April 17, 2020

To our friends and families of IHC,

We are all talking with hope about what life might look like after the COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown.

The Government has been very careful to say that no decision has been made about changing the alert level and that no decision would be made until 20 April (two days before we have completed four weeks at Level 4).

It seems some small things will change, for example we might be able to get takeaways or do online shopping for things other than items deemed essential.

But it’s clear that many things will stay very similar to the way they are now, particularly as we support so many people who are vulnerable. The Government says that while schools might open, as many people as possible (including children) should stay home.

That means that it’s unlikely we will be able to open up our services to visitors and family members. We know that this has been an incredibly tough time for the people we support and you as friends and family, but we must ensure we keep doing what we are doing to keep the people we support and our staff safe.

I want you to know that we are already well into the planning of how our organisation will manage things at Level 3 and beyond. In our essential services Greg Orchard, Accessible Properties Chief Executive, is well underway with planning and Joan Cowan, Chief Operating Officer and Donna Mitchell, General Manager Service Development and Strategy are leading this work for IDEA Services and Choices NZ. We still need to keep the number of people we are in contact with as small as we can.

We are also mapping out what things will look like when we move to Levels 2 and 1. We know that everyone is looking forward to catching up with family and friends as soon as possible.

Our staff are continuing to try to find ways to connect people over phones and online. We know that this is not always possible, and we understand that that makes things even harder.

I look forward to updating you with details when we go into Level 3. In the meantime, we have to continue to hold steady, continue to protect our bubbles and maintain physical distance.

When we do move to Levels 3, 2 and 1 it will be because we have all taken this seriously and are determined to help protect ourselves, our staff, the people we support and our own family members and friends.

Ralph Jones​
IHC Group Chief Executive