COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Information about changes at hospitals and health centres can be found at www.cdhb.health.nz/covid19

Protect yourself against Legionnaires’ this spring

With labour weekend upon us, Cantabrians are being encouraged to protect themselves against legionnaires' this planting season

With labour weekend upon us, Cantabrians are being encouraged to protect themselves against legionnaires' this planting season

Spring is the perfect time to be out in the garden. It’s also the perfect time for enthusiastic gardeners to risk unwittingly releasing Legionnaires’ disease from the depths of their potting mix and compost.

With 23 cases of the disease already confirmed in the region this year, gardeners are being urged to take care with potting mix and compost.

Last year there were 39 hospitalisations from Legionnaires’ in Canterbury.

Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Ramon Pink says Legionnaires’ disease is a form of pneumonia.

“It’s caused by the Legionella bacteria that live in moist organic material and people can catch the disease by inhaling airborne droplets or particles containing the bacteria.

“Gardeners are at particularly high risk of catching Legionnaires' disease as the bacteria thrive in bags of potting mix and compost,” says Dr Pink.

In Canterbury there is typically a spike in cases in early November that can be attributed to the increased gardening activity over Labour weekend, and with a promising forecast this Labour weekend now is the time for people to take the necessary steps to avoid catching the disease.

Dr Pink says there are five simple actions gardeners should take to avoid getting legionnaires’:

  1. Wear a well-fitting disposable face mask and gloves before you begin gardening.
  2. Open potting mix or compost bags carefully by using scissors to cut off the top.
  3. Reduce dust by spraying some water into the bag.
  4. Work with potting mix or compost in a well-ventilated outdoor area.
  5. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling potting mix or compost and before touching your face or removing the mask.

“Legionnaires’ is a very serious illness and following these simple steps can be lifesaving,” says Dr Pink.

The illness may be mild but can sometimes be fatal. It is more common in older people, particularly if they smoke, have poor immunity or a chronic illness. However, sometimes even healthy young people have died from legionella pneumonia.

Symptoms can include dry coughing, high fever, chills, shortness of breath, muscle aches, headaches and diarrhoea. If you have these symptoms, you should contact your general practice team right away for advice and let them know you if have been handling potting mix or compost.

For more information on Legionnaires’, visit: https://www.healthinfo.org.nz/index.htm?Legionnaires-disease-legionellosis.htm

ENDS

In this edition of the CEO Update

Andrew Brant joins Canterbury DHB as Acting Chief Executive and is looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible, and hearing your thoughts and ideas on current challenges and opportunities to continue to provide safe, high quality patient care. He provides an update on Christchurch Campus' new Energy Centre, with work getting underway this week, and also shares a message of thanks from the Board to the Christchurch Hospital Hagley project team for all their hard work in getting us ready for the upcoming move.

This issue also looks at an initiative ensuring fewer children with epilepsy are admitted to the Emergency Department, celebrates the one millionth COVID-19 test, promotes the best ways to protect yourself against Legionnaires' disease this spring, shares an update on what's happening with Holidays Act compliance, and much more.

You can read the Canterbury DHB CEO Update in two different formats:

View on issuu.com Download PDF (5MB)

In this edition of the CEO Update

Acting Chief Executive Peter Bramley says farewell as he prepares to hand over the reins to incoming Acting Chief Executive Andrew Brant at the end of this week. Peter provides an update on last week's partial provisional audit for Christchurch Hospital Hagley and reminds staff that we still have an ambitious savings plan with an expectation we will save $56.9 million before June next year.

This issue also looks at the coordinated surgical planning response in Christchurch during the COVID-19 lockdown, announces the appointment of a new business continuity manager, pays tribute to a long-serving speech language therapist, and much more.

You can read the Canterbury DHB CEO Update in two different formats:

View on issuu.com Download PDF (5MB)

Cantabrians are being urged to catch up on their MMR vaccinations and get their free measles immunisation now

If you’re between 15 and 30 years old and haven’t had your MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine, or you’re not sure, get your free immunisation now.

Last year more than 2,000 Kiwis got sick from measles and more than 700 needed hospital treatment, while 80 people in Samoa, mostly children, died from the disease.

Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Cheryl Brunton says last year’s measles outbreak and this year’s COVID-19 pandemic have shown the impact infectious diseases can have when we are not immune.

“Now is the time to catch up on the vaccinations we have easy access to, such as MMR, to protect our community and whānau in the future,” Dr Brunton says.

People born between 1990 and 2005 have the lowest immunity against measles and are most at risk of catching it because a higher than usual proportion of this age group didn’t have their scheduled childhood MMR vaccinations. This group is not only more likely to catch measles but also spread it to others, which is why there is now a national catch-up programme focusing on improving the immunity of this group.

In most people, one dose of MMR vaccine ensures about 95 percent protection from measles, while two doses provide around 99 percent protection. The vaccine also protects against mumps and rubella. It is safe to have an MMR even if you are unsure if you have been fully immunised.

“We’re urging everyone aged 15 to 30 years old to get at least one MMR vaccination to help prevent future outbreaks of measles.

“Ask your doctor, parents or caregiver if you had two doses of MMR as a kid, and if you didn’t or aren’t sure, it’s a good idea to get one MMR dose now,” says Dr Brunton.

General Practice teams across Canterbury have started inviting people in this age group to come in for their free measles catch up. You can also get an MMR catch up from some pharmacies if you are aged over 16.

“Measles is more than eight times more infectious than COVID-19. It can make you very sick and affect your health for the rest of your life.

“Getting a catch-up MMR vaccination now will make sure you and those around you are protected in the future,” says Dr Brunton.

MMR is also part of the childhood immunisation schedule (which moved to 12 and 15 months from 1 October). Anyone born after 1969 continues to be eligible for two free MMR doses. 

For more information about measles and the MMR vaccination, visit the Ministry of Health’s website protectagainstmeasles.org.nz.

ENDS

In this edition of the CEO Update

Acting Chief Executive Peter Bramley talks about the DHB's continued focus on achieving financial sustainability, shares progress on the move into Christchurch Hospital Hagley and provides an update on the transition to the next Acting Chief Executive and appointments of acting members of the Executive Management Team.

This issue also looks at the rollout of the Care Capacity Demand Management programme, pays tribute to Clinical Director Haematology Mark Smith, shares the innovative research using 3D-print veins and tissue to study bowel disease, promotes a fundraiser for the Christchurch Hospital Hagley Terrace, invites your feedback on the Greater Christchurch 2050 vision, and much more.

You can read the Canterbury DHB CEO Update in two different formats:

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Health News

The DHB welcomes the government’s confirmation of $180M of equity support

Please see below for a statement to be attributed to Peter Bramley, Acting Chief Executive, Canterbury DHB

Canterbury DHB welcomes the government’s confirmation of $180M of equity support.

The purpose of the equity injection is to maintain the DHB’s financial liquidity. The equity support will meet the DHBs forecast cashflow funding needs through to the end of the current 2020/21 financial year.

