Contingency planning ramps up for Thursday 12 July strike
11/07/2018 9:37:14 a.m.

Contingency planning has ramped up at Lakes DHB following the decision by members of the NZ 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 at Rotorua and Taupo Hospitals.

Lakes DHB Incident Controller for emergency management, 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 are being 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.

For more information contact: Sue Wilkie Communications Officer or Shan Tapsell, Assistant Communications Officer Phone extn 7944 or mobile 027 242 3652