Not emergency care
There were several inaccuracies in the opinion piece of Rob Kieboom about the after-hours service at Kenepuru A&M [KMN, November 13].
First of all it is important to remember that there is no proposal at this stage, it is a concept.
The issues he raises are nothing new and have all been thought through by the working group.
To say there will be a ‘‘single roving vehicle’’ to replace the overnight service at Kenepuru is simply not true. As it has been pointed out before, we are in the process of developing the details.
Under the proposed concept, people who need urgent medical care will receive appropriate care within an acceptable timeframe.
It is important to note that Kenepuru A&M does not provide emergency care. People who have life-threatening conditions should be directed to Wellington Emergency Department in the first instance. Under the proposed concept, those who require emergency care will be identified sooner and will be directed to Wellington Emergency Department by ambulance.
Kieboom makes an inaccurate comparison with the study on the Kapiti Urgent Community Care Service. The Kapiti service is accessed by people who believe they require an emergency services and based on the 111 call made, they are either taken to Wellington Emergency Department or treated in the home by an advanced-care paramedic.
Kenepuru A&M service provides a primary care (GP) service and those who access the service do so because they require a medical service and not an emergency service.
Therefore it is not surprising that less than 10 per cent of those who present at Kenepuru A&M are referred to the Wellington Emergency Department.
Porirua overnight urgent community care concept is about providing an alternative to the primary care service, not emergency services. Wellington Free Ambulance and Wellington Emergency Department will continue to provide emergency services for the district.
As we have always said, when a detailed proposal is finalised it will be available for public consultation. Until such time, it is unhelpful and disruptive to engage in inaccurate speculation.
To then express a view that he remains unconvinced as to mayor Nick’s leadership abilities, he was making a comment that was both unfair and unfounded.
Nick has led from the front on all the major issues the council faces since he became mayor, and I believe the people understand what his views are and the path he sees council progressing along.
Is this a case of someone only seeing leadership qualities in the people who agree with them? paramedic that will cover from Kapiti to Tawa seems so obviously flawed that I can’t quite comprehend how anyone could argue otherwise.
I have seen nothing from Capital & Coast Health that explains why the closure of a perfectly good service is required, particularly in an area of such low-socio economic patients.
And I have seen nothing of the public consultation promised early in this process.
At the moment we are able to take our sick children to trained medical professionals working within a hospital environment that is close to home.
While we might wait hours to be seen, at least we have excellent care on hand should our children suddenly deteriorate.
I will not sit at home with a sick child while I wait hours for a paramedic to turn up. Like many others I have talked to about this, we will simply drive straight to the after-hours centres in the Hutt or Wellington. However, many families in Porirua will not have this option and will be forced to wait and cross their fingers. How is this a better service? It simply defies belief that one ambulance could possibly treat an average of 18 patients each night – and that’s just in Porirua. This paramedic will also have to travel to Kapiti – a good 30 minutes’ drive from Porirua.
This smacks of a cost-cutting exercise at the expense of the community. Porirua deserves better and we won’t let our overnight service go without a fight.