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Planning underway for Allen Bryant residents

Friday 26 June, 2015

Planning underway for Allen Bryant residents

Plans are being made to ensure the appropriate placement and care of the people displaced from their aged residential care home, Ultimate Care Allen Bryant, due to last week’s flooding.

Extensive flooding of the Hokitika CBD last week resulted in the emergency evacuation of the residents and staff at Ultimate Care Allen Bryant. All 45 residents were placed in DHB and private facilities in the Hokitika, Greymouth and Reefton area, or with families.

This week the facility owners, Ultimate Care Group (UCG), indicated that the facility is likely to be closed for between four and six months. This means 46 fewer aged residential care beds will be available across the West Coast during this time.

West Coast District Health Board Complex Clinical Care Network (CCCN) staff and UCG representatives have been looking at all available options both in Hokitika and further afield. They are talking to residents, their families and whanau about potential solutions.

Both the DHB and facility owners are also working closely with the facilities caring for the displaced residents. This includes recognising that relationships between residents and Allen Bryant staff are an important part of care. Staff are being redeployed where needed to assist in the ongoing care needs.

DHB Acting General Manager Planning and Funding Phil Wheble says the temporary loss of so many aged care beds presents the DHB with an ongoing challenge, but most importantly these people need to be looked after according to their needs.

“What we’re talking about here is 45 people who have temporarily lost their home. Our first priority continues to be about ensuring the health and welfare of these people.

“The temporary loss of Allen Bryant means we now have very limited bed capacity on the Coast to maintain normal access to respite care, and We very limited ‘flex’ in the system to accommodate new admissions to hospital or dementia level aged care beds anywhere on the coast for up to six months,” Mr Wheble says.

The DHB is also mindful about the needs of other people in our community who are “in the wings” and have been identified as being likely to need rest home or hospital level residential care very shortly.

“These people are also important to us and we need to plan now where they might live long-term, while we also work with the shorter term requirements of the Allen Bryant folk.”

Ultimate Care Group Chief Executive Liza Cox-Hancy says in conjunction with the insurance assessors, the company is also exploring every avenue to rehabilitate the facility in a number of stages – to allow for faster recovery of beds and to relieve the pressure in the DHB system as a result of this significant event.


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