Full sign goes up at Waikato
Waikato Hospital’s occupancy rate is today sitting at 103 per cent prompting hospital assistant group manager Kevin Harris to appeal to staff to look closely at incidents of patient flow blockages to alleviate the situation.
There has been in recent days high medical and respiratory demand through the emergency department. Movement from there into the wards has been slow because of the lack of beds, he said.
“There doesn’t appear to be one common cause – for example we are seeing all sorts of cases from chest pain, to pre stroke symptoms, rashes, diarrhoea and vomiting, seizures and respiratory problems.
“It may be that people aren’t getting in to see their GP early enough in which case we are reminding the public that unless it is an emergency, get into your GP.”
Staff in the hospital can play their part too, said Mr Harris.
“We need to consider all other options for moving patients through the system. That could mean repatriating people back to rural and regional hospitals or into continuing care in a home-based situation.
Waikato Hospital has 531 inpatient beds – 78 of them for general medicine cases and 36 for respiratory medicine.
“Because of the situation where we
don’t have enough general medicine beds in the hospital
for the number of patients we have needing them, we’re not
getting patients out of the emergency department in time.
We’ve opened up extra beds in the Acute Services Building
which is helping but really we need to be escalating any
blocks to patient flow.”