Canterbury DHB works closely with the Ministry of Health to manage its liquidity and ensure that there is sufficient cashflow to cover the expenditure incurred from the delivery of its services. As with most organisations these expenditure items cover a range of things such as payments to suppliers, heating and lighting for buildings and staffing costs etc.

It is important to note that the $180M equity support simply enables us to keep paying people and our bills.  While we welcome this cash injection it does not change the need to address our ongoing financial sustainability and the draft forecast deficit for 2020/21.

As a DHB, we are working towards financial sustainability.

The DHB’s deficit reduction work started last year when we established a number of Taskforces to look at how we could significantly reduce our costs to improve our financial position. At the end of June 2020 we had already saved $12.9m million for the 2019/20 financial year. Much of this was achieved without significant disruption to how we carry out our day to day work.

The DHB’s current Accelerating Our Future programme of work builds on this and is based on our most recent draft 2020/21 annual plan, and looks at how the DHB can operate more sustainably for the long term and achieve the $56.9m savings plan approved by the Board in August this year.

It looks at a range of options available to the DHB to improve operational efficiency and is focused on initiatives that will deliver both a quality and sustainable health service that builds on the strengths of our integrated health system. This plan has been structured to achieve targeted savings with the least possible impact on patient care and to achieve our broader three-year plan to break even.

ENDS

Health warning  – algal bloom in Lake Pegasus

A health warning is now in place for Lake Forsyth

Canterbury District Health Board’s Community and Public Health unit has issued a health warning after potentially toxic blue-green algae (planktonic cyanobacteria) was found in Te Roto o Wairewa/Lake Forsyth.

People should avoid the lake and animals, particularly dogs, should not be allowed near the water until the health warning has been lifted. 

Dr Cheryl Brunton, Medical Officer of Health, says algal bloom can produce toxins harmful to humans and animals, and people should avoid contact with the water until further notice.

“Exposure may cause skin rashes, nausea, stomach cramps, tingling and numbness around the mouth and fingertips.

“If you experience any of these symptoms after contact with the lake, please visit your doctor immediately and let them know you have had contact with water from the lake,” Dr Brunton says.

No one should drink the water from the lake at any time. Boiling the water does not remove the toxin.

Animals that show signs of illness after coming into contact with algal mats or scums should be taken to a vet immediately.

Fish and shellfish can concentrate toxins and their consumption should be avoided. Further information on gathering Mahinga Kai can be obtained below.

Facts about cyanobacteria:

  • Cyanobacteria occur naturally but can increase rapidly during warmer months.
  • Algal blooms are caused by a combination of nutrients in the water (such as nitrogen and phosphorus), and favourable weather conditions (e.g. increased temperature, calm days).
  • If the water is cloudy, discoloured, or has small globules suspended in it, avoid all contact.
  • Not all cyanobacterial blooms are visible to the naked eye and toxins can persist after the blooms disappear.
  • Cyanobacterial concentrations can change quickly with changing environmental conditions (e.g. wind). If a health warning is in place avoid contact with the water.

For further details visit:

https://www.lawa.org.nz/explore-data/canterbury-region/

Or refer to the Community and Public Health website:

https://www.cph.co.nz/your-health/recreational-water/

For more information about Mahinga Kai:

https://www.cph.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/saf0112.pdf

ENDS

In this edition of the CEO Update

Acting Chief Executive Peter Bramley provides an update on preparations for moving into Christchurch Hospital Hagley, reports on last week's official opening of Te Nikau Grey Hospital and Health Centre on the West Coast, and promotes the new website for the Accelerating our Future programme.

This issue also looks at work being done in the Asceptic and Cytotoxic Area at Christchurch Hospital, promotes the Stand up September restorative approach, encourages people aged 15 to 30 to get a catch-up MMR vaccination, shares the achievements of students completing studies through the Rural Medical Immersion Programme, and much more.

You can read the Canterbury DHB CEO Update in two different formats:

View on issuu.com Download PDF (5MB)
The DHB's visitor policy has again been updated as we navigate our way through COVID-19 alert level three

Changes have been made to the DHB's visitor policy

Please attribute comment to Dr Sue Nightingale, Chief Medical Officer, Canterbury DHB:

Following New Zealand (apart from the greater Auckland region) moving to COVID-19 Alert Level 1, Canterbury DHB has made changes to its visitor restrictions.

The key changes are visiting hours and the number of visitors permitted at our hospitals and health centres. 

We continue to encourage people to keep a record of where they go and when via the NZ COVID Tracer App. Please check in using app at the front door when you enter any of our buildings.

Christchurch Hospital

Under COVID-19 Alert Level 1, visiting hours have changed.

They are now 11am to 1pm and 3pm to 8pm until further notice.

In addition:

  • Only one visitor at a time but it can be a different person each time
  • All people attending an outpatient appointment can have one support person with them
  • There can be more than one family member invited to attend a family meeting
  • Parents and caregivers can be present in paediatric areas as normal

Burwood Hospital

  • Visiting is from 11am to 7pm daily

Christchurch Women’s Hospital/Rangiora Health Hub Maternity/Lincoln Maternity/Ashburton Maternity

  • Partners can visit from 8am to 10pm
  • All other visiting is from 3pm until 8pm

At Alert Level 1 visitors are welcome to wear a mask when visiting our facilities but it is not compulsory.

Visiting any Aged Residential Care Facilities operated by Canterbury DHB needs to be arranged by appointment. This includes Tuarangi Home in Ashburton along with our facilities in Kaikoura, Ellesmere, Oxford, Darfield and Waikari.

Full details of further changes to visiting at other Canterbury DHB facilities are available on our website.

As always, please don’t visit if you’re unwell and remember the usual public health precautions such as practising good hand hygiene and staying a safe distance from people you don’t know. 

If you have COVID-19 symptoms (any acute respiratory infection with at least one of the following symptoms: new or worsening cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, stuffy or runny nose, lost sense of smell – with or without a fever) you should contact your General Practice team or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453. You can be tested for COVID-19 at your General Practice or at a community-based testing centre (CBAC). You do not need a referral to attend a CBAC. Find out more about testing on our website.

If you are unwell and need to see a doctor you should call your usual GP team for advice 24/7. For general health information visit healthinfo.org.nz.

ENDS

In this edition of the CEO Update

Acting Chief Executive Peter Bramley encourages us to ‘reimagine wellbeing together' this Mental Health Awareness Week. He also shares highlights of his recent meetings with staff from throughout the health system, and acknowledges the hard work of those preparing for the move into Christchurch Hospital Hagley.

This issue also looks at how dietitian-led clinics are helping children with diabetes, promotes the electronic Advance Care Planning solution now live across South Island DHBs, showcases innovation at a recent Collaboration Simulation event, encourages people to remain mobile during Stand Up September, and much more.

You can read the Canterbury DHB CEO Update in two different formats:

View on issuu.com Download PDF (5MB)

In this edition of the CEO Update

Acting Chief Executive Peter Bramley shares some reflections on the career and contribution of outgoing Executive Director of Nursing Mary Gordon, and encourages everyone to choose to use te reo this Te Wiki o te reo Māori and beyond.

