DHB Chief Executive Officer Kathryn Cook says hospital services will be running with significantly fewer staff during this time and that it is vital to make the most efficient use of the limited resources available.
Ms Cook says the Hospital services affected include the Emergency Department (ED), therefore it is very important that people visit ED only in a medical emergency.
“If you need health care, contact your general practice team or local pharmacy. If it's out of hours, free-phone Healthline at 0800 611 116 or MidCentral DHB’s Primary Care after-hours service at 0800 373 030. And remember, if it's an emergency, dial 111.”
Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery Celina Eves said the DHB’s priority is to ensure the safety of patients and staff through this period.
“The DHB and NZNO have been working collaboratively to mitigate risks to patients and staff during industrial action, by ensuring staff with specialist clinical skills are available where-and-when needed.”
Ms Cook said that in the Hospital’s inpatient Wards, health professionals will need to tend to those patients who are in the greatest need.
“Family and whānau can be of real value by being with their loved ones and available to help, whether it’s making them more comfortable in their bed or chair, keeping the bed space tidy, helping them to and from the bathroom, getting them a glass of water making them a hot drink or helping them to eat,” she said.
“We will not ask family/whānau to undertake any clinical treatments or do anything that should only be done by a health professional.
“Having one or two family/whānau members available throughout the day and overnight will help significantly and be greatly appreciated.”
Family/whānau members will be given information and advice, and ‘family/whānau helper’ identification stickers will be available at the Ward receptions. Staff will be available to help or answer questions if family/whānau members are unsure of anything.