Hawke’s Bay Hospital is facing unprecedented demand on hospital services, especially acute surgeries, forcing it to cancel some elective surgeries over the coming days.
Acting chief executive Sharon Mason said the demand on hospital services had been unrelenting since Christmas with the Emergency Department recording its greatest number of presentations of 170 on New Year’s Day, the previous record was 169 set in July, 2017.
Mrs Mason said while the hospital was operating at capacity it would have to cancel some elective surgeries planned for the early part of this week.
“We apologise to everyone affected by this, but we need to maintain a safe hospital which we can only do by releasing some of the pressure. One way is to postpone elective surgeries. We are also asking the public to help and leave ED for emergencies only.
A number of people were turning up to the Emergency Department with minor injuries and illnesses which made it difficult for emergency staff to have to sift through the volumes of people to find the sickest patients, she said.
Mrs Mason said staff expected the hospital to remain operating at capacity over the next week because of the high numbers of people that have needed emergency surgery and follow-up care.
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