MidCentral DHB planning for essential services during NZNO industrial action.
What is happening?
MidCentral DHB is preparing for a nurses, midwives, and healthcare assistants' strike by those staff who are covered by the NZNO MECA. The NZNO have issued a strike notice for the following timeframe: 24 hours from 7am on 12 July 2018
A strike of this nature will severely impact on our ability to carry out our normal services at our facilities. MidCentral DHB will be rescheduling all non-urgent hospital services in preparation for the industrial action. The DHB is working with NZNO to ensure emergency and life preserving services are available.
MidCentral DHB respects the right of nursing staff covered by the NZNO MECA to take part in the strike. They are a valued and important part of our workforce who are committed to caring for patients. However, we also have a responsibility to the communities we serve to prepare for the impact this withdrawal of labour will have on our health services. We are ensuring we have contingency plans in place to provide essential and life preserving services. This work is ongoing and continuous.
During the strike, the main priority for MidCentral DHB is ensuring patient safety.
Information for Patients:
Patients scheduled for surgery or other appointments will be contacted if they are going to be affected by changes to services. We ask that patients come to their scheduled appointment on time unless we have contacted them directly to say their appointment is being rescheduled.
There will also be severely restricted District Nursing services on the day. Patients referred during this time to our District Nursing services may also experience delay in being seen in the days following the strike due to increased workloads and backlog.
It is important for people to still seek medical treatment, if required, during the industrial action:
- Free medical advice is available 24/7 through Healthline on 0800 611 116
- Visit your General Practitioner (GP) or local pharmacy
- If the matter is urgent people should come to the Palmerston North Hospital, and dial 111 for an ambulance in an emergency
Information for family/whānau volunteers:
If you have a family member or friend staying overnight in hospital during the strike action, it would be appreciated if you could provide them with support across the 24-hour period. You will not be expected to undertake any duties requiring medical expertise but tasks you could assist with include:
- Assisting with the patient’s food and drink
- Keeping their bed space tidy
- Asking for help if the person requires anything
- Making the person more comfortable in bed or in a chair
Food and drink will be provided to support people and information about how you can help will be provided on the ward where your loved one is placed.