Move to close A&M overnight

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

Kenepuru Hospi­tal’s overnight ac­ci­dent and med­i­cal clinic may be closed and re­placed by rov­ing paramedics.

Cap­i­tal and Coast Dis­trict Health Board is to con­sider a pro­posal from med­i­cal ad­vi­sory group In­te­grated Care Col­lab­o­ra­tive (ICC), to close the A&M clinic be­tween 10pm and 8am.

Porirua and north Welling­ton res­i­dents in need of med­i­cal as­sis­tance would in­stead be expected to call Welling­ton Free Am­bu­lance or travel to Welling­ton Re­gional Hospi­tal in New­town.

The overnight A&M clinic is con­sid­ered too costly.

The ICC pro­posal is still at a con­cep­tual stage.

The group in­tends to de­velop overnight pri­mary health­care ser­vices that best meet the needs of pa­tients who can­not be safety de­ferred to when their reg­u­lar GP is avail­able.

The para­medic ser­vice would be based on the Ur­gent Community Care model oper­at­ing in Kapiti.

Peo­ple need­ing med­i­cal as­sis­tance would be as­sessed by a nurse over the phone and vis­ited by paramedics if re­quired.

The ser­vice is expected to be free to res­i­dents and de­liv­ered in their own homes.

Porirua GP Larry Jor­dan, a mem­ber of the ICC, told Fair­fax Me­dia last week de­tails were still to be de­vel­oped.

There would be pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion, prob­a­bly be­fore the end of the year.

Dr Rob Kieboom, who has worked at the A&M clinic for five years, has ques­tioned whether paramedics would have the skills and equip­ment nec­es­sary to treat acute pa­tients at home, and that Porirua’s in­fants, toddlers, old and frail de­served bet­ter.

Maori and Pa­cific Is­land chil­dren had high rates of menin­gi­tis, rheumatic fever, acute res­pi­ra­tory dis­tress and sep­sis [blood poi­son­ing] and older pa­tients had a high in­ci­dence of strokes, heart at­tacks and acute ab­dom­i­nal pain, he told Fair­fax Me­dia.

‘‘These sort of pa­tients present to the cen­tre overnight. These pa­tients can­not wait for . . . a para­medic to come to their house.’’

Mayor Nick Leggett said he was keep­ing an open mind about the pro­posal, an­tic­i­pat­ing the find­ings of a community work­ing group in­ves­ti­gat­ing the new model.

‘‘What I will be look­ing for is that the community will ei­ther keep or im­prove the level of ser­vice it en­joys with the af­ter-hours cur­rently.’’

Al­though a sim­i­lar am­bu­lance ser­vice was work­ing well in Kapiti, with such a dif­fer­ent de­mo­graphic up the coast there was no guar­an­tee of suc­cess in Porirua, Mr Leggett said.

Kapi-Mana News was to meet with mem­bers of the In­te­grated Care Col­lab­o­ra­tive to­day to dis­cuss the pro­posal.

Visit www.kapi­mananews.co.nz for updated cov­er­age.

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