This issue also looks at a former Canterbury DHB staff member's distinguished service award, acknowledges a four-decade milestone for a Neonatal Hospital Aide, shares the support available for mental wellbeing, promotes the epharmacy solution that is helping to improve service delivery and save time, and much more.

You can read the Canterbury DHB CEO Update in two different formats:

View on issuu.com Download PDF (5MB)
Health News

The DHB is welcoming an announcement from the government today, confirming more parking capacity in close proximity to the Christchurch Hospital campus

Canterbury DHB is welcoming Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration Hon Dr Megan Woods and Minister of Health Hon Chris Hipkins’ announcement of additional car parking capacity in close proximity to the Christchurch Hospital campus.

In addition to the DHB’s Park and Ride service that is already up and running from the new Deans Ave site, Minister Woods’ confirmed that Ngāi Tahu Property, in partnership with Ngāi Tūāhuriri will develop a new car parking building on a parcel of DHB land alongside Canterbury Health Labs in Hagley Avenue. In addition the DHB will be extending its Antigua Street staff car parking building.

As a result of the DHB making land available, a brand new 450 space car parking building will be developed on the corner of St Asaph Street and Hagley Ave, providing a permanent parking solution in close proximity to the Christchurch Hospital campus.

In addition to this, an extension to our existing staff car parking building will now go ahead and provide approximately 240 additional car parks for our staff. The DHB expects this project to be completed in the first half of 2022.

Canterbury DHB Acting Chief Executive, Peter Bramley says these two projects together with the DHB’s new Park and Ride facility, will substantially improve parking for hospital visitors and staff.

“It’s important to recognise the Canterbury community has been dealing with the consequences of a lack of parking since the 2011 earthquakes.

“This has led to us seeking temporary options so that patients and visitors can continue to access the health services they need. A key part of this has been the development of the successful Park and Ride service, which has recently moved to the new Deans Avenue site.

“We’re delighted with this announcement of a more permanent solution for visitors and staff.  

“I’m pleased the DHB has been able to play its part in providing more permanent solutions that will go some way to improving the parking situation.  

“The DHB will continue to work to ensure the community has access to adequate car parking options to assist Cantabrians in accessing health facilities in Christchurch,” says Peter.

ENDS

Additional info – timeline for the extension of the DHB’s Antigua Street staff car park building

 

 

In this edition of the CEO Update

Peter Bramley introduces himself as Acting Chief Executive and provides an update about the executive management team, the work being done to ‘Accelerate our Future’, and the countdown to our move to Christchurch Hospital Hagley.

This issue also looks at a simple device helping patients to recover from Orthopaedic surgery, promotes the Rethinking Rehab programme at Burwood Hospital, celebrates 100,000 COVID-19 tests being completed, shares a new video that shows how to prevent pressure injuries, raises awareness of elder abuse, and much more.

You can read the Canterbury DHB CEO Update in two different formats:

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In this edition of the CEO Update

David looks back on his time as CEO of Canterbury DHB and the West Coast DHB and reflects positively on the challenges we have met as a health system and on our outstanding achievements during that time. He also takes the opportunity to thank staff for their ongoing service to the people of Canterbury and the West Coast and states that it has been a privilege to work with such talented and committed people.

You can read the Canterbury DHB CEO Update in two different formats:

View on issuu.com Download PDF (5MB)

Canterbury's Medical Oncology service is currently operating at below capacity

Due to a significant amount of planned and unplanned staff leave, Canterbury DHB’s Medical Oncology service is operating below its usual capacity.

This has severely reduced the department’s ability to provide first specialist assessments and follow up appointments.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Sue Nightingale says the team is having to reprioritise and defer some appointments to ensure those with the most urgent need are seen soonest.

“We apologise in advance to those patients and their whanau for this unplanned disruption. The team are determined to minimise the delays and make the most of all the resources available,” says Dr Nightingale.

A waiting system for oncology appointments is being implemented to better maximise the department’s current capacity. This will see patients waiting longer than usual for their appointments until the department is operating at full capacity again.

Dr Nightingale says the incidence of cancer in the community is rising as society ages, and that due to improved cancer management and detection, including newly funded medications, additional treatment options, and improved quality and length of life in cancer patients, there has been an exponential rise in the department’s workload.  

“This, coupled with a significant amount of unplanned staff leave in our Medical Oncology team, has resulted in this situation.

“The DHB is doing all it can to minimise the impact for patients and keep waiting time as low as possible. Actions urgently underway to boost capacity include:

It’s important to note that this situation has come about due to unplanned staff leave and increasing demand – and is not in any way related to the DHB’s savings plan.

“Affected patients are all receiving personal calls from the department, notifying them if their Oncology appointment has to be rescheduled. 

“Prioritisation is being given based on clinical urgency, in particular those receiving active therapy, and we continue to work with Primary Care to ensure patients receive the support and care they need,” says Dr Nightingale.

We are hopeful that the measures we are implementing will improve the Canterbury community’s access to Oncology services and help the department return to full capacity, however we know that recruiting oncology specialists can take some time, so we are planning for a range of interim measures to boost capacity over the next six months.

ENDS

In this edition of the CEO Update

CEO David Meates acknowledges this week’s sentencing for the 15 March terror attacks may bring up a range of emotions and shares the support available to those who need it. He pays tribute to the wide-reaching contribution of three valued Executive Team members – Michael Frampton, Carolyn Gullery and Justine White – who are leaving Canterbury DHB at the end of this week, and wishes them all the best in their new roles. He also shares Canterbury DHB’s achievement as one of the top three carbon reducers of 2020.

This issue also promotes the recipient of the University of Otago's Distinguished Research Medal David Murdoch, pays tribute to a smokefree champion retiring after 35 years of service, shares the story of a six-year-old who is baking cookies for a cause, and much more.

You can read the Canterbury DHB CEO Update in two different formats:

View on issuu.com Download PDF (5MB)

CDHB is reminding people there is support available with the sentencing for the mosque attacks beginning this week

With the sentencing for the 15 March 2019 mosque attacks beginning today, people may experience various emotions. This is completely natural and Canterbury DHB is reminding people there are a range of supports they can access.

Canterbury DHB psychiatrist, Dr Caroline Bell says there is likely to be some distress experienced by some in the community when the sentencing opens in Christchurch this week.

“It’s important we’re aware it is natural that any media coverage of the sentencing may reawaken memories of that terrible day,” Dr Bell says.

Everyone should remember that if they want to talk to someone, they can phone or text 1737 to be connected with a counsellor at any time of the day or night. This is a free and confidential service.

People can also seek the support they need through their General Practice team.

“We encourage people to be mindful of how the coverage might impact on people, especially children, and be prepared to limit their media consumption if it begins to feel overwhelming.

“There are simple ways people can care for themselves and others, such as chatting with a friend or going for a walk. Reaching out to others with aroha and kindness can really help.” says Dr Bell.

