December 07, 2021
Deaths in home isolation forces early assessment
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The deaths last month of two men self-isolating at home has prompted changes to the system.
John Whaanga, the Health Ministry’s Deputy Director Māori, says there is now an earlier clinical assessment looking not at only the health needs of the person with Covid but the social and mental support they may need as well.
There are also protocols being developed to ensure people are visited if they can’t be contacted by phone.
He says there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
“We cannot assume for instance that it is going to be suitable for every circumstance. Hence the recommendation in the report that for particularly vulnerable people in vulnerable home circumstances, we may need to look at things like managed isolation as a way to provide the environment they will need to help themselves get better,” Mr Whaanga says.
Work is also being done on piloting culturally appropriate support for people who are self-isolating.