Hawke’s Bay Hospital saw 188 presentations over 24 hours to its Emergency Department (ED) yesterday (10 May), setting a new record and forcing some planned care operations to be postponed today.
Chief Medical and Dental Officer Robin Whyman said the hospital was experiencing very high demand with the majority of presentations being serious medical conditions, mostly in people over 50, who needed hospital admission and care.
The volume of admissions unfortunately meant some planned elective operations were postponed today as the hospital was at capacity. People affected would be contacted by the Surgical Services Booking Team at the hospital, he said.
Head of the Emergency Department, Mark Barlow, said the unprecedented demand may be a predictor for the coming winter months and he urged people to be proactive about their health.
People with chronic illnesses needed to regularly check in with their GP and seek help immediately if they noticed any changes in their medical condition so they didn’t need an emergency hospital admission.
“With winter approaching we want people to think about their health and to take steps to get medical attention if they began to feel unwell.
“When we have this kind of demand on our services its very tough on our staff who are working under enormous pressure and at the same time our patients with more minor illnesses and injuries have to wait longer than they should to be seen,” Dr Barlow said.
Dr Whyman said the clinical teams were working together to improve the flow through the hospital to relieve some pressure on ED.
Healthcare colleagues in urgent care facilities in the community had also experienced a surge in demand over the past weekend and yesterday, he said.
Other community-based care people could consider included calling Healthline 0800 611 116 for advice 24/7, visiting their general practice team or consulting with their local pharmacist.