Nursing and medical help at home
If you have a disability, an injury or ongoing health problems, a nurse or other health professionals can visit you to help with medications and other medical needs.
The government provides help if you need medical help at home:
- because of ongoing or age-related health problems
- because of an injury or disability
- for a short time while you’re recovering after hospital treatment.
You must also be eligible for publicly funded healthcare.
If you just need some medical advice, you can call a registered nurse on Healthline, freephone 0800 611 116.
Help you can get
Nursing or medical help in your home includes:
- regular tests, eg for blood pressure or blood sugar levels
- help with taking medication
- caring for a wound, eg changing the dressing
- continence help
- equipment to help you get around
- respite care.
If you need care from a specialist, see your doctor for a referral.
How to ask for government help
Asking your doctor about the help you can get is a good place to start.
They can arrange the following help depending on your situation.
- A district nurse visits you at home. They provide care and treatment, and work with your family doctor or hospital doctors to support you. Most district nurses work for a District Health Board (DHB), although some work for community trusts, primary health organisations or occasionally, a general practice or a commercial business.
- If you need help for a longer time, your doctor will arrange a needs assessment through the Needs Assessment Service Coordination (NASC) team at your local DHB. Many home support providers provide basic nursing services.
If you have a disability or ongoing health issues
Arrange a needs assessment through your doctor, DHB or NASC team if you have:
- health problems due to old age
- an ongoing health condition that will last for more than 6 months, or
- a disability.
If you’re on a low income, you can apply for the Disability Allowance if you need to:
- make extra visits to the doctor or a specialist
- buy food for a special diet
- get incontinence products.
After an injury caused by an accident
If you need help because of an injury, the health professional treating you lodges a claim with the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC).
If your claim is accepted, your case owner at ACC can arrange the help you need. They carry out a Social Rehabilitation Assessment to work out what you need. If your injury is serious and going to affect you for a long time, they do a Support Needs Assessment.
If you can’t get government help
There are some other ways you can get medical or nursing help at home.
- You can pay for services yourself. If you have a needs assessment, ask the team to suggest services in your area.
- If you have private health insurance, check your policy to find out if they pay for nursing services in your home.
65 years or older
Your SuperGold Card gives you discounts for some businesses that provide medical care.