Tuesday 1 March 2022Canterbury DHB News3 minutes to read
As part of its COVID-19 contingency planning and with the support of the Board, Canterbury DHB will be temporarily closing four rural facilities due to the rapidly increasing number of cases in the community.
The facilities are Waikari, Darfield, Oxford and Ellesmere Hospitals and planning is underway to move 23 residents from these facilities to alternative private facilities.
Canterbury DHB COVID-19 ECC Incident Controller for the Canterbury Health System’s Omicron response, Tracey Maisey, says the DHB is having to make this decision now due to its ability to staff these facilities through the peak of the Omicron outbreak as staffing resources become strained.
“One of our main concerns was that during the outbreak we will not be able to sustain safe staffing levels with appropriately trained staff in these facilities, and this was a major risk that could have had a serious adverse impact on our residents.
“We are therefore moving with urgency to assess each patient and connect with residents’ families or next of kin to decide on a suitable alternative facility for each resident. We take our responsibility for their care very seriously and will do everything we can to ensure their safety and wellbeing.
“We appreciate that relocating older people is disruptive and may be upsetting for them. However, we need to ensure that they are living somewhere that is well set up and has the staff resources to make sure they will be well looked after during the pandemic, Ms Maisey says.
“Finding suitably-qualified, local staff in rural areas can be very challenging, which is why we need to look after and make the best use of our people. As part of our whole-of-system response plan, we will be working with the staff from the facilities we have closed temporarily to identify areas they can be redeployed to, to support the sustainable delivery of services – either within Canterbury DHB or with local community providers, where their skills as nursing and care providers are needed.”
Ms Maisey says this relocation of residents is not ideal and will have its challenges, but the support and assistance of family members is being welcomed and appreciated.
“We will take care and be sensitive to the needs and concerns of patients and family to ensure a smooth transition. We will be looking to relocate them as soon as a new home for each resident is agreed. The move to their new home will be temporary. Residents should be back in these hospital facilities within six weeks of the Omicron outbreak’s peak,” says Ms Maisey.
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Page last updated: 1 March 2022
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