, and presented an opportunity for all parties to learn about the consumer, his whakapapa, and his connection to all those who have gone before him.

The provider acknowledged the shortcomings in the care provided, and sought help from the whānau to develop cultural safety for the provider. The whānau were happy and willing to assist in any way they could, and all parties felt that the hui led to a successful outcome.

HDC also recommended that the provider:

- Consult with a cultural navigator or seek the guidance of a local kaumātua in the review of its cultural policy; and
- Provide training to all staff on the cultural policy, and ensure that it is followed effectively.