New Christchurch Outpatients building to remain closed until Monday 15 April

Thursday 4 April 2019Media release3 minutes to read

Water is pumped out of the Outpatients building early on Monday morning

Please attribute comment to David Meates, Chief Executive, Canterbury District Health Board

Despite extraordinary efforts from a large team working to dry-out and fix the damage caused when fire-sprinklers drenched the interior of the new outpatients building last Friday 29 March, it will not be ready to open until Monday 15 April. 

This is extremely disappointing for our staff and for the thousands of people whose outpatient appointments will have to be postponed.

Last week we found temporary homes for the 300 staff who usually work in this building, and some services found temporary locations to provide the urgent clinics for people who needed to be seen urgently.

It really is heart-breaking to see the damage caused, and the additional pressure this flood has put on our staff and the delays it has caused to patient appointments. This is another disruption we could well do without.

While the clean-up and dry-out work has progressed well this week, it is now clear that the building will remain closed for another week until at least Monday 15 April to allow the necessary repairs and testing to be carried out to ensure it’s safe for staff and patients to reoccupy.

Unfortunately, this means we will have to continue to postpone and reschedule up to 700 outpatient appointments each day until the building is reopened. Anyone whose appointment has to be postponed and rescheduled will be contacted by phone or text.We are deeply concerned about the impact of this closure on the thousands of people affected. Everyone who has an outpatient appointment needs to be seen. Our patients have been referred for clinical reasons and delays to their assessments and treatments can be distressing.

Arrangements are continuing to be made for some urgent appointments for acutely unwell people to go ahead in alternative locations. Affected patients are being advised of the alternative location of their appointment.

Contacting and rescheduling so many appointments is a massive undertaking for our booking and administrative staff, and all of our teams are working extremely hard to get this building reopened on Monday 15 April. We apologise for the inconvenience this flood has caused. 

Background Information:

Early in the morning on Friday 29 March, steam from a burst heating pipe activated the fire sprinkler system which flooded the new Christchurch Outpatients building. There is significant damage to some walls, floors and ceilings which are now being replaced.

A new valve for the heating pipe is needed and all of the pipework throughout the building will need a hydraulic test before it is back in operation again.

*Please note that existing appointments at Christchurch Women’s, Christchurch Hospital or Burwood Hospital are not affected and are all going ahead.

ENDS

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Page last updated: 5 April 2019

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