The father of Nicky Stevens, a patient of Waikato DHB’s Henry Bennett Centre who died while in the DHB’s care in March last year, was today elected to the Waikato District Health Board.
Although final results will not be confirmed for a few days, Dave Macpherson was elected in 3rd place, out of 20 candidates standing in the Waikato-wide DHB constituency, and will certainly hold his seat after special votes are counted.
Mr Macpherson said the news of his election was “a bittersweet moment” for him.
“Of course I’m pleased to be elected, but I would not have thought of standing had it not been for the death of my son under such terrible circumstances, while in DHB care, and my determination to see that other patients and their families are not put in this situation.”
“At this time, our family is thinking mainly of Nicky.”
“His loss still hurts deeply, and we are still appalled at the lack of care the DHB gave him, and the lack of support our family received from the DHB after Nicky’s death.”
“But I am not standing to gain revenge; rather, I am standing to see that things are improved for patients, for their families and for DHB staff in the future.”
“Mental health services are underfunded, and it is about time the DHB spoke out about this – and put 100% of government funding they do receive into direct mental health services.”
“Complaints channels are bureaucratic nightmares for many patients and families – when they can be found; this has to change.”
“Staff are in many cases overworked and shortchanged in other ways; and do not deserve the appalling attacks management make on them whenever they band together and ask for changes. The DHB Board needs to stick up for them.”
“I see my election as a vote to support these changes.”