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Increasing demand for health and hospital services

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board tackles increasing demand for health and hospital services

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board has given the go ahead to a draft proposal for undertaking the next stage of development at the Hawke’s Bay Hospital campus. They have agreed in principle of the creation of an Acute Assessment Unit (AAU) at Hawke’s Bay Hospital, as one of a series of plans to meet the continuing growth in demand for health services. Last year alone, demand grew more than 14%.

Following a Ministry of Health review of the DHB’s concept the Board has asked the management team to progress the development of an AAU at Hawke’s Bay Hospital.

DHB Chair, Kevin Atkinson said “The draft proposal presented to the Board was the culmination of three years careful consultation and planning to identify the best methods to address the rising level of acute medical demand. It is estimated that this development will cost around $5.7 million.”

Mr Atkinson said the Board have asked that a full business case be presented to the Board in February. In order to get this exciting new development underway they have committed an initial $200,000 so that work on relocating some facilities can begin immediately.

The AAU is to be developed alongside the Emergency Department in space currently occupied by the DHB’s library and education centre.

“An AAU is a unit that enables us to “assess to admit” rather than “admit to assess”,” says Chris Clarke, chief executive officer

“This development will enable us to position some of our most experienced senior clinicians at our front door. Some of the people currently admitted to hospital, will, in this new model of care, be cared for in the AAU with ready access to clinical expertise and diagnostic tests. This environment will enable us to better evaluate their condition and make a decision as to whether to admit to hospital, observe or discharge back into the care of their GP.” says Chris

This development is one of a number of strategies identified by the DHB to better manage the region’s acute medical demand and will involve even closer collaboration between the primary and secondary health sectors. It is proposed that the new unit will open on1st July 2004. In addition to providing 20 acute assessment beds the proposed development will incorporate a larger Renal Dialysis Unit.

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