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Review To Proceed At Emergency Department

5 May 2004

External Review To Proceed At Christchurch Hospital’s Emergency Department

Following a meeting with the Minister of Health Hon Annette King and senior staff from the Ministry of Health last night, the Canterbury District Health Board has received support for the (already announced) external review of the Christchurch hospital’s Emergency Department.

The meeting was attended by the Chair of the CDHB Board, Syd Bradley, CEO Jean O’Callaghan, Chief Medical Officer Dr Nigel Millar, the Clinical Director of Christchurch hospital’s Emergency Department Dr Angela Pitchford and Professor Mike Ardagh. Chief Executive Jean O’Callaghan said all parties were supporting the external review.

‘We are all in agreement that the review will identify any outstanding issues of concern, and assist in finding solutions,’ she said. ‘We are also in agreement that while there have already been active steps taken to respond to concerns that were expressed earlier, including an increase in nursing staff across all shifts, and an internal review that was initiated by Christchurch hospital, the ongoing publicly expressed concerns by some of our staff, required further action.’

‘There are certainly issues of overcrowding in ED at times and these need to be addressed,’ she said. ‘I also acknowledge there are broader issues that need consideration in the context of the wider hospital, but we need a starting point, and that is at the front door.’

‘Our greatest concern is always patient safety, and we are not prepared to compromise on this,’ Mrs O’Callaghan said. ‘We all agree that while there are some concerns, we do not have a crisis in our Emergency Department. As Chief Executive, I have total confidence in the department’s clinical staff and their ability to provide expert care to their patients.’

‘Professor Mike Ardagh said the issue of Emergency Department overcrowding is an international one and compared with other countries, Canterbury has been performing well. Canterbury’s recent problems give us an opportunity to provide solutions. We are grateful for the chance to address the problems now before any patients come to harm as a consequence.’

Ends

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