Earthquake Update Eighteen – Canterbury District Health Board
Many residents are still without electricity, water or access to toilets. Transport is also difficult because of the damage done to roads. It is dark at night in areas without power and people are feeling vulnerable. Around half of the 27,000 houses currently without power are expected to be reconnected by this Sunday. Diesel generators that can service 200 homes at a time are also being brought in.
More than 200 building evaluation teams, including 400 welfare staff and 50 search and rescue staff, are visiting homes in the area and prioritising building evaluations, portaloos and chemical toilets to the Eastern suburbs and areas of greatest need.
By the end of Saturday building evaluation inspectors will have finished assessing all priority areas in the Eastern Suburbs. Only red-stickers are being issued at this stage.
Eighty-six extra portaloos are going into Avonside and Dallington today and 120 more will be arriving on Friday for deployment in to the Eastern suburbs. 1200 more portaloos are due by the weekend and will be deployed in areas of need. Chemical toilet distribution has also begun in the Eastern Suburbs. The first area being visited today is the Avondale / Bexley area (the area within Anzac Avenue, and Pages, Wainoni, and Breezes Roads). There will be one chemical toilet allocated to each household with a central tank for disposal. Street-based portaloos will be located on main arterial routes for easy access and visibility.
The delivery of the chemical toilets is being hampered by heavy traffic on the road. Residents are asked to refrain from any non-essential travel.
Counselling and interpreter services
A specialist counselling service from Refugees as Survivors (RAS) is now operating from the PHO. This team of highly experienced people is available to any practice where trauma issues exist amongst those from refugee and migrant backgrounds.
Apart from the Language Line number available to general practices, a second number has now been made available by the Dept of Ethnic Affairs. This number 0800 656 656 is available to ALL organisations and individuals free-of-charge. Simply dial the number and ask for the language required. There may be delays due to high volumes.
For face-to-face interpreters these are available to all our general practices. Telephone 0800 INTERPRET to arrange this. Please try and book ahead as it is seldom possible to arrange an interpreter at short notice.
For those requiring face-to-face interpreters outside of general practice, contact Wayne Reid , Ethnic Liaison Manager, Partnership Health Canterbury, 56 Shirley Rd, Shirley
CHCH Hosp/CWH combined campus – building safety
Hospital buildings have been checked by independent structural engineers.
Other than those which are closed off or have restricted entry (clearly marked by tape, cones etc.) the buildings have been assessed as safe to occupy. “Green stickers” are being placed on the buildings.
Christchurch Hospital Orthopaedic Outpatient Department
Christchurch Hospital Orthopaedic Outpatient Department have been open for normal business since last Friday for patients to come to their fracture follow-up appointments, as booked, prior to the earthquake. A number of patients are turning up Bealey Ave 24 hours surgery, where it is already busy. Patients should come to as arranged to Christchurch Hospital Orthopaedic Outpatient Department, unless they have been notified already of a change of appointment. Those who have missed their appointment, or are unable to attend arranged appointments need to phone the department on 3640 800.
Christchurch Hospital Relatives Centre
The Relatives Centre was stood down yesterday. Any enquiries can be directed to:
8am to 4.30pm Social Work Services Ph 3640 420
After Office Hours and Weekends – Contact the Social Work Clinical Manager via the Hospital Operator (3640 640)
The Police have a Relatives Centre for enquiries about missing people at Papanui Police Station, Cnr Main North Road and Mary Street. Ph 363 7400 and ask for Papanui Police Station
Limited elective surgery will resume on Monday 7 March.
Elective surgery will recommence in Christchurch Hospital on Monday 7, with a reduced capacity.
St George Private Hospital is fully operational, and will also be doing surgery next week.
Southern Cross will close for the weekend, to give staff a break, and recommence day surgery next week.
Consideration of the home environment to which the patient will return will be part of surgical pre-assessment, to minimise the risk post-operative infection.
Patient parking & shuttle bus for patients
Patients with appointments at Christchurch and Women’s Hospital are asked to park at Hillmorton Hospital and catch the free shuttle which will take them to the main entrance at Christchurch Women’s Hospital. Parking will be free
Access to the parking at Hillmorton is via the main entrance on Annex road off Lincoln road and will be sign posted. The shuttles will run from 08:00 to 5:00pm Leaving Hillmorton on the ½ hour and Christchurch Women’s Hospital on the hour.
There will not be a pick up at Christchurch Hospital’s Riverside entrance - all drop-offs and pick-ups will be from the front entrance at Christchurch Women’s.
