Nursing strike July 2018


Impact of nursing strike on Lakes DHB’S Rotorua and Taupo hospitals


Contingency planning has ramped up at Lakes DHB following the decision by members of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation to strike for 24 hours from 7.00am on Thursday 12 July until Friday 13 July at 7.00am.

Lakes DHB staff have been meeting regularly over several months to plan for the smooth continuation of essential clinical services during the 24-hour strike.

Lakes DHB Incident Controller for emergency management at Lakes DHB, Gary Lees says actions that have been planned for over the past few months are now being put in place. He says all the discussion and planning that has been taking place is to make the hospitals as safe as possible for patients and staff.

“The needs of patients are foremost in the contingency planning, and any decisions around limiting, changing or re-arranging clinical services are to ensure that patients will be protected from harm,” Gary Lees says.

All elective surgery and outpatient clinics including allied health appointments have been postponed for Thursday 12 July. Please note the only clinics operating will be for urgent antenatal presentations and urgent fracture patients.

Nineteen patients with scheduled or elective procedures have been postponed in line with trying to reduce inpatient numbers in the days running up to the strike.

On the strike day, Thursday 12 July, some 11 patients who had been booked for elective procedures have been postponed and rescheduled. Lakes DHB would normally have seen around 260 people across a range of disciplines for their outpatient appointments. The affected patients have all been rescheduled.

Gary Lees says patient numbers and the level of sickness amongst patients remains quite high as is typical for this time of year.

“Nurses make up a very large and important part of our workforce, and trying to cover the gaps is really challenging.”

Emergency Departments at Rotorua and Taupo Hospitals will remain open for emergencies. People are advised to avoid coming to the ED if they have a minor health issue – please visit your family doctor / community emergency clinics, or contact the telephone health service, Healthline 0800 611 116.

Lakes DHB is also asking members of the public to make sure they are prepared, with their medications for long term conditions up to date, and to only use ED for emergencies.

Healthline is a 24 hour a day, seven day a week service with trained registered nurses able to assess and advise over the phone. Phone calls are free from within New Zealand – this includes calls from a mobile phone.

What is happening?

Rotorua and Taupo Hospitals will continue to operate essential services such as the Emergency Departments, emergency surgery, acute mental health and maternity care throughout the strike, and patient safety remains our top priority.

Some services provided by Lakes DHB have been scaled back before the date of the strike to ensure the number of patients in hospital is as low as possible, so that care can be provided safely.

All planned surgery and outpatient clinic appointments on Thursday 12 July have been postponed and rescheduled.  Drop in clinics will also not be operating.

If you need care

During the strike periods, if your condition is not urgent or severe please call Healthline (0800 611 116) or contact your GP in the first instance where possible. If you have an emergency call 111.

The Lakes PrimeCare Accident & Urgent Medical Centre is located at 1165 Tutanekai St, Rotorua.
Lakes PrimeCare is open from 8am to 9.30pm each day.
Phone 348 1000