The inaugural Rhythm and Alps music festival in the Cardrona
Valley is believed to be a factor in fewer attendances at the
Lakes District Hospital emergency department on New Year's
While ED presentations in December 2013 totalled 701, more
than in December 2012, 53 people admitted for treatment on
New Year's Day, noticeably fewer than in previous years.
''Although the numbers [of ED presentations] were less this
year [in the New Year period], we attribute that to a number
of factors,'' Lakes District Hospital operations manager
Janeen Holmes said on Friday.
''A lot of young people were over in Cardrona, the weather
[in Queenstown] wasn't that fantastic and we also wondered
whether [the Queenstown Times] article prior to
Christmas, asking people to go to GPs and keep emergency free
for emergencies, was quite beneficial as well,'' Miss Holmes
''We didn't have the same number of intoxicated presentations
as we had last year ... and I think that was because St John
were doing a marvellous job sorting them out in town.
''A lot of the pre-planning we did with police and St John
really paid off, because we all work really well together and
St John, particularly, know who to send to us and who they
can deal with,'' Miss Holmes said.
None of the 53 patients on New Year's Day presented with
major injuries, she said.
There were two fractures and one intoxicated person who
needed hospital attention on New Year's Eve.
There were seven fractures and five drunk people on New
Year's Day, down from the 15 drunk people admitted on New
Year's Day 2013.
Most of the 53 cases on New Year's Day were men aged 18 to
30, but how patients injured themselves and whether they were
residents or visitors was not recorded.
Only non-residents from countries which do not have a
reciprocal health agreement with New Zealand are charged for
While it was sometimes difficult to ascertain if a patient
was having adverse effects to synthetic drugs, ''probably
less than 10'' patients on New Year's Day were thought to
have been under the influence of synthetic drugs, which was
nonetheless ''significant because we never used to see
[any]'', Miss Holmes said.
No patient was recorded as being a threat to staff, but a
security guard was present.
''Staff did really well, and planning and knowing we had
enough staff on were really important. I think we would
repeat everything this year.''
The number of patients stabilised at Lakes District Hospital
then transferred to Invercargill or Dunedin hospitals for
further treatment because of the severity of their injury
increased year on year in November and December 2013.
There were 57 transfers last November, 27 more than in
November 2012, and 52 transfers last December, four more than
in December 2012.