Hospital review aims at efficiency

Chris Swann
Chris Swann
A review of the layout of Oamaru Hospital now under way aims to determine the best way to ensure the "efficient operation" of the hospital, Waitaki District Health Services Ltd chairman Chris Swann says.

The layout review was included in a clinically-led review of services and infrastructure at the hospital, which was carried out in conjunction with the Southern District Health Board last year.

The review aimed to ensure patients got the services they needed in a safe, responsive and timely manner by using resources efficiently, effectively and sustainably.

Mr Swann said the layout review was in its "very early stages".

"We are going to relate that physical layout to what’s the best layout to have for the efficient operation of the hospital, such as the emergency department next to the high dependency unit."

The review also included the former North Otago Highland Pipe Band Hall next to the hospital, which was bought by Waitaki District Health Services from the Waitaki District Council in February 2016.

It was being used to store hospital records, Mr Swann said.

The company, which owns and operates the hospital, also owns the former Red Cross building located next to the hall.

"They will help determine how we are going to configure ourselves in the future," Mr Swann said.

"When we make decisions around that, that’s a longer-term thing, so the physical layout has to be in keeping with what our service delivery is going to look like in the next 10 or 15 years. What it gives us with the purchase of those is the ability to make some long-term decisions and not be contained physically by land and buildings."

It was possible the hall would be the base for the hospital’s future clinical healthcare hub. The focus of the hub would be to treat people in their own homes where possible.In 2016, former Waitaki District Health Services chairman George Berry said a plan to establish a medical centre in the hall was in its early stages.

However, the building’s future use was yet to be determined.

"It will depend on how that healthcare hub moves forward. There will be multiple options of what the healthcare hub’s going to look like," Mr Swann said.

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