To prepare for the strike, we needed to defer surgeries and reduce the level of services provided.
Patient numbers were reduced to cope with the strike by cancelling surgeries and procedures over the last few days. All outpatient clinics are closed and only emergency and essential services are being provided today. Some rehabilitating patients were shifted out to Aged Care Facilities and others moved into the Medical Surgical Ward to consolidate care.
“Everything is going very smoothly with the staff and volunteers working as a team,” said Adri Isbister, Chief Executive. “We cannot underestimate the level of planning that has gone into preparing for this strike. The coordinators have done a great job.”
Volunteers have been tasked with undertaking some of the roles required in the wards, including responding to bell calls, moving beds between wards, helping with meals and sitting with confused patients. Management and non-clinical staff are all helping in the hospital throughout the 24 hour strike.
While the immediate focus is on ensuring patient and staff safety over the next two days, the question of what happens next is still to be determined.
“We’ll carefully consider the ERA’s recommendation before deciding how to approach reaching a settlement,” said DHB Spokesperson, Helen Mason.
The strike ends at 7am Friday 13 July.