Taranaki hospitals settle into Alert Level 3
1 May 2020
Taranaki Base and Hāwera hospitals are settling into Alert Level 3 mode.
Under Level 3, both hospitals remain open for emergency care, whether or not that care relates to COVID-19. Outpatient services will also continue to see as many patients as possible using alternatives to the usual face-to-face settings, such as Zoom and phone consultations.
Gillian Campbell, Taranaki DHB chief operating officer says, “The extremely busy month at Alert Level 4 means we are well prepared to move into Level 3, while continuing our focus on the delivery of quality, patient-centred health care, and working safely to protect patients, their family/whānau and our staff.”
This includes establishing community-based testing centres throughout the region; planning for all aspects of managing suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients, and changing the way healthcare is delivered to minimise public health risk.
“Throughout the lockdown our teams have come to work to ensure the healthcare needs of the community are met and I thank them for this,” Gillian said.
Fortunately, with challenges come opportunities for learning and improvements.
“We have received positive feedback with the use of phone and telehealth consultations; implementing these changes has seen a reduction in wait times for some services.
“Going forward into Level 3, these alternative ways of delivering healthcare will continue to be used in support of our usual practices,” Gillian says.
Meanwhile, a temporary visitors’ policy remains in place for both hospitals at Alert Level 3.
“It’s vital we continue to minimise the number of people coming into our hospitals to reduce the opportunity for any infections to spread. At level 3 patients are allowed to have one visitor from a patient’s extended bubble, with no suspicion of COVID-19. They must be the same (nominated) person each time,” explains Gillian.
In the neonatal and children's wards both parents or caregivers can be in attendance. Two people are also allowed to visit the labour and maternity wards while the patient is in labour, and then one nominated person can visit after. One nominated person can support a terminal patient through end-of-life care. However, there is still a no-visitor policy in place for any COVID-19 patients.
In order to ensure the overall wellbeing of our patients, compassionate visitation will be considered by lead clinicians/nurse managers on a case-by-case basis.
“In all exceptions where a visitor is allowed to access any TDHB facility, appropriate screening will take place before they are allowed to enter the care environment to ensure they are well, have clean hands and are using appropriate PPE,” Gillian said.
Members of the public who have queries about hospital and community healthcare services at Alert Level 3 can visit the following websites, or email Taranaki DHB’s dedicated COVID-19 email address: TDHBCovid.Enquiries@tdhb.org.nz.
Last updated: Friday, May 1, 2020