It’s onwards and upwards for St John Oamaru

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St John Oamaru has undergone some change recently and with it comes a hope for a brighter future with more focus on patients, the regional territory manager says.

With three new staff changes, including a new territory manager, St John Oamaru was looking at working closer with other organisations to better serve the community.

St John Waitaki territory manager Ken Barton started his position in September last year, while ambulance officer Grahame Smith, who came from St John Balclutha, started in November and long-time volunteer and part-time St John Oamaru ambulance officer Lyn Cartwright moved to a full-time position in December.

Mr Barton said St John Oamaru was focusing on networking in the community, including working with the hospital and groups such as a local suicide prevention group and Safer Waitaki to help the community.

“We are becoming more patient-focused.”

Mr Smith said they planned to do more work with primary health care with one of the objectives being able to refer people onto different areas.

“We want to be more involved in decision-making.”

Until recently, ambulances used to just transport people, but times had changed and they were moving forward from that, he said.

Ms Cartwright, who has been involved with St John for about 18 years, said it was important for people to know there was an ambulance involved in their community.

St John Oamaru is still looking for daytime volunteers and anyone who is interested can join by visiting join.stjohn.org.nz and searching for ‘Waitaki’.

By RUBY HARFIELD