Stepping up services at Rotorua and Taupo Hospitals
2/05/2020 10:26:48 a.m.

Thursday 30 April 2020

Rotorua and Taupo Hospitals have this week started reintroducing a range of services.

The services being stepped up include inpatient, daypatient and minor procedures with a focus on clinical urgency, and outpatient services for clinical services, allied health and radiology.

The services are being stepped up within the environment of ongoing potential COVID risk within New Zealand. This has required careful planning to separate areas for patients with any risk of COVID until it has been ruled out and other patients across and within both hospitals.

With elective or planned surgery, we are prioritising surgical procedures according to clinical urgency.

At Rotorua Hospital we are performing elective procedures in all specialties but do have some limitations in place due to COVID -19 risk factors. I.e. procedures that are high risk of aerosol transmission. i.e. dental and some ear nose and throat operations.

This week at Rotorua Hospital, our theatres are operating at about 30 per cent capacity, with a plan to substantially increase capacity over the next two weeks with elective surgery.

Increasingly our outpatient appointments are being done as virtual consultations, with inperson consultations arranged only when there is clear evidence that they will provide significant benefit for patients that cannot be achieved by virtual consultations (e.g. by phone or IPAD)

Across the hospitals, there is a range of measures already in place to avoid, or detect early and prevent the spread of COVID-19 and changes are made as Alert Levels change or further advice is received from the Ministry of Health

While Lakes DHB is working to reduce its waiting lists, Chief Operating Officer Alan Wilsons says events of the past year have seen waiting times extend, and it is going to take some time to work through the backlog of cases.

“Our current priority focus is on providing a safe service as we move between the various alert levels. We are continuing to increase our rate of virtual consultations which will make a real difference in being able to get on top of our outpatient waiting lists. With theatres getting back to full operations next week that will make a real difference,” he added.

Measures towards providing safe services include:
• All staff and patients are required to preserve physical distancing requirements.
• All elective patients are screened prior to being given a date for surgery, and they will also be screened again at the front of the hospital when they come in for their procedure.
• All outpatients coming to hospital for in-person consultations will be screened at the front door.
• All hospital waiting areas have been arranged to allow better physical distancing.



Ends

For more information contact: Sue Wilkie Communications Officer or Shan Tapsell Assistant Communications Officer Phone (07) 349 7944 or mobile 027 242 3652

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