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Care in the Community welfare response

Under the COVID Protection Framework, most people with COVID-19 will isolate in the community. MSD is responsible for co-ordinating the welfare side of Care in the Community, allowing the Ministry of Health to focus on health support as case numbers increase. This helps ensure people receive the support they need to isolate and avoid spreading COVID-19.

Most people will be able to look after themselves with help from friends and whānau. Others require a variety of supports to meet their individual or whānau needs, particularly where those needs are complex.

A locally led response

MSD’s regional teams are co-ordinating the welfare response through existing local partnerships with community providers, iwi, councils and government agencies. This process ensures the response is tailored to local needs, and people and whānau are linked with trusted local providers in their community who can best meet their needs.

MSD's role

MSD is co-ordinating and supporting the welfare response. As part of our support for the welfare response, we have set up dedicated:

  • teams of experienced people in each region
  • COVID-19 welfare support helpline teams.

Regional teams

Teams of experienced people in each region are available seven days a week.

They triage referrals received – connecting people to appropriate local providers where needed, as well as directly assisting people where they can.

COVID Welfare Line

The helpline is available seven days a week.

Helpline staff aim to ensure people get initial help for urgent needs, with more complex needs being co-ordinated by local providers.

Helpline number: 0800 512 337

Support tailored to people's needs

When the Ministry of Health team contacts someone to tell them they need to isolate, Health will also check whether they need any support or help while isolating.

We want people to get support as fast as possible so we quickly assess their needs and connect them to the right support.

People with high-welfare needs are connected with a local provider who is known to them or best suits their needs. People with lower welfare needs are contacted by MSD staff who will get them the support they need, or escalate it to a provider who can.

If it’s financial support to pay for things like food, rent or extra data, we’ll quickly pay that or, if they’re not eligible for financial support from us, we’ll refer them to a provider who can meet their needs.

People who need welfare checks will be called back by either their provider or MSD. Escalation processes are in place for any health concerns identified.

Funding the Care in the Community welfare response

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