COVID ward relocated in Hawke’s Bay Hospital

Patients hospitalised with COVID-19 will be cared for in a dedicated isolation facility in Hawke’s Bay Hospital’s tower block from today, Wednesday 15 June.

Chief Operating Officer Chris Ash said use of the hospital’s gastroenterology building, Ruakopito, had served its purpose well for the past 10 weeks to manage an influx of patients during the Omicron surge. It was now being deep cleaned and prepared to revert back to its core business - providing gastroenterology and endoscopy services to patients from Monday next week (20 June).

“Since early March Ruakopito has been functioning as the DHB’s dedicated COVID ward safely caring for and managing COVID patients during the surge. 

“We are now in a position to be able to withdraw COVID requirements from Ruakopito and relocate COVID inpatients, as planned, into a dedicated isolation facility within ward B2 that has undergone extensive structural, oxygen and ventilation supply upgrades in readiness for this purpose.”

Mr Ash said the isolation facility could accommodate up to 26 COVID patients. Intensive care support would be managed within the Intensive Care Unit, as it had also been managing COVID-positive patients in isolated rooms since the outbreak.

“Significant work has gone into preparing the ward to take patients to ensure strict infection prevention and control procedures remain in place to keep staff, patients and visitors safe.

“We do not foresee having to re-mobilise Ruakopito in the near future. However, the facility is our backstop in the event of another surge.

“In the meantime, it’s important to reintroduce core gastroenterology and endoscopy services back into a more normal business as usual model.”

Mr Ash thanked staff and patients for their understanding during the seemingly unrelenting months.

“We have all had to adapt during unrelenting COVID times and continue to work through what is shaping up to be an already challenging winter period with an influx of flu cases.

“Throughout these challenges, our teams have stepped up and have been incredibly understanding and resourceful as we navigate where or how we work a little differently, while at all times ensuring patient safety remains our top priority.”


For more information contact:
Hawke’s Bay DHB Media Team Ph: 027-599-9507

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