Other simple things people can do include:

ENDS

Health warning  – algal bloom in Lake Pegasus

The health warning in place for Lake Forsyth has now been removed

Canterbury District Health Board’s Community and Public Health unit has lifted its algal bloom health warning for Lake Forsyth/Te Roto o Wairewa.

Recent water testing at Lake Forsyth/Te Roto o Wairewa has shown the quantity of potentially toxic blue-green algae (planktonic cyanobacteria) in the lake has decreased and concentrations are now below levels that are of concern to public health.

Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Ramon Pink says Environment Canterbury’s sampling of Lake Forsyth/Te Roto o Wairewa will continue on a monthly basis until October when fortnightly monitoring will resume. 

“The public will be informed if testing shows that concentrations have increased and there is a risk to public health again,” Dr Pink says.

Facts about cyanobacteria:

  • The algae occur naturally but can increase rapidly during warmer months.
  • Algal blooms are caused by a combination of nutrients in the water (such as nitrogen and phosphorus), and favourable weather conditions (e.g. increased temperature, calm days).
  • If the water is cloudy, discoloured, or has small globules suspended in it, avoid all contact.
  • Not all cyanobacterial blooms are visible to the naked eye and toxins can persist after the blooms disappear.
  • Cyanobacterial concentrations can change quickly with changing environmental conditions (e.g. wind). If a health warning is in place avoid contact with the water.
  • If a warning is in place, people and animals should not drink the water from the lake at any time, even boiled water.
  • Exposure to an algal bloom can cause skin rashes, nausea, stomach cramps, tingling and numbness around the mouth and fingertips. If you experience any of these symptoms visit your doctor immediately and please let your doctor know if you have had contact with lake water when there is a health warning in place.

For further information visit:

https://www.lawa.org.nz/explore-data/canterbury-region/

Or contact Community and Public Health on (03) 364 1777:

https://www.cph.co.nz/your-health/recreational-water/

For more information about Mahinga Kai:

https://www.cph.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/saf0112.pdf

ENDS

THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.
Canterbury DHB is encouraging visitors to its facilities to bring their own masks

Canterbury DHB is encouraging visitors to its facilities to bring their own masks

Canterbury DHB is reminding people to wear a mask when visiting a hospital or health centre while the region is under COVID-19 Alert Level 2.

The official advice is for people to wear a mask in situations where keeping a safe physical distance from others might be difficult. To stay safe, carry a mask with you whenever you leave the house. If you are taking the hospital shuttle from the Park and Ride to the health precinct, then a mask provides an added layer of protection.

“Please bring your own mask with you when visiting our hospitals,” says Chief Medical Officer Dr Sue Nightingale.

“We have a good supply of disposable masks at the moment but with thousands of people accessing our facilities on a daily basis, it is important for us to use our supplies wisely.”

Staff working at the hospital follow the Ministry of Health’s guidance on personal protective equipment in the workplace. Those working in non-clinical areas or who can maintain safe physical distance from others are not required to wear masks.

Although there is no community transmission of COVID-19 in Canterbury, if people can’t practice safe physical distancing, masks are recommended to provide protection against COVID-19, along with good hand hygiene practices and cough and sneeze etiquette.

Face masks can be either fabric reusable (washable), or a single use disposable face mask. These can be purchased online, from supermarkets or pharmacies or you can make your own fabric reusable (washable) face masks. WHO advice on when and how to use masks including how to make your own can be found on the WHO website.

It’s up to you whether you make your own mask or buy disposable surgical masks. Face coverings such as a bandana or a scarf can also be used if you do not have a mask.

If you’re travelling to hospital via public transport, remember to cover your nose and mouth with a mask or scarf. The Ministry of Health have provided advice on their website for the public regarding wearing masks in the community. The Ministry also has advice on how to use a face mask safely.

“When you enter any of our buildings, check in using the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Tracer App at the front door. This is to help you record where you have been and when,” says Dr Nightingale.

“And, remember, please don’t visit any of our hospitals or health centres if you don’t need to and always stay home if you’re sick.”

ENDS

In this edition of the CEO Update

CEO David Meates shares the news that from next Monday 24 August our free Park and Ride hospital shuttle will be operating from its new home in an upgraded car park on Deans Avenue. He also acknowledges the effort from the team at Canterbury Health Laboratories which has been busy processing COVID-19 swabs from across the country, and provides advice on COVID-19 testing for the general public as well as staff at Canterbury DHB, and Aged Residential Care and Managed Isolation facilities.

This issue also marks 21 years of the Hospital Palliative Care Service, celebrates the life-saving skills of three Christchurch Hospital Intensive Care Unit doctors, and much more.

You can read the Canterbury DHB CEO Update in two different formats:

View on issuu.com Download PDF (5MB)

THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.
The DHB's visitor policy has again been updated as we navigate our way through COVID-19 alert level three

Changes have been made to the DHB's visitor policy

Please attribute comment to Dr Sue Nightingale, Chief Medical Officer, Canterbury DHB:

Following New Zealand (apart from the greater Auckland region) moving to COVID-19 Alert Level 2, Canterbury DHB has made changes to its visitor restrictions.

The key changes are the number of visitors permitted at our hospitals and health centres, visiting hours and visitors being asked to wear a mask. 

We encourage people to keep a record of where they go and when via the NZ COVID Tracer App. Please check in using app at the front door when you enter any of our buildings.

Christchurch Hospital

Under COVID-19 Alert Level 2, visiting hours have changed and are from 3pm – 8pm until further notice. In addition:

  • One visitor at a time is allowed in adult areas.
  • One support person is allowed in outpatient areas.
  • Two parents/caregivers are allowed in child health areas.
  • Charge nurse managers can make exceptions on compassionate grounds.

Burwood Hospital

Visiting hours remain 11am – 7pm and:

  • Only two visitors may visit an inpatient at a time. These can be different people each time. 
  • People attending an outpatient appointment can have one support person with them.
  • Charge nurse managers can make exceptions on compassionate grounds.

Christchurch Women’s Hospital/Rangiora Health Hub Maternity/Lincoln Maternity/Ashburton Maternity

There is no change to visiting at Christchurch Women’s Hospital under Alert Level 2 with women in labour allowed two support people for the duration of her labour and birth.

For the duration of their postnatal stay a woman can have one named support person from the above bubble who will be able to visit once per day for any length of time from 10am-8pm (they will have to sign in at reception)

 

At Alert Level 2 we are asking all visitors to wear a mask when visiting our facilities if they can. It can be a fabric mask or scarf but must cover your nose and mouth.

There is no visiting at any Aged Residential Care Facilities operated by Canterbury DHB. This includes Tuarangi Home in Ashburton along with our facilities in Kaikoura, Ellesmere, Oxford, Darfield and Waikari.

Full details of further changes to visiting at other Canterbury DHB facilities are available on our website.

As always, please don’t visit if you’re unwell and remember the usual public health precautions such as hand hygiene and physical distancing (wherever possible stay two metres away from people you don’t know, and one metre away from people you do know). 

