The Huntington's Scene In  New Zealand

Site Maintained by
Graham Taylor

Articles taken from the March 2004 Huntington's News. The Quarterly Newsletter of the Huntington's Disease Associations of New Zealand


 I have recently read “A Reader’s Experience” in the last issue of the Huntington’s Newsletter, and I feel I must write in praise of one particular hospital’s care of my husband.

 My husband was admitted to NorthHaven Hospital, Whangaparoa, in June 2002, where he was a resident for 16 months until he died on 3 October 2003. His was the first case of Huntington’s disease that they had had, and shortly after his admission the Manager (or Principal Nurse) asked for a seminar for nursing staff with Beth Gordon. Beth asked for me to be present to provide the lay person/family member point of view. This seminar was well received by staff, and gave them an insight into the problems and care required for a patient with Huntington’s.

 Throughout my husband’s stay the care and support, both professionally and on a personal level, from the staff at all levels has been phenomenal, and any concerns I might have had concerning feeding (he had a PEG tube) or any other matter were always addressed promptly and without question or indifference. He had his own comfortable room, and the lounge area was light and cheerful.

 There were excellent occupational activities, which catered for the patients’ physical and mental needs (darts, wheelchair ball games, quizzes, sing-songs, Stroke Club etc) and outside visits to Gulf Harbour (to view the America’s Cup) car and model museum, and other outings just for the fun of it (wheelchairs, PEG feeds and all!)

 As my husband’s health declined to the point where he was dying with pneumonia, his last few days were made as comfortable as possible, and our sons and myself who were with him in relays round the clock were treated with kindness and consideration, and brought all our meals.

 I cannot praise the NorthHaven staff enough and feel that the standard of good Resthome or Hospital care comes from the attitude of those at the top.