Kaitiaki Partners in Care | Te Whatu Ora - Te Tai Tokerau

Kaitiaki Partners in Care

Our Hospitals are extremely busy at the moment. To ease some of this pressure, we are reaching out to our community to do what naturally occurs when their loved ones are admitted to our hospitals and call on whānau members to become Kaitiaki Partners in Care.  

Up to two Kaitiaki can be nominated by a patient and their whānau to tautoko (support) and assist healthcare teams in providing excellent hauora (care for wellness and health of the whole person) for their whānau member in hospital care. One Kaitiaki may be present each day.

On admission, a whānau hui that includes the patient, a whānau member, and ward staff will help determine what duties nominated Kaitiaki are able and willing to do to relieve staff and what hours they will be available (usually between 8am-8pm). This may look a little different to usual because of the impact of COVID-19 on staffing. 

Kaitiaki can stay regularly overnight on Ward 2, during a birth and postnatal stay. In other areas, requests by a Kaitiaki to stay overnight should be facilitated if possible.

Some of the tasks they can help with are:

  • Wairua tautoko (spiritual support)
  • Whānaungatanga (building of relationships)
  • Help with personal care and grooming
  • Provide support with dressing/showering
  • Assist with meals
  • Walking
  • Help to keep the patient calm and orientated
  • Help a patient move safely (getting in and out of bed, adjusting bedding etc.)
  • Facilitate communication between a patient, the healthcare team and the extended family
  • Assisting with care of a baby
  • Support with breastfeeding.

Kaitiaki will be free to leave the ward and return at any time for breaks. Their details will be with the ward staff to ensure everyone knows who is allowed on the ward. They will be offered free parking, some food and tea/coffee making facilities. However, any additional kai they require, including specific dietary requirements, cannot be catered to at this time.

We expect our healthcare teams will learn a lot from whānau and appreciate the support they can offer taking on specific tasks. For the Kaupapa to work, it is imperative that staff and Kaitiaki share and communicate about the patient’s needs to support each other during the care process. At every shift change, the nurse responsible for the patient's care will briefly check in with Kaitiaki to discuss what tasks the Kaitiaki can do to care for their whānau member during the shift. Communication between staff and Kaitiaki is crucial to the success of this role.

If you want more information about this, please speak with ward staff on admission.

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