Tena koutou katoa
I have lived in Upper Hutt and the Wellington region for over 40 years now. My tribal connections are Whakatohea and Te Arawa.
My work for the past 26 years has been in the social work field. My earlier work was with Child Youth and Family – child abuse and the care and protection of children. For the past seven years my work has been supporting and educating victims of family violence. I work with a team of three advocates from different fields, three police officers and one social worker. We work collaboratively and our complete focus is family violence.
My experiences with the health system have been varied over the years. I’ve had two heart valve replacements, two accidents resulting in damage to both legs (albeit still functioning), pneumonia and septicaemia in March this year. I was in a coma for eight days with no guarantee I would come out of it and if I did brain damage was a very real possibility. Luckily none of this happened and I function just as I did before the coma. To add to all of this, I have had countless blood transfusions over the years and this will always be a problem for me.
My personal experiences of our health system in terms of quality and safety have been generally good. However, it’s an evolving process and I see the need for on-going system improvements that are informed by consumers’ experiences and participation.