Taranaki DHB reaches 100 per cent occupancy

19 July 2017

Taranaki DHB is currently experiencing unprecedented patient volumes and this has been occurring for several weeks.

Rosemary Clements, Taranaki DHB chief executive said, “We are at 100 per cent hospital occupancy today. Our biggest pressure on beds has been medical patients with a total of 85 patients in hospital on Sunday. Taranaki DHB’s paediatric department also remains busy, along with the Intensive Care Unit which has been full with medical patients.”

Taranaki Base hospital is resourced to provide care for 239 beds, but has a total capacity of 271 beds. Hawera hospital has 20 beds in total.

“As a consequence, staffing and resources required to manage this increased demand is an ongoing challenge.  To mitigate this, our nurse managers, Allied Health leaders and other management staff are increasing the frequency of hospital operational meetings to predict care and staffing requirements,” Mrs Clements explained.

Elective surgery lists are being reviewed and staffing has increased across inpatient wards to create greater resourced bed capacity. Discharge planning will continue as appropriate.

“We’re not in a situation of having to turn urgent medical cases away, but we want the Taranaki community to consider their options when it comes to urgent and non-urgent health issues. With winter and school holidays comes many illnesses and minor injuries, but our hospitals’ Emergency Departments (EDs) are for serious and life-threatening illness or injury. There are other options for non-urgent health concerns, starting with your GP,” explains Mrs Clements.

Taranaki DHB’s recently launched ‘Should you be at ED?’ education campaign, advises people with non-urgent health issues to visit their GP, pharmacy or MediCross and Phoenix Urgent Doctors, who both offer x-ray services and can treat broken bones and other sports-related injuries (charges apply).

People can avoid ED this winter by doing what they can to stay well – get a flu vaccination, renew prescriptions, eat healthy, wash their hands and play safe to prevent sports injuries.

Mrs Clements adds, “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all staff at both of our hospitals who have worked extra shifts to ensure safe and responsive care is provided to patients.”

ENDS

For more information please call

Beth Findlay-Heath
Communications Advisor
021 665 017

Last updated: Wednesday, July 19, 2017

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