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A&E Closure decision disgraceful

04 February 2008

A&E Closure decision disgraceful

The Mayor of Kapiti Coast Jenny Rowan says she is appalled at the cavalier manner in which Capital & Coast Health announced the closure of their night time A&E service at Kenepuru.

“There was no prior notification, no consultation, not even any earlier warning that such a decision might be under consideration,” Mayor Rowan said. “They just did it.”

Capital & Coast Health announced on Friday afternoon (February 1) that the accident and medical services at Kenepuru Hospital will be closed from today from 11.00pm to 8.00 in the morning.

“We’ve been working with Capital & Coast Health on a range of local issues and we believed we were making some progress but this decision without warning or consultation just destroys any faith we have that they are taking notice of the problems the people of the Kapiti Coast are facing in accessing reasonable cost health services.

“We understood that with the opening of the new buildings, Kenepuru had been reformed, that it would provide the main accident and medical service for the Kapiti Coast and that the service would be 24 hours, seven days a week.

“Whatever the statistics may say about the reduced numbers of people seen on average during the 11pm to 8.00am period, none of us with a serious injury or medical emergency would want to be one of those people who find the Kenepuru doors closed. We would be faced with having to take an extra 20 minutes to get into Wellington let alone be seen or treated in their already busy accident and emergency department..

“I’ve heard stories about 80 year-old patients being discharged and told to make their way home to the Kapiti Coast from Kenepuru at 2.30 in the morning. This reduction in service can only compound the problem.

“I’m pleased Wellington Free Ambulance has announced it is stepping into the gap by stationing an ambulance at Kenepuru during the hours of closure but this really isn’t a long term or sustainable option.

“I’ll be calling an emergency meeting to address the issues this raises for local people.

“Capital & Coast Health say the reduced hours will continue until the doctor availability issue is resolved. How long will that be and will we still be waiting for our much needed 24 hour service months or years from now?”


ENDS

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