Not emer­gency care

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

Ed­i­tor,

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.

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