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June 19, 2007

Nursing vacancies

Over the past week the West Coast District Health Board has been working on a plan to cover a number of nursing vacancies at Grey Base Hospital.

Chief Executive Kevin Hague said he was pleased staff were given the opportunity to provide feedback on options for covering staff vacancies.

"This process was about ensuring that workloads of staff were managed in an effective manner, while providing a service that was able to meet the needs of the community," Mr Hague said.

From July 2, the West Coast DHB will have 15 nursing vacancies at Grey Base Hospital.

These vacancies combined with an expected increase in the number of admissions over winter has meant the DHB needed to take action in order to ensure the safe and quality provision of health services.

As a result a plan has been developed and will shortly begin to be implemented.

Parfitt Ward (staff and patients) will be relocated to Barclay Ward. Provisions will be made to keep children separate from adults they will continue to receive specialised paediatric nursing on a 24/7 basis.

"Effectively paediatrics will become a self contained unit within the much larger surgical unit," Mr Hague said.

Barclay Ward will have its bed numbers reduced from 23 to 13, elective surgery will continue and there are no plans to cancel any procedures.

Morice Ward, the Critical Care Unit, Hannan Ward, Mental Health, Accident and Emergency and Outpatients are not affected by the changes. Admissions and discharges to Grey Base Hospital are also unaffected.

Mr Hague said while he was disappointed that the paediatric ward had to be relocated it was a temporary measure.

"With this plan very few members of the public will notice any changes at Grey Base - while staff will benefit from ensuring their workloads remain at manageable levels.

Please attribute all comments to Chief Executive Kevin Hague.

For more information please contact
Vikki Carter
Community Liaison Officer
03 768 0499, Extn. 2665
027 245 9595

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