Key support person and patient advocates | Bay of Plenty District Health Board | Hauora a Toi | BOPDHB

Key support person and patient advocates

Nominate a key support person for emotional and practical support, and information about patient advocacy services.

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Key support person

A patient or their whānau/family can nominate a key support person for emotional and practical support, and they will be able to stay with the patient for longer than the normal visiting hours. They are welcome to visit from 8am to 8pm.

A key support person is typically a loved one, for example, a spouse, partner, adult child, parent, sibling, close friend or whānau member.

If the patient is not capable of nominating someone, then whānau/family can do this.

The key support person may change at intervals in response to the patient’s wishes and availability of a person.

The key support person will be welcomed, but not obliged, to be present with the patient to:

  • participate in clinical conversations and family meetings
  • participate in clinical handovers
  • help with basic/essential care needs (in agreement with appropriate staff)
  • support the patient with decision making
  • help with the transition of care to the patient’s home.

Key support people can visit from 8am to 8pm or even longer at the discretion of the nurse in charge of a ward. For example, the key support person may be able to stay beyond 8pm if:

  • they are the parent of a child
  • they are the carer of a patient with an intellectual disability
  • the patient is in the end stages of life.

Advocacy services

The Health Consumer Service is a group of trained, professional and approachable people who provide a free and confidential service for consumers who are concerned about the health care service they have received, feel they may need to make a medical complaint, or are confused about how the health system works and what they need to do.

The service has local representatives in the Health districts of Bay of Plenty Waikato, Lakes, Tairawhiti, and Taranaki, and covers any health service provided to a consumer in those areas, including medical and surgical, mother and baby, chemist/pharmacy, dental, disability support, home help, counselling, rest homes, mental health and community health services. It is fully funded by these DHBs.

Health Consumer Service
0800 801 482

There is also a national Health and Disability Advocacy network that provides a free service and can assist you to resolve your complaint about a health or disability service.

Health and Disability Advocacy
0800 555 050

The Code and your rights

  1. The right to be treated with respect.
  2. The right to freedom from discrimination, coercion, harassment, and exploitation.
  3. The right to dignity and independence.
  4. The right to services of an appropriate standard.
  5. The right to effective communication.
  6. The right to be fully informed.
  7. The right to make an informed choice and give informed consent.
  8. The right to support.
  9. Rights in respect of teaching or research.
  10. The right to complain.

Visit to read the Code in full and learn more about your rights and the complaint's process.