Hospital ward to stay open over Christmas break
For the first time in four years the inpatient ward at Taupo¯ Hospital will remain open over the Christmas/New Year period.
For the last three years the ward was been closed for two weeks, partly because of low patient numbers. However Taupo¯ Hospital manager Ange Guy says this year it will remain open over the holiday.
“Past patient numbers haven’t warranted the ward staying open for the two-week period but Lakes District Health Board feels that there is now enough demand,” Ange says.
“Taupo¯ Hospital, especially the Emergency Department, has been experiencing high patient presentations which has stretched resources and the inpatient ward is still running the four-month 15-bed winter plan, which will go back to 10 beds at the end of October.”
Ange says although other parts of the hospital, including the emergency department, birthing unit and mental health and addiction services will operate as normal, the emergency department has been under a lot of pressure in recent months.
Lakes District Health Board is urging people to think about where to go for health care, rather than heading to the Emergency Department. To help people get the right medical attention more quickly, the GP practices operate an after-hours phone system where specialist triage nurses assess each person’s situation and advise them on the best place. If it is an emergency, dial 111 for an ambulance.
Otherwise, people should call their usual GP practice and the call will be transferred to Home Care Medical. The nurses will ask for information and then advise whether the problem should be dealt with at the emergency department or would be better seen by a GP, and who is on duty.
■ Healthline is also available on 0800 611 116 for free health advice 24 hours a day.