If you have COVID-19 symptoms (any acute respiratory infection with at least one of the following symptoms: new or worsening cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, stuffy or runny nose, lost sense of smell – with or without a fever) you should contact your General Practice team or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

Most GP teams are offering testing if you have these symptoms. If you have symptoms and are not registered with a GP team you can attend the testing centre run by Whānau Ora at 250 Pages Road between 9am to 1pm, seven days a week. You do not need an appointment to attend. 

If you are unwell and need to see a doctor you should call your usual GP team for advice 24/7. For general health information visit healthinfo.org.nz.

ENDS

The free shuttle is on the move from 24 August

The free shuttle is on the move from 24 August

Canterbury DHB’s popular Hospital Shuttle, which has carried more than one and a quarter million passengers since it was set up in late October 2014, will run from the new Deans Ave Car Park from Monday August 24.

With 200 patient and visitor car parks and up to 150 new staff car parks, the new site will provide clean, sealed, lit and secure car parking plus a covered stop for those waiting for the shuttle.

Canterbury DHB Chief Executive, David Meates says this gives us dedicated patient, visitor and staff parking for Christchurch Hospital.

“We’re aware that it’s not always easy for our patients and visitors to get a park in the Lichfield St car park. With the Deans Ave car park there will be ample parking spaces for patients and visitors with reliable and regular transport for them to and from the hospital with our shuttle service,” David says.

The free Hospital Shuttle runs every 15 minutes, from 7.15am – 8.30pm Monday to Friday and 11.00am – 8.00pm weekends, with a lunch break on weekends for the driver from 2.30 pm to 3.15pm when no shuttle will operate.

A new and sophisticated ticketing system will be installed similar to that used at Lichfield St and rates will be slightly lower than those charged currently. 

“We are returning to a location that is already familiar – although much improved – and the Deans Ave location means patients and visitors can avoid the city centre when travelling to their appointments. The car park will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will be well lit and secure.

“The journey time on the shuttle should be the same as from Lichfield St or slightly quicker, as there are fewer traffic lights for the shuttles to negotiate,” says David.

More information will shortly be available at www.cdhb.health.nz/parking  

ENDS

KEY FACTS

Canterbury DHB’s Hospital Shuttle will be running from the Deans Avenue car park from 24 August 2020

Canterbury DHB’s Hospital Shuttle will be running from the Deans Avenue car park from 24 August 2020

 

 

THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.

Covid-19

We have seen a huge increase in demand for testing and we have put on increased testing capacity to help to meet this demand.

Testing is only available for people with symptoms of COVID-19. People without symptoms will not be tested at the moment.

You should contact your GP first if you are unwell and they will likely be able to offer you testing. If this is not available you can attend a testing centre instead.

You will only be tested for COVID-19 at a testing centre – they won’t do a health assessment, so it is important that if you are unwell and need to see a doctor or be assessed, you should contact your GP team as normal.

You do not need a referral to attend a testing centre, you can drive-up or walk-in. Please be aware though that due to high demand, you may have to wait a long time. Please arrive at least half an hour before the facility closes.

Thursday 13th and Friday 14th August
Whānau ora CBAC – 250 Pages Road: 9am-5pm
Orchard Road CBAC – 174 Orchard Road: 9-4pm
Ashburton CBAC – 28 Elizabeth Street, Ashburton (hospital site): 10am-2pm

THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.
Covid-19

Aged Residential Care Facilities following usual infectious disease protocols

Please attribute to Dr Cheryl Brunton, Medical Officer of Health, Canterbury DHB:

Canterbury DHB has received numerous media queries regarding a number of Christchurch rest-homes which are described as being in lockdown or partial lockdown.

When an Aged Residential Care facility has a resident or a group of residents who are unwell restricting visitors and isolating the resident/s is the most appropriate course of action. This is not new – taking a precautionary approach and keeping residents separate from each other and asking visitors to stay away is one of the most important actions ARC facilities can take to reduce the spread of infectious diseases. This protects other residents and staff.

Isolation is the correct protocol for any infectious disease including norovirus (a vomiting and diarrhoea illness), influenza or other respiratory infections – including COVID-19, along with increasing the level of PPE used by staff, stringent attention to hand hygiene, and scrupulous cleaning of high touch point areas (such as door handles, keyboards, phones etc).

These rest homes are to be commended for proactively taking steps to protect their residents and staff.  Many residents have been swabbed and to date all test results have returned negative for COVID-19. At this time of year there are many different flu-like respiratory illnesses circulating and we expect this will continue into early spring as it does most years.

We have good systems in place to support our response to outbreaks of any infectious diseases. Canterbury DHB’s Infection, Prevention and Control team along with Community & Public Health work collaboratively with Aged Residential Care providers to provide specialist advice when required.

In line with the Ministry of Health’s latest advice in response to community cases of COVID-19 in Auckland, all rest homes should now be restricting visiting under Alert Level 2.

THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.
Infection Prevention advice for Cantabrians under COVID Alert Level 2

Infection Prevention advice for Cantabrians under COVID Alert Level 2

Please attribute to Dr Cheryl Brunton, Medical Officer of Health, Canterbury DHB:

While the pop-up COVID-19 testing in our community over the weekend returned no positive results, with recent developments it is not a time for us to ease up on our precautions against COVID-19.

From noon Wednesday 12 August New Zealand (apart from the greater Auckland region) will move Alert Level 2. This means you can still go to work and school, but you should:

  • keep your distance from other people in public (two metres in public and in retail stores, like supermarkets and clothes shops. One metre in most other environments like workplaces, cafes, restaurants, and gyms)
  • wash your hands
  • sneeze and cough into your elbow
  • keep a track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen
  • wear masks in situations where physical distancing is not possible, like on public transport or in shops.

If you're unwell, stay home. Don’t go to work or school. Don’t socialise.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms (any acute respiratory infection with at least one of the following symptoms: new or worsening cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, stuffy or runny nose, lost sense of smell – with or without a fever) you should contact your General Practice team or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453. Most GP teams are offering testing if you have these symptoms.

If you have symptoms and are not registered with a GP team you can attend the testing centre run by Whānau Ora at 250 Pages Road between 9am to 1pm, seven days a week. You do not need an appointment to attend. 

If you are unwell and need to see a doctor you should call your usual GP team for advice 24/7. For general health information visit healthinfo.org.nz.

More information on Alert level 2 can be found here: https://covid19.govt.nz/covid-19/restrictions/alert-level-2/

ENDS

In this edition of the CEO Update

CEO David Meates provides an update on the plan to roll-out the National Bowel Screening Programme in Canterbury. He also reports on the pop-up COVID-19 testing centre held in Christchurch over the weekend to ensure there is no community transmission here. More than 320 people turned up to be tested and David thanks them for their efforts, along with the health professionals who stepped up to carry out the testing. Lastly, David acknowledges the outpouring of messages and support he has received since he announced his resignation.

