A department of Nelson Marlborough Health, Disability Support Services (DSS) supports people who have an intellectual or physical disability.

Their philosophy is to provide person-centred support enabling their clients to live an ordinary life. This philosophy is reflected in the Health Passport.

In 2013 DSS introduced the passports as part of a Health and Disability Commission initiative. The passport is a distinctive purple booklet written by, or with, a DSS client. It describes their needs and the best way to communicate with them.

Because the people DSS supports may have cognitive, physical, emotional or behavioural challenges, the Health Passport is particularly useful when a person has to attend a medical appointment. It contains essential, confidential information a DSS client wants healthcare workers to know about them, and is designed to be easily carried by a DSS client.

The DSS encourages their clients to create a Health Passport at the same time a Wellbeing Plan is written.



David's story

While David was at Day Services he became increasingly unwell and was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.

Because David had a Health Passport the medical staff were able to understand that he was normally active and enjoyed a good quality of life. His passport provided information about his levels of independence and his capability to make decisions about medical treatment.

For much of the time David was in hospital he wasn’t able to talk as he had tubes in his mouth and nose, but nursing staff found his Health Passport useful.

All members of David’s household now have a Health Passport.