March 31, 2020

Friends and Families of IHC,

I want to update you all as we near the end of our first week at COVID-19 Level 4.

Firstly, I know that it is difficult not to be able to visit family members in our services. Staff are putting in place different ways for you to be able to stay in touch with your family member and more ideas are being considered for use in the weeks ahead.

I am very proud of our staff and the way we are providing services at this difficult time. I am getting reports from all areas of the country and know that good support is being provided and people are finding ways to do things differently and ensure people are enjoying their time together.

Everything is more challenging than usual. Behind the scenes a huge amount of work is being done to ensure supplies of food, medication and health and safety equipment – but I’m pleased to say that our priority as an essential service means we are in good shape. Our clinical, risk and safety, HR and other corporate support services are all working hard to support our great workforce in services and housing.

Accessible Properties is also an essential service and the team is continuing to provide support to its social housing tenants and to the properties we use throughout the IHC Group.

We have launched an emergency appeal in fundraising. We know that New Zealand is going to hit tough times and that we will all need to step up for people with intellectual disabilities.

Within a week we have also been partners in launching two initiatives:

  • AWHI at home provides resources, tools and opportunities to connect for families at home with young children with intellectual disabilities.
  • provides a connection service where people feeling isolated can have regular chats to a volunteer (who will link them to other support if required)

These are unprecedented times. We are in constant contact with the Government and its representatives and we are working in partnership. We are using our relationships to get the best information early and to ensure the Government understands the realities for providers like us working to support people.

Our priority is the people we support throughout the IHC Group and our staff. We are working hard to keep people safe.

Please look after yourselves and I look forward to updating you again soon

Ralph Jones
IHC Group Chief Executive