South­ern DHB takes ac­tion

The Southland Times - - NEWS - STAFF RE­PORTER

The South­ern Dis­trict Health Board has taken ac­tion to ad­dress a back­log of pa­tients in its urol­ogy ser­vice by send­ing some of its Otago pa­tients to be treated at South­land Hospi­tal.

South­ern DHB chief ex­ec­u­tive Chris Flem­ing said a project team had been de­vel­op­ing an ac­tion plan to ad­dress is­sues in the urol­ogy de­part­ment, but the team was also act­ing on im­me­di­ate pri­or­i­ties.

This in­cludes en­sur­ing about 100 pa­tients re­quir­ing prostate biop­sies would be seen promptly, he said. ’’This means pa­tients in South Otago and parts of Cen­tral Otago will be in­vited to ap­point­ments in South­land Hospi­tal.’’

Last month, it was re­vealed 10 prostate can­cer pa­tients at Dunedin Hospi­tal had to wait seven months for ur­gent surgery which was meant to be done within a month.

Labour health spokesman David Clark said the 10 pa­tients were just the tip of the ice­berg and hun­dreds more urol­ogy pa­tients in the south were wait­ing for fol­lowup ap­point­ments but they were not deemed se­ri­ous enough to be on the ur­gent list.

On Fri­day, Flem­ing said other steps now agreed on to ad­dress the is­sues at the urol­ogy de­part­ment in­clude re­cruit­ing an ad­di­tional clin­i­cal nurse spe­cial­ist to Dunedin Hospi­tal and seek­ing locum con­sul­tants to cover for an­nual leave.

How­ever, no de­ci­sion has been made on the ap­point­ment of an ad­di­tional per­ma­nent urol­o­gist, Flem­ing said.

Those pa­tients re­quir­ing rad­i­cal prosta­te­c­tomy who were iden­ti­fied as hav­ing waited too long had had their surg­eries.

‘‘There is now just one out­stand­ing case, which was resched­uled for clin­i­cal rea­sons.’’

All out­stand­ing cases, where wait times ex­ceeded ser­vice ex­pec­ta­tions, were be­ing re­viewed and ap­point­ments, pro­ce­dures and surg­eries were be­ing of­fered to those with great­est clin­i­cal need, he said.

In ad­di­tion, ac­tions to ad­dress fur­ther rec­om­men­da­tions in an ex­ter­nal re­view of the ser­vice were be­ing de­vel­oped, he said.

Th­ese in­clude re­view­ing op­tions for im­prov­ing pa­tient man­age­ment pro­cesses, im­ple­ment­ing new in­fec­tion con­trol mea­sures to en­able more ef­fi­cient di­ag­nos­tics, up­grad­ing and re­con­fig­ur­ing the phys­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties and im­prov­ing re­fer­ral pro­cesses from pri­mary care.

‘‘A team ap­proach has been re­quired to en­sure we pro­vide the ser­vice our com­mu­nity ex­pects,’’ Flem­ing said.

Man miss­ing

South­ern Dis­trict Po­lice are seek­ing sight­ings of Stephen Lowe. Lowe left work on Portsmouth Drive in Dunedin around 10am on Fri­day and has not been seen or heard from since. There are con­cerns for his wel­fare, and his fam­ily are anx­ious and wor­ried as his dis­ap­pear­ance was out of char­ac­ter. He is driv­ing a black BMW hatch­back, regis­tra­tion HHR892. Any­one who has seen or heard from Lowe, or knows where his car is, is urged to con­tact Dunedin po­lice.

Crown Range opens

The Crown Range road has re­opened fol­low­ing a large slip that closed the road be­tween Queen­stown and Wanaka. The slip, on the Queen­stown side of the sum­mit, blocked the road shortly af­ter 11am on Fri­day. The road had been closed since while con­trac­tors cleared away de­bris. A Queen­stown Lakes Dis­trict Coun­cil spokesman said while the road was re­opened yes­ter­day af­ter­noon, the fore­cast was for snow be­low sum­mit level so mo­torists should carry chains. Wild weather struck Cen­tral Otago on Fri­day, rip­ping roofs off houses in Clyde and caus­ing tor­na­does.

Rippa Rugby cham­pi­onships

The Air New Zealand Rippa Rugby Cham­pi­onships are set to kick off in Welling­ton to­day. About 200 Rippa Rugby play­ers from 20 schools through­out New Zealand will com­pete at the two-day cham­pi­onships. Teams from Hau­roko Val­ley Pri­mary School and Ar­row­town School will rep­re­sent South­land and Otago re­spec­tively at the event.

Week­end ar­rests

A 31-year-old man was ar­rested and charged with threat­en­ing to kill and as­sault. The man was ex­pected to ap­pear in the Gore Dis­trict Court on Septem­ber 27. In sep­a­rate in­ci­dents, an 18-year-old man was charged with dis­or­derly be­hav­iour on Satur­day at 6:30pm and a 26-year-old man was charged with as­sault on Sun­day at 1.15am. Both men were ex­pected to ap­pear in the In­ver­cargill Dis­trict Court on Septem­ber 21.

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