Doc­tor’s surgery moves into mo­tor inn

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By ELE­SHA ED­MONDS

An Auck­land doc­tor’s surgery se­verely dam­aged by fire has moved into a nearby mo­tor inn.

Mt Al­bert’s Four Kauri Fam­ily Med­i­cal Cen­tre on New North Rd was gut­ted by an early morn­ing fire on May 28.

The med­i­cal cen­tre has now moved across the road to Mt Al­bert Mo­tor Inn where it will op­er­ate un­til a de­ci­sion is made on the fu­ture of the dam­aged build­ing.

It’s been a stress­ful few weeks for staff from the med­i­cal cen­tre who have trans­formed four of the mo­tel’s units into con­sul­ta­tion rooms, a nurses’ of­fice, re­cep­tion and staff room.

Dr Sarah Stewart, who works at the cen­tre, says the move took longer than ex­pected with staff work­ing long hours to get the cen­tre’s com­puter sys­tem and phone lines work­ing again.

‘‘We’re get­ting back to busi­ness and we feel we can do rou­tine things now,’’ she says. ‘‘It’s strange be­ing in a mo­tel but it’s work­ing very well.’’

Stewart says af­ter the fire the cen­tre had of­fers to use rooms at a nearby church and a recre­ation cen­tre but staff in­stead chose the mo­tor inn due to its pri­vacy and avail­abil­ity long term.

Room seven of the mo­tor inn serves as the surgery’s front re­cep­tion area and the bed­room is now a doc­tor’s con­sul­ta­tion room.

Next door is a nurses’ of­fice which has been fit­ted with new cur­tains and screens to en­sure the pri­vacy of pa­tients.

Stewart, who has worked at the surgery for 20 years, says the staff are hav­ing to adapt to the small space and are con­sid­er­ing the possi- bil­ity of set­ting up a third doc­tor’s con­sul­ta­tion room.

Re­cep­tion staff have been work­ing long hours or­gan­is­ing and re­as­sur­ing pa­tients.

Fire in­ves­ti­ga­tor Rus­sell Dick­son says the early morn­ing blaze was caused by the surgery’s old air con­di­tion­ing unit over­heat­ing.

He says the fire ‘‘se­verely dam­aged’’ the re­cep­tion area but the back con­sult­ing rooms were not af­fected.

The fate of the dam­aged build­ing will be known by the end of the month, Stewart says.

The surgery has served the Mt Al­bert com­mu­nity from the build­ing for more than 60 years. Stewart says staff are grate­ful for the sup­port they’ve re­ceived from their pa­tients.

‘‘We’ve been

get­ting tremen­dous sup­port for our pa­tients and kind sen­ti­ments,’’ she says.

‘‘It means a lot be­cause we are try­ing hard to get ev­ery­thing work­ing again.’’

Gwyn Bed­ford in the med­i­cal cen­tre’s new re­cep­tion area.

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