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Buller Health’s 24/7 Acute Care Services To Operate At Reduced Capacity During Labour Weekend

Urgent patient stabilisation and observation services provided by Buller Health’s Foote Ward team will be provided at a reduced capacity from 11pm Friday 21 October 2022 to 7 am Tuesday 25 October 2022.

For Labour Weekend, the following temporary services will continue to be provided:

  • Urgent patient stabilisation and observation services provided by our Foote Ward team will only be available between 7:00am – 11:00pm daily.
  • Outside of these hours, all acute care will be managed in the same way as rural services provided by St John who will be supported by a PRIME trained clinician. Anyone needing admission will be transferred to Greymouth’s Te Nīkau Hospital.

“Due to on-going staffing pressures, we introduced temporary changes to services at Buller Health in mid-August and were able to reinstate Foote Ward’s 24/7 urgent patient stabilisation and observation services on Monday, 10 October 2022. Unfortunately, this weekend we find ourselves in the situation where overnight services need to be reconfigured to ensure we can safely manage patients with our available staffing” says Philip Wheble, Te Whatu Ora Te Tai o Poutini West Coast’s General Manager.

“These changes have been made so that urgent acute care as well as routine primary care to the wider-Westport community can be maintained. We appreciate that this situation is not ideal and we value the Buller community’s on-going understanding and support of this situation.

“Staffing pressures are not just confined to the West Coast but are being experienced both nationally and internationally. We have an active recruitment strategy and our recruitment team is working hard to fill the current vacancies across the West Coast. Alongside local recruitment initiatives, Te Whatu Ora is currently running a global campaign for nurses to work in New Zealand.

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“If you or a member of your whānau needs emergency or acute care these services are still available 24/7 – they are just being provided in a different way. You can continue to help us out by booking your routine health care appointments early,” says Mr Wheble.

Remember, if you are injured or experiencing severe symptoms, it’s critical that you call 111.

· For appointments, enquiries, prescriptions or results please phone Buller Medical Centre on 03 788 9277 during week day opening hours (Monday – Friday 8:45am – 5:00pm. – noting they are closed on Labour Day Monday 24 October. (check)

· If you have a mild illness, you can check the Te Whatu Ora | Te Tai o Poutini West Coast or HealthInfo websites for more information on what to do or where to go if you are unsure.

· If you are feeling unwell with any condition, you can phone Healthline on 0800 611 116 for free health advice 24/7 or your general practice team to discuss your situation and symptoms rather than visiting in person. This will ensure that you get to access appropriate treatment and medication to help you stay well, even if you are at home isolating.

· For COVID-19 health advice please call 0800 358 5453.

· If you’re worried about yourself, or someone in your whānau who has a respiratory illness, see the checklist here of symptoms to watch out for, and when you should seek medical advice.

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