Doc­tors crit­i­cal of ward clo­sure


Four Cen­tral Hawke's Bay doc­tors have come out strongly against a de­ci­sion to close the CHB Health Cen­tre ward for two weeks over Christ­mas and New Year.

The Hawke's Bay District Health Board re­cently an­nounced the de­ci­sion, which lo­cal doc­tors say was made with­out con­sul­ta­tion.

Drs Andy Daun, Mo­han Gad­di­pati, Paddy O'Brien and Bob Stephens have pub­lished a state­ment in the Satur­day edi­tion of Hawke's Bay To­day call­ing on the HBDBH to re­verse the de­ci­sion.

In their state­ment the doc­tors say the de­ci­sion was made with­out any con­sul­ta­tion with the lo­cal gen­eral prac­ti­tion­ers, the reg­is­tered nurses who work in the ward or the Health Li­ai­son Com­mit­tee, which rep­re­sents the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

They say clo­sure of the ward will sig­nif­i­cantly af­fect CHB res­i­dents, who will have to travel to Hawke's's Bay Hos­pi­tal in Hast­ings to visit and sup­port fam­ily mem­bers need­ing in-pa­tient care — pa­tients who would usu­ally have been cared for in the CHB Ward.

“In ad­di­tion, pri­mary care will be af­fected by not hav­ing the reg­is­tered nurses in the ward, who play a piv­otal role in ini­tially triag­ing and at times treat­ing CHB res­i­dents need­ing af­ter-hours med­i­cal at­ten­tion.” Re­ac­tion from CHB res­i­dents has been swift and stri­dent, with many tak­ing to Face­book to sup­port the doc­tors and de­cry the DHB's de­ci­sion.

“They are al­ways com­plain­ing about lack of bed space in Hast­ings there­fore they should be us­ing our com­mu­nity hos­pi­tal 24/7, 365 days a year,” said one res­i­dent on so­cial me­dia. “Where has com­pas­sion for fam­ily life gone. It is hard enough for some peo­ple to be with ail­ing loved ones with­out mak­ing it harder and more stress­ful.”

Com­ments cen­tred around travel to get to Hast­ings, added stress on fam­i­lies, par­tic­u­larly the el­derly, and the need to fully use the ward and beds at the CHB Health Cen­tre.

Sup­port is also flood­ing in for the staff at the CHB Health Cen­tre about the level of care pa­tients re­ceive.

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