Transport between hospitals
The interhospital shuttle will recommence full service on Monday March 7th. 2 shuttles as per the normal timetable will be running between Chch, Hillmorton, TPMH and Burwood Hospitals. There may be delays in arrival times due to road conditions.
Detailed information on the availability of Christchurch Hospital services can be found on the cdhb website.
Visitors to hospital are reminded to clean their hands with alcohol gel before entering clinical areas. This is available at the entrance to all clinical areas.
Lyndhurst Centre is closed until Monday and women with appointments will be contacted by a staff member. Rangiora and Lincoln birthing units are open.
Princess Margaret Hospital
A 24 hour ‘Transit Lounge’ has been set up which will triage older vulnerable people in the community who have high health or disability needs The Transit Lounge will provide assessment and coordination of services. Access to the service is through SPOE (single point of entry) 337 7765.
Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels recommenced service on Tuesday March 1st to suburbs where Red Cross volunteers have safe vehicle access. An attempt has been made to contact all meal recipients and their next of kin to establish their meal requirements. We are taking new referrals especially for vulnerable older people who are being discharged from hospital or respite care.
Meals on Wheels in Lincoln, Amberley and Rangiora have had no interruption to services.
Plunket Area office is inoperable, and calls to that office are being forwarded to Plunketline. Area Office staff are operating out of the Plunket Centre and they can be contacted on phone 348-9447.
Until further notice fax new baby referrals the Plunket Centre on 343-4335. Referrals that have been sent in the last week should be resent to fax 343-4335. Plunketline (0800 933 922) is available 24 hours a day, and is free to phone from a cellphone.
Plunket Post Natal Adjustment Programme (PPNAP) - calls to PPNAP are being diverted in the interim to Plunketline. FAX new referrals to 343-4335. PPNAP will be contacting current clients by phone.
Plunket staff will no longer be visiting the Welfare Centres as very few parents have required our services there. Plunket will still have a walk in service available at the Plunket Centre on Thursday and Friday this week at 5 Twigger Street.
From Monday 7 March Plunket Nurses will be seeing families with new babies and those with babies under 10 weeks of age. Families with babies between 10 weeks and 6 months of age will receive a phone call from a Plunket staff member. If Practice Nurses, GPs, LMC’s or any other support personnel have a client they are concerned about, phone 343-4335 and a Plunket staff member will contact the client.
Plunket Car Seat Rental Services are operating out of the Plunket Centre at 5 Twigger Street, Addington. They are open this week, Monday to Friday, from 10am to 2pm. Next week they will be open from 9.30am to 2.30pm. Phone 379-9266 and leave a message.
Updated information on services will be communicated regularly, and can also be found on our website www.plunket.org.nz and Canterbury Plunket Facebook.
Managing Liquefaction Silt Dust Risk
To reduce dust water will be sprayed onto silt on Christchurch roads. This water may be contaminated and people should avoid contact with the silt.
Advice for cleaning shoes and clothes after contact with silt/ liquifaction
• Remove contaminated clothes and shoes before entering the house.
• Wear a protective face mask and gloves.
• Wash items separately, i.e. not with other clothing or household items.
• Wash hands well, and use sanitiser before eating, drinking or smoking
Masks High winds create unpleasantly dusty conditions in many areas Masks can be purchased from pharmacies and hardware stores, and are being distributed from water tankers (also hand sanitising gel). There is an adequate supply of masks, as the Pandemic supply has been released.
A report rates as ‘low’ the health risk from dust generated from earthquake liquefaction and sewage contamination following last year’s Christchurch Earthquake on September 4. The Institute of Environmental Science and Research report finds the dust is largely a nuisance, which due to its small particle size can be inhaled into the lungs and exacerbate respiratory conditions such as asthma. Christchurch public health staff advise that earthquake generated silt and dust from the February earthqualkes should be treated as potentially contaminated and the usual precautions should apply when dealing with it. Anyone exposed to the dust should wash and dry hands, use hand sanitiser and wear a mask if susceptible to dust. A copy of the report Liquefaction Silt - Public Health Riskis available from www.moh.govt.nz. (See separate media release).
Public health messages
• Boil or treat all water from taps and tankers before drinking, brushing teeth, or using in food preparation. Chlorination of mains water will take time to take effect, so the City Council will advise when it is no longer necessary to boil or treat water. If you cannot boil water, treat it by adding 1 teaspoon of household bleach per 10 litres of water and leave for 30 minutes.
• Waterways are contaminated with untreated sewage. Avoid contact with rivers, sea water, ponds, puddles or other surface water. Do not fish, or gather shellfish or any other food from oceans and rivers.
