12th July 2018

DHBs strike contingency response going to plan

District Health Boards say contingency procedures at the country's hospitals are going to plan with staff, volunteers and NZNO members playing an important role in providing care for patients since NZNO nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants went on strike this morning.

"The strike by nurses has been unprecedented and the fact that hospitals have been able to provide the services they have is testament to the effort that's been made, especially contingency planning and preparation over three months.

"Today's response has gone to plan so far. Hospitals report more staff and volunteers than planned, and occupancy levels are as expected.

"Importantly from a patient safety perspective, the arrangements for Life Preserving Services are working as planned. It's important to thank the members of the NZNO who have made themselves available to work and provide life preserving cover.

"We're also grateful to the large number of doctors, allied professionals, volunteers and a range of others who have also been supporting patients through the day - including our GP colleagues and primary care for the role they're playing in this."

Ms Mason says most emergency departments have comparatively lower numbers of people attending which means the public is also doing their bit to help reduce the pressure on hospitals.

"We're grateful for everyone's understanding and support, although it's important that people who are really sick don't delay getting help if they need it. Emergency and essential services are being provided and anyone who is acutely sick should not hesitate to call 111 or go to hospital.

Ms Mason says, for non-urgent matters people should do what they normally do and visit their GP or pharmacy, and free medical advice is available 24/7 through Healthline (phone 0800 611 116).

Tracey Jury
M: 027 277 6167

Last updated: August 29, 2018