Now New Zealand has moved to Covid-19 Alert Level 3, the South Canterbury District Health Board (SCDHB) is working towards a return of more planned care surgery and outpatient appointments.
“There will be a phased approach as we adapt to the new world of Covid-19,” chief executive Nigel Trainor said.
“We thank the community for your patience and understanding, while we work through the new guidelines for Alert Level 3. We need to look at alternative ways of working in order to increase capacity safely.
“Our thoughts are with the people who have had services postponed due to Covid-19.”
Staff would be “contacting patients directly to reschedule appointments and surgeries over the coming weeks”, he said.
Mr Trainor expected planned care to increase slowly, day by day.
“However, by postponing planned care at Alert Level 4, our health system will be very busy for the next few months.”
Current screening measures would remain in place for all patients and those visiting them.
“I would like to thank the South Canterbury community who are doing the right thing and staying home,” Mr Trainor said.
“You have all played a role in helping stop the spread of Covid-19 in South Canterbury and helped save lives.”
Covid-19 visitor restrictions
The SCDHB is adopting the following visitor restrictions under Alert Level 3:
- One visitor from the patient’s extended bubble can visit once a day, with a few notable exceptions.
The exceptions include:
- Two support partners from the patient’s extended bubble for the duration of a birth
- Family visits at Talbot Park, D6 residential unit, when supporting a terminal patient through end of life care.
The decision about whether exceptional circumstances apply is at the charge nurse manager’s or another lead clinician’s discretion.
At all times, where a visitor is allowed to access the hospital, appropriate screening will take place before they are allowed to enter the care environment to ensure they are well and have practised hand hygiene.
These measures are to ensure the safety of patients and staff by minimising avoidable contact and the potential for spread.