Taranaki Emergency Departments prepare for busy festive season

24 December 2021

As Taranaki’s hospital Emergency Departments (EDs) prepare for the busy festive season, the public are being reminded to ‘Save ED for emergencies’ over the Christmas/New Year period.

Therese Manning, Taranaki Base Hospital ED clinical nurse manager says things in ED look a little different this year due to COVID-19.

“We want everyone to enjoy the festive season without the stress of becoming unwell. If you do have an emergency, please be aware that we have increased screening prior to entry to keep patients, whānau and staff safe from COVID-19.

“Please don’t come to hospital for a COVID-19 test or vaccination, we will only direct you to a testing centre. If you’re unwell or have been exposed to a COVID-19 case, stay at home and contact Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice and to arrange a test.”

At traffic light setting Orange the visitor policy for both Taranaki Base and Hāwera hospitals has been revised to lift restrictions on the number and ages of visitors and support people starting from Friday 24 December.

“Although we’re now welcoming all visitors and support people into our hospitals we still need to maintain physical distancing in ED so we ask each patient coming in for an emergency to only bring one nominated support person into this department please,” says Mrs Manning

Security Guards will continue to meet and greet patients and visitors and carry out COVID-19 screening.

“Please help keep everyone safe by scanning the QR codes at the entrances or signing in with the guard, hand sanitising and wearing a face covering if you're coming into our hospital ED’s.”

Michael Connelly, Taranaki Base Hospital ED clinical director says it’s important to be COVID safe this holiday period and understand the increased pressure on frontline staff. 

“It’s more important than ever to save ED for emergencies as staff may need to dedicate more time to caring for possible COVID-19 patients.”

A range of healthcare options are available to the community that are best-equipped to provide care for those with non-emergency health issues like hay fever, mild tummy bugs, summer coughs and colds. These include calling Healthline, seeing your usual general practitioner (doctor), a local pharmacy, or visiting MediCross or Phoenix urgent care clinics.

If you, a family member or someone close to you is feeling unwell during the festive season, Healthline (0800 611 116) is free and available 24/7 to provide advice about what’s happening for you and recommend the most appropriate next steps to get the health care you need.

For more information on saving ED for emergencies this holiday period, visit TDHB website.

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