Monday 30 May 2022Canterbury DHB News4 minutes to read
“Keep the Emergency Department for emergencies only” is the message from clinicians as we head into winter.
Following an increase in viral respiratory illness being seen in the community, Christchurch Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) continues to experience a high number of presentations. Over the weekend, we saw more than 700 people present at ED which led to long wait times for those with less serious illnesses and today is expected to remain busy into the evening.
ED Clinical Director Dr Mark Gilbert says it would be incredibly helpful if people make use of the various care options available to them or managed minor ailments at home if they don’t have serious emergency needs.
“This will enable our ED staff to focus on those who really need emergency care and continue to provide quality care, particularly over weekends,” says Dr Gilbert.
“I would like to emphasise though, that if you are really unwell, we want to see you at ED.”
If you’re worried about yourself, or someone in your whanau who has a respiratory illness, see the checklist here of symptoms to watch out for, and when you should seek medical advice.
Canterbury DHB’s Senior Responsible Officer for Winter Planning, Becky Hickmott says influenza is now circulating in our community and DHB and community healthcare staff are also being affected by winter illnesses.
“Please get your flu jab and if your symptoms worsen, phone Healthline or your general practice team for advice first rather than heading straight to ED. Early advice can prevent you becoming so unwell that hospital is your only option.
“It’s really important that we keep up the healthy habits that can prevent illness from spreading such as physical distancing and wearing masks. Help our clinical teams and our most vulnerable people by keeping up all the really great habits we have learnt over the past two years.
“Your general practice or healthcare provider should be your first port of call if your health issue is not an emergency. Please plan ahead as much as possible for your routine health care, and book early. Your usual healthcare provider will offer some urgent appointments when required. It’s important to call your General Practice team if you’re concerned.
‘If after hours care is needed people are encouraged to phone Healthline on 0800 611 116 for free health advice 24/7 or visit one of the Urgent Care centres in Canterbury. If people come to ED with something that could be treated by a GP or with advice from a pharmacist they may be advised of alternative options. People with non-emergency conditions are likely to experience a long wait to be seen in ED and at Urgent Care centres as we need to triage everyone presenting to ensure those in the greatest need, with life-threatening conditions are seen first,” Becky Hickmott said.
Christchurch Hospital’s ED is the sole emergency medical facility in the city and one of the busiest in Australasia.
Trusted health advice
You can also visit our HealthInfo website or your community pharmacy for health advice.
HealthInfo is a health information website that has information specific to Canterbury. It is written and approved by local doctors, practice nurses, hospital clinicians, and other healthcare professionals and features a mix of health information, fact sheets on different topics and descriptions of local health services.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, it is important that people keep up their healthy habits:
A reminder that visitor restrictions remain in place at DHB facilities: https://www.cdhb.health.nz/your-health/hospital-services-in-canterbury/
For further information, contact: email@example.com
Page last updated: 30 May 2022
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