September 4, 2008

Hospital Still Under Pressure

By FEEK, Belinda; AKOORIE, Natalie

Waikato Hospital was dealt a brief reprieve yesterday as occupancy levels eased slightly but by this morning they were still tracking at more than 100 per cent.

Waikato Hospital nursing and clinical services operation manager Colleen Vandy said the hospital went into gridlock on Monday night and as a result patients were waiting in transit lounges.

About five elective surgery operations were cancelled yesterday, but she hoped some might be able to be performed at Braemar Hospital. Day stay procedures were still on track, she said.

The hospital was also making the most of its Wintec nursing students. Year two students were called in alongside their third year colleagues who are training at the hospital.

Waikato Primary Health chief executive Shelley Campbell said people feeling unwell should not ignore symptoms but they could access other health professionals first.

"Treatment could probably be assessed over the phone by a practice nurse or even by chatting to a pharmacist," she said.

Meanwhile injured jockey Paul Boylan, in Palmerston North Hospital after a race fall, said yesterday he spoke to an eye doctor and was told he was now booked for surgery on his fractured eye socket in Hamilton on Friday.

Yesterday the Waikato Times reported Mr Boylan had been waiting to be admitted to Waikato Hospital for five days. But in fact the hospital had not received a request from Palmerston North to admit him. Waikato Hospital group manager Hayley McConnell said Waikato Hospital had received a referral from Palmerston North for Mr Boylan yesterday.

She said Mr Boylan had an out- patient appointment only "because he does need some surgery on his eye but it's non-urgent surgery".


(c) 2008 Waikato Times. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.