Monday 2 August 2021Media release3 minutes to read
Christchurch Hospital’s Emergency Department is extremely busy today and anyone presenting with a non-urgent condition will likely be in for a long wait.
Chief Medical Officer for Canterbury DHB, Helen Skinner, says large numbers of presentations today coupled with unexpected staff sickness has resulted in longer waits for care, and for admission to hospital.
“I want to apologise to those who are having to wait. It’s not ideal, particularly for those who are unwell and need to be moved through to a ward.
“We currently have 527 patients in Christchurch Hospital, with 105 people being assessed and treated in the Emergency Department,” Dr Skinner said. “While we are expecting some discharges today, the volume of patients coming in the front door is significant.”
If it’s not urgent, please call your own general practice team first. After hours follow the instructions on their answerphone to be put through to a nurse who can advise on what to do and where to go if you need to be seen.
In Canterbury we are fortunate to have a number of excellent Urgent Care practices who have X-ray facilities on site and can treat a range of conditions including broken bones.
If you don’t have a GP, you can call Healthline for free health advice 24/7, and check out the HealthInfo Canterbury|Waitaha website for localised information about a range of health conditions.
Of course, if it is a life-threatening emergency, please continue to call 111 as per usual.
Dr Skinner said there was no single condition causing the issue, it was a range of winter illnesses affecting both staff and the public. “We usually see a lot of people on Mondays as many people tend to hold off seeking medical attention until after the weekend, however today is extra busy, and the unfortunate delays patients are experiencing are also due to staff shortages due to illness.”
“We have also had to defer some planned surgery which would require an overnight stay as we simply don’t have sufficient beds as they are prioritised for people with acute medical problems. Once again, I apologise in advance to anyone whose planned surgery has been affected,” Dr Skinner said.
Page last updated: 6 October 2021
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