Over the last two weeks we have experienced a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in our community and admissions to our hospital.
Just like all employers in New Zealand our workforce is impacted by the current Omicron surge. We had planned for this and have expanded the number of Wards for COVID-19 patient admissions.
Staffing is pressured and to ensure the delivery of safe care all surgery that is not time critical is being postponed for the next fortnight. We are consolidating our outpatient clinics that must proceed to our Manukau Health Park site, and all appointments that are clinically safe to be delayed are being deferred for two weeks from Monday 7 March.
While there are clinics and services that are being deferred, as soon as we are able, we will recommence all our clinics and elective surgery schedules.
We knew the surge was coming so we planned for the impact on our hospital. To help speed up patient pathways all specialities are working more directly with our Emergency Department.
On Sunday night we had a number of staff who couldn’t work their shift for COVID related reasons. In true Counties Manukau can-do and will-do attitude we called on some of our House Surgeons who worked our Wards assisting our nursing workforce with a range of patient cares.
Our people are responding to these challenging circumstances and the needs of our community. Every day I witness kindness, professionalism and extraordinary care being delivered to our patients.
We are here to serve our community and we do not want anyone to delay seeking medical help. Please call your Doctor, local Medical Centre or Healthline with your health concerns. Please only call 111 in an emergency so that we can help those that need us most.
These are unprecedented times and extraordinary circumstances for us all. Please follow the medical advice you are given and only call 111 in a life-threatening emergency.
Kia noho haumaru. Keep safe.
Dr Andrew Connolly
Chief Medical Officer