This issue also looks at how Canterbury DHB is the national host for InterRAI, an application used to assess an older person's care needs; how the role of Registered Nurses in Interventional Radiology has been re-defined and expanded; shares the benefits of a new environmentally friendlier ultrasound gel; looks at how the Pharmacy team stepped up during lockdown; promotes changes to plastic recycling rules, and much more.

You can read the Canterbury DHB CEO Update in two different formats:

View on issuu.com Download PDF (5MB)

THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.

Covid-19

Canterbury people without COVID-19 symptoms who wish to be tested for the virus can visit a pop-up testing centre at 170 Orchard Road near Christchurch Airport from 10am to 4pm this Saturday 8 August.

Getting a free COVID-19 test helps us rule out cases of COVID-19 in our community and helps keep our families and the country safe.

The temporary testing facility will have capacity for drive-through with testing through car windows, or walk-ins. For those without their own transport the nearest bus-stop is on Harewood Road, route 125.

Please follow staff instructions on arrival and visit early in the day if you can, in case of high demand. If you arrive close to 4pm and there are people waiting ahead of you we may not be able to fit you in. There may be a wait on arrival so please be patient.

You will be sent your result via text message but it may take up to 72 hours to receive your result. If you have a GP, your result will be available to them as well. 

If you have COVID-19 symptoms (any acute respiratory infection with at least one of the following symptoms: new or worsening cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, stuffy or runny nose, lost sense of smell – with or without a fever) you should contact your General Practice team or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453. Most GP teams are offering testing if you have these symptoms.

If you have symptoms and are not registered with a GP team you can attend the testing centre run by Whānau Ora at 250 Pages Road between 9am to 1pm, seven days a week. You do not need an appointment to attend. 

If you are unwell and need to see a doctor you should call your usual GP team for advice 24/7. For general health information visit healthinfo.org.nz.

More information about COVID-19 and Canterbury DHB services can be found at www.cdhb.health.nz/covid-19

ENDS

In this edition of the CEO Update

CEO David Meates outlines some of the steps and key dates leading up to the move into Christchurch Hospital Hagley later this year. He also shares the innovation in health and technology on show at last week’s Techie Brekkie as part of TechWeek 2020.

This issue also looks at how teamwork ensured ICU was ready for COVID-19 patients; a policy change that would improve the health of Kiwi kids' teeth; a fond farewell to some long-serving colleagues; health technology, and much more.

You can read the Canterbury DHB CEO Update in two different formats:

View on issuu.com Download PDF (5MB)

Health News

A nationwide study was released today evaluating the link between community water fluoridation and the experience of severe tooth decay in four-year-old New Zealand children

Kiwi kids are suffering unnecessarily from severe tooth decay that could be prevented, according to research published today in JAMA Paediatrics, the highest-ranking journal of Paediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health in the world.

The nation-wide study, evaluating the link between community water fluoridation and the experience of severe tooth decay in four-year-old New Zealand children, analysed the B4 School Check screening programme data of 275,000 children over a five-year period from 2011 to 2016.

The findings show children who didn’t have a fluoridated water supply were 20% more likely to have severe tooth decay.

“Modern dentistry can only do so much to tackle this issue and by the time children receive dental care it’s often too late to save their baby teeth, which then affects the development of adult teeth,” says Dr Martin Lee, Canterbury’s Community Dental Service Clinical Director. “Community water fluoridation is the safest and most cost-effective preventative strategy we have to protect the teeth of all Kiwi kids, and the teeth of all New Zealanders generally.”

Nearly one in seven (15%) of four-year-olds who had had a B4 School Check were found to be severely affected by tooth decay. While the rates of severe decay were much higher for Māori and Pacific children and children living in deprived areas, no-one was immune – 7% of NZ/European children and children living in the least deprived areas had severe tooth decay.

Four-year-olds with severe decay frequently need a general anaesthetic for their dental treatment and many of those on hospital waiting lists have chronic toothache and abscesses.

New Zealand has a long-term national policy supporting community water fluoridation, yet only 54% of the population currently receives it. A Bill proposing moving responsibility for this from Councils to District Health Boards, introduced in 2016, has not been progressed since a health select committee report in 2017.

Lead author of the study, Philip Schluter, Professor of Population Health at the University of Canterbury (UC), says the burden on the dental health of Kiwi kids is not shared equally across the country.

“The research shows the current lack of widespread community water fluoridation disproportionately affects children living in the most deprived areas, with Māori and Pacific children more likely to experience worse oral health than pakeha, even after accounting for key sociodemographic factors,” says Professor Schluter.

“We hope that the real-world evidence provided in this research will be used in evidence-based policy-making to combat the woeful oral health burdens and neglect carried unnecessarily by so many children in New Zealand.”

The research was undertaken by a team of legal, public health, dental, water quality, and geospatial specialists: Professor Philip Schluter, University of Canterbury (Population Health expert); Dr Martin Lee (Canterbury’s Community Dental Service Clinical Director); Helen Atkins (Director of Atkins Holm Majurey, New Zealand’s leading specialist environmental law firm; and President-elect, Water New Zealand); Mr Barry Mattingley (Senior Scientist in drinking water quality at ESR, a New Zealand Crown Research Institute); and Dr Matthew Hobbs, University of Canterbury (Senior Lecturer in Public Health with specialist geospatial expertise).

Key points/findings

  • Study of 275,000 Kiwi children over a five-year period (2011–2016) found:
    • Children in areas without a fluoridated water supply were 20% more likely to have severe tooth decay
    • Māori and Pacific children living in the most deprived areas were 8 and 12 times (respectively) to have severe tooth decay
    • 7% of NZ/European children and children living in the least deprived areas had severe tooth decay
    • Nearly one in seven (15%) of four-year-olds who had had a B4 School Check were found to be severely affected by tooth decay.
  • New Zealand has a long-term national policy supporting community water fluoridation, yet only 54% of the population receives it.
  • A Bill proposing moving responsibility for community water fluoridation from Councils to District Health Boards, introduced in 2016, has not been progressed since a health select committee report in 2017.

ENDS

In this edition of the CEO Update

CEO David Meates highlights recent research into the health of Canterbury kids’ teeth and looks at last week’s public lecture with Canterbury clinicians discussing the latest on COVID-19.

This issue also looks at the local expert advising on the development of a COVID-19 vaccine; celebrates the great work by Personal Protective Equipment champions; highlights the value of Emergency Department physiotherapists; outlines some of the technology gains from COVID-19, and much more.

You can read the Canterbury DHB CEO Update in two different formats:

View on issuu.com Download PDF (5MB)

In this edition of the CEO Update

CEO David Meates shares another significant milestone on Canterbury DHB’s journey to better integrated health care, with the one millionth clinical note created in Cortex. He also welcomes Greg Hamilton to his new role as General Manager Specialist Mental Health Services.

This issue also promotes the positive impact of the Maternity Assessment Unit, shares the adventures of Harry the Burwood Hospital cat, looks at the success of remote consultations during COVID-19 lockdown, celebrates how the online Sparklers wellbeing resource is making a difference to Kiwi kids, and much more.

