Reconfiguration of hospital to take months

Ruth Kibble
Ruth Kibble
Layout changes at Oamaru Hospital will likely be staged over a period of three months, a document from Waitaki District Health Services to hospital staff says.

On Monday, Waitaki District Health Services (WDHS) announced decisions made after consultation as part of its proposed staffing restructure and layout change at Oamaru Hospital.

Consultation closed in late March after it was extended by about two weeks, which resulted in 15 individual written submissions and nine from groups that represented 185 individual submissions.

Under reconfiguration of physical spaces, the document described why there was a need for change.

''Underpinning the organisational restructure was the benefits to delivery of our health services in terms of how we utilise the physical layout of our facility. We worked on a principle of co-locating the patients with the highest needs together so that our staff are well supported and can work as a team.''

The Waitaki District Council-controlled company confirmed the current emergency department area will now be known as the acute care area and include emergency department, resuscitation, stabilisation and observation beds.

The present doctors' room in that area will become a triage and multipurpose room and patients who received care in the high dependency unit would now do so in the acute care area, or the outpatients department for day cases.

The present high dependency unit will become a rehabilitation gymnasium for inpatients and outpatients. The former Takaro Lodge space will act as temporary doctors' accommodation and a base for occupational therapy, physiotherapy, social work and clinical needs staff.

Four patient beds now in the lodge will be used in the inpatient area; the current physiotherapy gymnasium will move to a clinical education suite and the current physiotherapy offices will be relocated to a student office.

Current social work, occupational therapy offices and the clinical needs assessment area will remain vacant.

WDHS chief executive Ruth Kibble said the reconfiguration of the physical layout of the building would ''enable us to realise efficiencies in terms of staffing as well as delivering on safe staffing levels'' and the ''changes are being worked through with the staff to develop the implementation plans''.

Reconfiguration work was scheduled to take three months.

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