Hawke’s Bay Hospital mobilises dedicated COVID ward as cases rise

A dedicated COVID-19 ward is today being mobilised at Hawke’s Bay Hospital to safely manage a growing number of inpatients with the virus.

Chief Operating Officer Chris Ash said reconfigurations within its gastroenterology building, Ruakopito, meant up to 17 COVID-positive patients could be accommodated on the dedicated ward, including intensive care level patients if necessary.

“Hawke’s Bay Hospital is currently caring for eight patients with COVID-19 and we are expecting a growing number of patient admissions as COVID cases in the community continue to rise.

“During the 2020 lockdown, Hawke’s Bay Hospital was quite literally turned upside down within the space of three weeks to help support safe management of COVID positive cases.

“Thanks to ongoing COVID resurgence planning since then, the DHB is ready to mobilise COVID-specific wards to support care requirements while keeping other staff, patients and visitors safe.”

Mr Ash said routine surveillance testing of hospital inpatients was also being introduced over the coming days to detect asymptotic cases.

“Mobilising phase one of our COVID inpatient plan represents a steady and managed flex-up to our care response.

“Ruakopito is equipped and ready to go. When, and if needed, we will open a second dedicated COVID ward, B2, which can accommodate 24 patients.

“In terms of maternity, the Waioha birthing unit has now been designated as a dedicated delivery suite for māmā with COVID-19. Ata Rangi is dedicated to COVID negative patients and can still support water births.”

Mr Ash said mobilising the COVID ward plans meant some endoscopy procedures and planned surgical operations would need to be deferred.

“We continue working hard to minimise the impact on planned care as much as possible, but there will be reduced capacity during this period with some less urgent procedures deferred. We apologise and thank people for their understanding as we manage our way through this pandemic response.

“Where possible, outpatient appointments will also shift to virtual consultations, with patients being contacted directly to discuss their appointments or planned care clinical assessments.”


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

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