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Willing to lend a hand

PATIENTS who have concerns about their healthcare or are uncertain how the system works can seek support from Kathy Sheldrake of the Consumer Health Service.

Mrs Sheldrake is no novice when it comes to the intricacies of the health system.

She recently retired after serving three terms on the board of Hauora Tairawhiti and is keen to help health consumers with her free and confidential service.

Mrs Sheldrake has been in the role for 12 months but wants to lift the profile of the Consumer Health Service.

She provides support for patients, is happy to listen to their issues, and can act in a liaison role between patients and health providers.

It is not a blame game, she said.

“I see a definite need for the service in the community.

“I hope to help people through the health system.

“We can speak on the phone or we can meet.”

Mrs Sheldrake is available to:

• Write letters or make phone calls on behalf of patients

• Offer advice about complaint procedures

• Accompany patients when they meet their healthcare providers.

“I work co-operatively with health providers,” said Mrs Sheldrake.

“Consumers and health providers can trust that I will be impartial.”

The trust behind the service was founded in 1987 and funding is provided by Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Hauora Tairawhiti health boards.

The service operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can be contacted on www.healthcomplaints.co.nz or on 0800 801 482.

Mrs Sheldrake can be contacted directly on 027 241 5063.

Here to help: Kathy Sheldrake is keen to help health consumers with her free and confidential service. Picture supplied