• All liquefaction silt should be considered sewage-contaminated. Wear water-proof gloves, gumboots and a dust mask when working with silt. Shower or wash immediately afterwards and wash clothes separately.
• Wear an appropriate dust mask where there is a high amount of dust. Masks will be available at Welfare Centres, from Operation Suburb teams and from water tanker locations shortly.
Take care when disposing of human waste (faeces, poo, vomit etc). Bury it in your garden or wrap it well in paper or plastic and put it in your red bin for collection. Wash your hands immediately after dealing with any human waste.
• Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after toileting, and before and after eating or preparing food. Free hand sanitizer is available from official water tanker sites.
• If you are unwell seek help. The majority of GPs in Christchurch are now open to treat minor injury or illness. Dial 111 for emergency medical attention.
• If you are sick, try to limit contact with other people, do not go to work and do not prepare food for anyone.
• Take extreme care with food – particularly with food that should be refrigerated. Dispose of smelly, slimy, mouldy or discoloured food immediately. Do not refreeze food once power returns.
There have been 42 notifications of gastroenteritis since February 27, but this is consistant with the number of notifications for this time of year. The incidence of gastroenteritis remains sporadic, with no large clusters indicating an outbreak. Water is now on to 70% of households. You must still bring to the boil all water used for drinking, food preparation and teeth cleaning.
Do not swim in rivers and beaches where raw sewerage may be present. Locations include all beaches between the Waimakariri River and Lyttelton Harbour. The affected beaches include:
• Spencer Beach
• Waimairi Beach
• North Beach
• New Brighton Beach
• South Brighton Beach
• Christchurch Estuary
• The beaches at Sumner and Scarborough
• Taylor’s Mistake Beach
• All beaches in Lyttelton Harbour.
IT Systems support primary care.
Health Pathways is our unique Canterbury on-line clinical reference system that defines care pathways for patients. It describes best practice in the management of a wide range of conditions. In the two weeks covering the earthquake period, 6,862 visits viewed more than 30,000 pages, and the traffic is remaining at nearly 3 times the normal volume.
The day of the ‘quake, the BMJ offed New Zealand free access to their on-line ‘Best Practice’ guidelines. In the past 6 days there have been over 2,300 visits to the website, and 15,618 sections were visited.
The conditions in Best Practice that are now being accessed relate more to complications from initial serious injuries, and more minor conditions which may be from patients who are presenting to GP's rather than hospitals. On March 1st there was an increase in psychological conditions being searched. The condition 'Critical incident stress management' was accessed 87 times.
In addition to computer access, over 200 sections have been visited from mobile phones. Most of the mobile phone usage was in the first couple of days of access being made available - indicating that users were accessing the mobile phone platform as a quick reference point - possibly when they weren't able to access a computer.
At the same time, the number of presentations at Christchurch Hospital Emergency Department are around 80 less people a day than before the earthquake, after the huge spikes in the first two days of the earthquake.
Free Urgent Medical Treatment Extended
Free urgent medical treatment in General Practice and no prescription fees in pharmacies for quake-related patients is available throughout the South Island until Sunday March 6. This is being funded by the South Island DHBs.
The urgent medical care offer is also being generously matched by major North Island general practice networks Procare in Auckland, Wellington's Compass and the Midland Health Network (covering Taranaki, Waikato, some of Lakes and Tairawhiti). Christchurch evacuees in the North Island should ring first to check the intiative is being offered at their nearest practice.
In recognition of GPs support, DHBs are waiving the usual deduction on Canterbury practices when their patients are treated elsewhere until 6 March.
Community Medical Centre, Cowles Stadium, Pages Road.
The Australian Army Field Hospital will have it’s final day providing free primary care tomorrow, finishing around 4pm Friday. The surrounding General Practices are sufficiently restored to fully take up the case-load from Saturday.
The facility will remain for several more weeks to house health and community support services that are currently either ‘homeless’ of for which there is a significant local need. The mobile community dental clinic will remain there, as will physiotherapy services, and the 10am and 5pm psychological support/grief counselling services. Plunket will move to alternate premises next week.
100 of the 106 General Practices are now open.
Below is a list of those either relocated or still closed:
Below is list of relocated and closed pharmacies:
The ‘A Message Of Support’ (www.AMOS.org.nz) website has been established with the help of Datam and NZ Post, where messages of support can be posted for health workers involved in the response to the Christchurch Earthquake.
The website is a response to many requests from health professionals and others from all over the world wanting to send messages of support those at the frontline. Many people have benefitted directly from the efforts of staff and often want a way to say thank you.
