Taranaki DHB launches new-look ED campaign

15 December 2016

With the Festive season here, Taranaki DHB has launched an awareness campaign which asks people the question, “Should you be at ED?” and aims to help educate the community about what is considered an urgent and non urgent health complaint.

Sharon Crowe, Taranaki DHB’s Clinical Nurse Manager for ED, said “The campaign features four characters with common ailments that regularly turn up at ED.  We have used a mother with her young child who has earache, a male athlete with an ankle injury, a young professional female who has a headcold and an elderly gentleman who has chest pain.”

“The man with the chest pain is the person who should be at ED. But the other ailments can be treated by other health services. ED is for serious and life threatening illness or injury.  It is very important that people experiencing a genuine emergency call 111 for an ambulance or go to ED,” said Mrs Crowe.

“For all non-urgent health concerns we advise people visit their GP, local pharmacist, Medi-Cross or Phoenix during opening hours. Medi-Cross and Phoenix also have a doctor available 24/7.”

The DHB’s latest campaign also advises people to get organised before Christmas by visiting their GP, renewing their prescriptions and ensuring their tests are all up to date to minimise the high numbers of non-urgent people coming into ED over Christmas and New Year.

Dr Brad Ellington, ED Doctor said, “By non-urgent, we mean soft tissue injuries, sprained ankles, stubbed toes, common coughs and colds, ear ache, renewal of prescriptions and even hangovers. Basically, a range of injuries and symptoms that would be better managed with a call to 0800Healthline, a visit to your GP, Medicross, Phoenix Urgent Doctors or a quick trip to the pharmacy to get checked out.”

“By using another health service, hospital ED nurses and doctors are free to deal with patients in an emergency who need serious and more urgent medical help. Such as - heart attacks, strokes and people involved in motor accidents that have severe injuries,” he explained.

“Our ED team is extremely well trained to take care of people in the first few moments of an illness or injury which can be critical to a patient’s outcome. That’s what we are here for and are really good at,” added Dr Ellington.

Ms Crowe warned that people might be redirected to their GP if they arrive at ED with a non-urgent health complaint and urged once again to “save ED for emergencies this Festive season”.

Taranaki DHB recommends the following options before you make the trip to ED:

  • Call 0800 Healthline (0800 611 116). It’s a 24-hour service and registered nurses will address the symptoms, recommend a care plan and help to reassure worried parents.
  • Visit your pharmacy or a physiotherapist for advice.
  • Book an appointment with your GP. Children under 13 are free and there are low cost options for adults who are registered with Very Low Cost Access (VLAC) GPs in New Plymouth, Stratford, Opunake, Hawera and Patea. For more information please visit www.pinnacle.co.nz/practices.
  • If your GP is busy, or it’s the weekend you can visit MediCross or Phoenix during opening hours in New Plymouth. They also have a doctor available 24/7 (charges apply).
  • Medicross and Phoenix offer x-ray services and can treat broken bones (charges apply).
  • It is very important that people experiencing a genuine emergency call 111 for an ambulance or go to ED.



For more information please call
Cressida Gates-Thompson, Communications Manager, 027 703 6177


Last updated: Thursday, December 15, 2016

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