You can read the Canterbury DHB CEO Update in two different formats:

View on issuu.com Download PDF (5MB)

In this edition of the CEO Update

CEO David Meates talks about what we are doing to identify ways to improve the way we work and deliver the changes needed to ensure we can continue to do the best for our patients and realise savings targets.

This issue also farewells a retiring haematologist who chose a career in medicine following an experience in Papua New Guinea, tells the tale of a technician's time in a managed quarantine hotel, highlights the work of a registered nurse who will soon be retiring after 50 years of working in the health system, and much more.

You can read the Canterbury DHB CEO Update in two different formats:

View on issuu.com Download PDF (5MB)

In this edition of the CEO Update…

CEO David Meates celebrates our Acute Demand Management Service, which began 20 years ago this month, detailing how it set the platform for the integrated health system we have today.

This issue also covers the work that happened during Alert Levels 3 and 4 around acute plans for people who likely needed emergency or after-hours medical care, highlights the welcome the Southern Cancer Network team received from team at Te Aho o Te Kahu after the two organisations merged, and more.

You can read the Canterbury DHB CEO Update in two different formats:

View on issuu.com Download PDF (5MB)

ISG Enterprise Devices Team Leader Rahul Mukherjee and Chief Digital Officer Stella Ward show off the DHB's ElectroClave

Canterbury DHB’s Information Services Group (ISG) is now able to safely disinfect devices such as tablets and cell phones when they are returned to ISG from wards and clinical units.

In a COVID-19 world, good hygiene has become top of many people's minds. Mobile electronic devices such as iPads and mobile phones can carry harmful germs and can act as inadvertent ‘spreaders’ of infectious diseases. While mobile devices need regular cleaning, it isn’t as straight forward as picking up a disinfectant wipe to clean a device, given that moisture can damage electronic equipment.

This is where the ElectroClave comes in. It uses UV-C (short-wavelength ultraviolet) light for 360-degree sterilisation, killing 99.9 percent of pathogens. Its cooling system is also designed to prevent devices from being overheated. It’s already used across healthcare in several other countries.

Canterbury was the first DHB in New Zealand to trial the ElectroClave. Following its successful use, it is now the first organisation in New Zealand to be using it.

“We know that COVID-19 virus can survive on hard surfaces for up to 72 hours. This was a risk that we needed to mitigate to keep our staff safe and provide them with something they can use to do their job safely,” ISG Enterprise Devices Team Leader Rahul Mukherjee said.

How does it work?

First, the device is wiped down to remove any excess oil or dust. The device is then placed within the ElectroClave unit with the screen facing down on one of the shelves. The length of the cycle can be customised anywhere from a 60-second rapid cycle up to six minutes, depending on the size of the device.

“Since the introduction of the ElectroClave unit, we have adjusted our processes to ensure when devices come back to ISG from clinical areas to be repaired, we clean them in the ElectroClave before we start working on them. It gives our staff the assurance they’re working on devices that have been cleaned and cleared of any pathogens that could be passed on from the devices,” Rahul says.  

Chief Digital Officer, Stella Ward is impressed by the unit’s ability to sanitise hard-to-clean devices, and charge them at the same time. “From both a Health IT and infection control perspective, we have gained efficiencies in the way we manage our devices such as tablets and smart phones,” Stella says.

ENDS

Is yours the next great innovative HealthTech idea or solution?


Challenge aims to confirm Christchurch as NZ’s centre of health innovation 

Ōtautahi Christchurch aims to become the home of health tech innovation in New Zealand with the HealthTech Supernode Challenge, opening Monday 29 June.

With a total prize pool across multiple categories valued at over $340,000, there are plenty of reasons to enter the HealthTech Supernode Challenge. This includes entry into a virtual pre-accelerator programme, the potential for startup investment, a Canterbury District Health Board validation contract, and an exclusive invitation to a further startup incubator programme.  

Most importantly, all Challenge finalists will receive extensive profile, new networks and exposure to one of NZ’s most prolific health innovation ecosystems.  

The nationwide challenge, sponsored by ChristchurchNZ, is open to anyone with a healthtech innovation or idea – from students and startups to researchers, and healthcare professionals. 

The aim of the Challenge is to identify and generate commercially viable solutions that address real healthcare problems focusing on the Aged Care sector and Rural New Zealand. There is also an Open category to ensure no innovation is left uncovered.

Applications opened 29 June 2020 and will close on 16 August, with finalists announced 19 August. Anyone in New Zealand can apply.  Visit healthtechchallenge.co.nz for more information.

Up to 20 finalists will embark on an intensive, six-week virtual pre-accelerator programme to support teams through a market validation process that will rigorously test their idea.

The top finalists emerging from the pre-accelerator will present to a panel of experts at a Demo Night, to be held on 22 October at Manawa, in the heart of Te Papa Hauora Christchurch Health Precinct. Judges include Microbiologist and Media Commentator, Dr. Siouxsie Wiles and Ian Town, New Zealand’s Chief Science Advisor at the Ministry of Health. 

The HealthTech Supernode Challenge is delivered by the Ministry of Awesome and the University of Canterbury’s Centre for Entrepreneurship with support from ChristchurchNZ, KiwiNet, and Ryman Healthcare. 

Healthtech is a growth sector for Christchurch and an area of existing strength, with the city looking for opportunities to continue to attract and grow talent, business and innovation.

Joanna Norris CEO ChristchurchNZ said there is no city better placed than Christchurch to host the Challenge.

“Ōtautahi Christchurch is home to Te Papa Hauora, a world-class Health Precinct which integrates research and innovation with education and community wellbeing, pair this with the talent coming out of the tertiaries and a thriving tech ecosystem and we’ve got the perfect testbed to challenge the status quo and find new ways to address the biggest health issues facing the globe.

I have no doubt we’ll see some very competitive submissions coming through with the potential to drive the city’s economic recovery and create new high-value jobs.’’

ENDS

CEO UpdateIn this edition of the CEO Update…

CEO David Meates reflects on a visit by the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern to our Community and Public Health offices last Thursday, where she acknowledged the critical role that public health plays in keeping our communities well. He also talks about our financial situation, following media coverage of the deficit last week.

This issue also covers the hard work of our Infection Prevention and Control Team in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, how knitting during break times has brought the Physiotherapy department together, promotes a health tech innovation challenge, and more.

You can read the Canterbury DHB CEO Update in two different formats:

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In this edition of the CEO Update…

It’s National Volunteer Week and CEO David Meates warmly welcomes back our team of volunteers across the organisation. They have been staying home and staying safe during the COVID-19 alert levels, but are now returning to their roles to the delight of staff, patients and visitors alike. David also shares how Canterbury DHB's carbon footprint will be almost halved and our coal consumption will drop to zero over the next 18 months

This issue also looks at how the Dialysis Service pivoted during COVID-19 lockdown to keep caring for dialysis patients, celebrates the 25th anniversary of the rural mental health team, acknowledges the incredible contribution of former Director of Nursing Older Persons' Health and Rehabilitation Diana Gunn after 30 years with Canterbury DHB, and much more.

