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Published Wednesday 9 Mar 2022

Due to the rapidly growing Covid-19 situation in the Wairarapa community we are making changes to ensure we can continue to deliver hospital based healthcare safely to those who need it.

Visitor changes

There will be further restrictions on visiting at Wairarapa Hospital from 5.00pm on Wednesday, 9 March.

Due to the rising number of COVID patients in the hospital no visitors will be allowed, except in exceptional circumstances and when agreed in advance with the Charge Nurse Manager, Duty Nurse Manager or Senior Medical Clinician.

Kaitiaki / Partners in Care are an exception to the no visitor status. Kaitiaki/Partners in care are agreed between the clinical care team and whānau and support those who are longer term patients, or patients who require hospital services frequently. They are more involved in the care plan and actively contribute to patient outcomes.

There is also an exception for people providing extra support to patients due to a disability eg. sign language/interpreter or to assist with mobility.

Remember all people entering the hospital will need to wear a mask, and Kaitiaki / Partners in Care are required to be vaccinated.

We understand this move to no visitors will be difficult for families and whānau, we ask for your understanding as the reason for this change is to protect the well-being of your whānau and hospital staff.

If whānau would like to consider other options for connecting (via phone or virtual, eg. Zoom or Face Time) please speak with the Charge Nurse of the areas your family member is in.

Planned care is being reduced

Planned care (eg. elective surgery and care that is not in relation to an acute, urgent need) is being deferred, where is it clinically safe to reschedule it to a later date.

Some planned care will be delivered virtually where it is appropriate to do so.

This does not apply to people needing acute surgery or cancer treatments, who will receive the urgent treatment they require.

Covid testing for people coming into the hospital

If you have been to the Emergency Department recently you will have noticed that Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) is being done on all people coming into the Emergency Department.

We will be expanding this to include those coming into hospital for other treatments or appointments over the coming week.

Please arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment time to allow time for RAT testing to be completed. Our staff are working to contact patients to advise them of this.

Workforce challenges

Our DHB workforce is experiencing the same challenges due to Covid related absence as the wider Wairarapa community. This, together with staff vacancies means there are significant staffing shortages across some areas. This may result in a different response than usual, including longer waiting times. We are sorry for this, and ask for your understanding.

To help us reduce pressure and long waiting times in ED, please help us to keep ED for emergency care.

You may be able to get more timely care closer to home from your GP or Healthline, or from the After Hours Service based at Masterton Medical Centre at 4 Colombo Road, Lansdowne, Masterton) on weekends and public holidays.

The After Hours Service provides urgent medical care to ALL Wairarapa and out of town patients.

You do not have to be a patient of Masterton Medical Centre to use this service. After hours is open weekends and public holidays, 9am-5pm Phone 06 370 0011 Or you can access telehealth primary care between 5pm-10pm weekdays and 8am-8pm weekends/public holidays through PracticePlus.