The site will carry stories about the work people are doing and visitors can post messages up to 350 characters long on a general site or address it to specific areas such as the Intensive Care Unit or the Emergency Department.
Through this site, people can also leave messages for other agencies such as Police, Fire, Red Cross and Civil Defence.
ACC - people wanting to know what their entitlements are: 0800 101 996
Healthline - health advice 24-hours a day, seven days a week 0800 611 116 ,
Red Cross- to report missing people 0800 733 276.
Urgent mental health advice Psychiatric Emergency Service on 03 3640 482 or 0800 920 092.
Urgent Dental Care if you can’t contact your own dentist 335 4260. Afterhours 027 683 0679.
Meals on wheels 03 337 7797.
Vulnerable older people that urgently require assistance because of health or disability needs should contact Older Persons Health on (03) 337 7765 for assessment and advice.
Relocated older people – if you are unable to contact their usual aged residential care provider to confirm their location, please phone 337 8937 for information.
Dialysis helpline 0800 881919.
Pegasus 24-hour medical centre in Bealey Avenue – 365 7777
Water collection locations http://canterburyearthquake.org.nz/water-tanker-timetable-for-deliveries/
Christchurch Hospital Services Canterbury DHB website www.cdhb.govt.nz
Water has been restored to 70% of households. Tankers are delivering water to areas without supply. You can also collect hand sanitiser, health information and facemasks from the Tankers.
The city’s water supply remains chlorinated. It’s important that you continue to boil drinking water. Chlorination will cease once repairs have been completed, and the water supply is safe.
A free-phone dialysis helpline is available on 0800 881919. Any person who needs dialysis in the metropolitan area of Christchurch and is at risk has been moved to the North Island. In the future chlorination may be a potential issue for people on dialysis, however, it is very manageable as filtration can be fitted to the dialysis machine.
Canterbury Health Labs
Canterbury Health Labs are fully operational including their collection rooms at CHL (opposite main hospital entrance), TPMH and Burwood. CHL collection rooms will also be open on Saturday morning 0800 – 1100 hours. Lab volumes are around 123% of normal.
The Diabetes Centre and Diabetes Christchurch Society at 550 Hagley Ave is closed. If you have any diabetes emergencies, please contact your GP in the first instance. If you are unable to find a GP, limited medical services are being offered at Cowles Stadium. A diabetes triage nurse is operating from Christchurch Hospital and is available Monday to Friday 8.30 to 5pm on 027 4543052. Alternatively call Christchurch Hospital 3640640 during these hours and ask to be put through.
Diabetes test strips and medications are free from your local chemist until Sunday 6 March. A limited supply of free meters is available at Cowles Stadium.
Check on your neighbours and keep in touch with family and friends
At times like this it’s important to look out for elderly neighbours and others who live alone.
Welfare Centres (Ministry of Social Development [MSD]) are currently located at:
Pioneer Stadium, 75 Lyttelton Street, Spreydon
Baptist Church, East Belt, Rangiora Burnside High School,
151 Greers Road, Burnside Windsor School, 170 Burwood Road,
Burwood Cowles Stadium (Pages Road) is an information
centre that can link you to the support you need.
Non-MSD welfare centres (set up and run independently) Ashburton, Rapki, Rehua Marae, Tuahiwi, New Brighton, Middleton/Akaroa, Caroline Bay
A decision is expected soon about when Welfare Centres will become day-stay facilities only.
Work and Income offices People can also visit these Work and Income offices between 9am and 5pm weekdays and 9am to 4pm on weekends.
New Brighton, 26 Beresford Street Hornby, 25 Shands Road Riccarton, 76 Riccarton Road Rangiora, Corner of Good and Blake Street Kaiapoi Community Link, Unit 9 The Crossings, 77 Hilton Street Ashburton Community Link, Corner of Cass and Moore Street Shirley, 203-205 Hills Road
Emotional responses to the recent crisis It’s normal to be feeling very stressed at the moment. Everyone is affected in different ways. Some of us may feel very anxious or low in spirits. Some of us may feel it’s hard to function. If you are worried about yourself or a family member, please talk to someone in your general practice team. They can call on a wide range of mental health and counselling services, and more counsellors are being brought in to help.
Coping strategies - stress and anxiety The Ministry of Health has created a series of fact sheets with advice and coping strategies for people experiencing stress or anxiety in the wake of this week's tragedy. These can be found on the Ministry's website - www.moh.govt.nz - under the banner headline "Christchurch Earthquake"
Mental Health Nurses are available to provide support in the community. Please phone your GP Team for information.