You can read the Canterbury DHB CEO Update in two different formats:

View on issuu.com Download PDF (5MB)

THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.
The DHB's visitor policy has again been updated as we navigate our way through COVID-19 alert level three

Changes have been made to the DHB's visitor policy

Please attribute comment to Dr Sue Nightingale, Chief Medical Officer, Canterbury DHB:

Under Alert Level 1 Canterbury DHB has begun to relax some of its visitor restrictions that were in place at its facilities under other Alert Levels as a precaution, to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

The public can expect to see fewer restrictions in place in terms of physical distancing requirements and visiting hours. We have already stopped screening people at the entrances to our facilities, however we encourage people to keep a record of where they go and when. This can be done by ‘checking in’ via the QR code at the entrances to our facilities, or keeping a diary note of where they go and when. This information is useful if we were to have a case and needed to advise the public.   

The main changes are to the visiting hours at Christchurch Hospital.

For most areas at Christchurch Hospital public visiting was previously condensed to between 3pm and 9pm. Visiting hours have now been extended to between 11am – 1pm and 3pm – 8pm.

There is still only one visitor at a time permitted for each patient, but it can be a different person each time. All people attending an outpatient appointment can have one support person with them. Parents and caregivers can be present in paediatric areas as normal.

There have also been some minor changes to visiting arrangements at our maternity facilities.

For women staying at Christchurch Women’s Hospital/Rangiora Health Hub maternity/Lincoln Maternity/Ashburton Maternity, partners can visit from 8am to 10pm. All other visiting is from 11am to 1pm and then 3pm to 8pm.

Burwood Hospital visiting hours are now 11am to 7pm daily.

Full details of further changes to visiting at other Canterbury DHB facilities are available on our website.

People should not come visiting a hospital if they are sick or have any flu-like symptoms. People should also keep up the good hygiene practices such as washing and thoroughly drying hands, and using hand gel where it is provided.

Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms should phone for advice. Either your own General Practice team or Healthline’s COVID-19 line 0800 358 5453.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to common illnesses such as a cold or influenza. You may have one or more of the following:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature (at least 38˚C)
  • shortness of breath
  • a sore throat
  • sneezing and runny nose
  • temporary loss of smell.

ENDS

Medsalv's Oliver Hunt and Chris Gillan from the Sustainable Business Network

Medsalv's Oliver Hunt and Chris Gillan from the Sustainable Business Network

How Via Innovations is helping keep it local and supporting a more sustainable post-COVID business environment

While people managed life under COVID Alert Levels 3 and 4, the health sector was under huge pressure and the demands being made of the health system were unprecedented.

Canterbury and West Coast DHB’s Chief Digital Officer and Executive Sponsor for Via Innovations, Stella Ward says it is during such times of extraordinary stress that people are most likely to think outside the square because ‘what we usually do’ no longer applies.

“When a health-related event as disruptive as a pandemic hits the health sector, it is a time for the creatives, for the innovators and those best able to adapt quickly. For them, a major system-shock like COVID-19 also creates new opportunities.”

“Take for example Medsalv, a business that was developed specifically to reduce waste and stretch the health dollar further. Add that Medsalv is New Zealand-based, and that it reduces reliance on now unstable overseas supply chains – and you have a winning formula for these challenging COVID-19 times.”

After proving the concept and delivering savings and reduced waste as promised, Medsalv has now secured a long-term contract with Canterbury DHB, through Via Innovations.

Via Innovations is a specialist business unit within the DHB that helps people with health innovations develop viable products or services, and provides the expertise and investment needed to commercialise them.

Via’s Innovation Director, Anya Hornsey, says that any new device or service that will be used in a hospital environment requires detailed planning and robust testing to ensure appropriate safety, quality and performance standards will be met.

“Medsalv continue to deliver on their promise of reducing both costs and waste, without compromising the high quality and safety standards required of medical devices,” says Anya.

Medsalv’s founder and CEO, Oliver Hunt, says the business initially targeted high volume, high cost, non-invasive single-use devices which can be cleaned and tested using processes comparable to or even more stringent than those used by the original manufacturer. One example is Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) compression sleeves that are used in conjunction with reusable pumps to prevent DVT.

“Our focus has always been on reducing waste and the cost to the health system by getting more uses from each device – and at the end of their usable lives, ensuring they are separated into recyclable components, so much less waste eventually ends up in landfill,” Oliver says.

Savings to date are fast approaching $100,000 for Canterbury DHB, and Medsalv has more recently been working with New Zealand’s leading private hospitals, such as MercyAscot, to deliver more sustainable healthcare. As some items have been reused as many as six to eight times, the quantity of new products ordered has reduced by the same volume.

That also means tonnes of used products that would once have gone to landfill have instead been recycled – a win-win for the health system and the environment.

People are still finding some items are in short supply, or available only at a premium price, and the fact that everything is taking much longer to deliver, especially products that come from overseas. Businesses are having the same experience.

However, you can’t get more local than Medsalv – who offer the same product at a reduced cost, generate less waste, and are helping break New Zealand’s dependence on overseas medical equipment suppliers.

“Medsalv also provides jobs here in New Zealand, rather than halfway around the world – and any investment in Medsalv – like the Waste Minimisation Grant made by the Ministry for the Environment in 2019 – stays right here in New Zealand. In the current COVID-19 business climate the benefits of reusing items increase – we are ensuring our supplies of scarce or unavailable items last longer. Where items have gone up in price, the savings are even greater than before.”

Although based on a winning idea, with the drive to make it work, Medsalv credits its success to support from early backers including Canterbury DHB’s Via Innovations Unit. Via Innovations provided commercialisation expertise, alongside other supporters including the University of Canterbury, the Sustainable Initiatives Fund/Trust, Canterbury DHB, and MercyAscot hospitals.

“These organisations had the vision to support us getting our concept off the ground. I’m extremely proud that we’ve been able to deliver on our promises of reduced cost and waste, and to have created significant savings for each hospital we’re working with,” Oliver says.                                                                                 

To find out more visit Medsalv.com

Learn more about Canterbury DHB’s Via Innovations Unit

To read about other devices that can be re-used or recycled visit Commonly reprocessed medical devices

ENDS

In this edition of the CEO Update…

CEO David Meates highlights the collaborative efforts of our Information Services Group, St John and Orion to integrate different software systems, making the handover of paper copies of Ambulance Care Summary notes a thing of the past.

This issue also congratulates the TransAlpine Communications team for being awarded the PR In-House Team of the Year at this year's PRINZ Awards, shares how the DHB is reusing what were formerly single-use items, details a $600,000 gift agreement from the Wayne Francis Charitable Trust which will ensure that treatment offered to children and young people with rare forms of cancer is equivalent to that offered in Australia, and much more.

You can read the Canterbury DHB CEO Update in two different formats:

View on issuu.com Download PDF (5MB)

Page last updated: 15 June 2020

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