All Hawke’s Bay DHB hospital and health services, including outpatient and district nursing services across Hawke’s Bay DHB locations, have returned to normal following yesterday’s New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) strike.
Most nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants who were NZNO members went on strike between 11am and 7pm impacting services across all DHB sites. Emergency and essential services continued but non-urgent patient appointments and elective surgeries were postponed to ensure quality and safety of patient care during the strike action period.
Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Chris McKenna said Hawke’s Bay Hospital and Wairoa Hospital coped well, but Hawke’s Bay Hospital remained busy which was expected to continue today and into the weekend.
A surge in presentations at Hawke’s Bay Hospital’s Emergency Department in the early afternoon required the DHB to request additional Life Preserving Services (LPS) to the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO), which was agreed by the NZNO. Additional LPS had also been requested and agreed earlier in the day to provide additional care to some hospital wards.
Mrs McKenna said feedback from primary care colleagues was the week had been busy, with Hastings Health Centre’s accident and medical centre reporting a surge in presentations in lead-up to the strike.
“The DHB would like to thank staff, its contingency planning team and the hugely important role general practice and other health providers played in the support they provided the DHB during the strike period.
“We’d like to thank our community for following our advice to first seek medical help from a pharmacy, GP, medical and urgent care centre or Healthline for non-urgent injuries and illnesses.
“Equally we are pleased those needing emergency care did not delay seeking medical treatment from us with most people presenting to ED yesterday needing emergency care,” she said.
Mrs McKenna said the DHB had enlisted the help of volunteers to assist teams across wards and departments during the strike period. More than 90 volunteers came forward and were trained in advance of the strike.
“The DHB would like to extend its thanks for the support it received from volunteers who worked hard and did a wonderful job to assist teams and patients. The volunteers were a mixture of members of the community and staff within the health sector who normally work in corporate or other non-medical roles.
“Thank you also to patients and their whānau/caregivers for their understanding as staff and volunteers worked extremely hard to give people the care they needed.”
What should people do today and for the remainder of this week?
Hawke’s Bay Hospital continues to remain very busy. It is important people continue to leave the Emergency Departments for emergencies only and seek non-urgent medical help from a pharmacy, GP, medical and urgent care centre, or call Healthline 0800 611 116.
People should not delay seeking medical treatment or going to hospital if the matter is urgent. They should dial 111 for emergencies or an ambulance.
A full list of GPs and pharmacies and their opening hours is available from www.ourhealthhb.nz