Call for help from public for upgrading of hospital chairs

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In North Otago, we are showing our true colours as one of the best little rural hospitals in the country.

But our team is being tested more than ever with all the disruption caused by Covid-19.

Despite the challenges posed, our committed team of about 158 skilled individuals has made sacrifices to ensure our vast array of healthcare services continues and that you and your families get the medical care you need, when you need it.

Covid is a massive cat amongst the pigeons, and we all have to operate under new rules.

These new rules have highlighted some areas where we could do better. Infection control has risen to the top of the pops as far as focus, and our infection control team is on a mission to make the hospital a safer place, creating more robust policies and protocols for cleaning.

It has become obvious that some of our set-up has outlived its use-by date and, in the Covid setting, is making a huge amount of work for our team. What should be a simple wipe-down to clean has become near impossible with our fabric chairs and our carpeted floors.

In hospital settings, it is essential to have chairs that are easily wipeable to minimise cross-contamination of microorganisms from person to person.

We have taken this project square on and are replacing ALL of our chairs and our carpet floors with vinyl products – ensuring our space can be sanitised easily and quickly and keeping our patients, our staff and our community safe.

To do this is no easy task.

We have had several donations enabling us to purchase 44 of the chairs we require, and we are in the process of applying for grants.

But there are 97 chairs to go, at $345 each, and we are reaching out to the community to help us with this mission, finishing off this project which will ensure we are equipped to deal with the virus threats surrounding us.

If you would like to help us out, please visit our wishlist page on the website waitakihealth.co.nz/wishlist for details or call us on 433-0290 extn 9043.

As you all know we are an incredible one-stop shop – delivering emergency services, an inpatient ward, a maternity facility, radiology, district nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, clinical needs assessment and social work, as well as a huge number of specialised clinics, ensuring our community is getting the best care possible.

To do this safely, we need to upgrade and do it quickly. Please consider helping us.

Phil Jamieson is the chief executive of Waitaki District Health Services