Media Release | Wednesday 1 April 2020 | Patients in the community can be assured visiting Counties Manukau District Health Board community nurses/midwives and other staff doing home visits are taking all the necessary safeguards before entering their home to administer treatment.
Community nursing and midwifery staff are assessing each patient prior to the visit and will re-assess the situation at the door and do a further assessment once inside. If necessary they will take extra precautions.
Pete Watson, the Chief Medical Officer at Counties Manukau District Health Board says:
“There is no reason for people not to come to the hospital if they have an appointment, or to refuse to see our staff in their homes out of fear of safety concerns.”
“If our staff determine it is necessary then they will wear personal protective equipment or other safety equipment or clothing as necessary to keep both the patient, and themselves, safe from any potential infection.”
Dr Watson said it was important for patients to be up front and honest with nursing and midwifery staff about their condition – and that of any other member of their family or any other person in the house – who may be displaying symptoms such as a temperature, constant coughing or feeling unwell.
“If that is the case, our staff will take the necessary precautions,” said Mr Watson, “it doesn’t mean that the patient won’t be seen. We need to see patients to help them on their road to recovery.
“So there is no need to hide the fact that someone may have a temperature or is unwell or has a cough. It is really important people let our staff know if they have come back from travel or if they are unwell, we can then take the necessary steps to protect everyone. The patient will still be seen by the nursing staff.”
He said every patient who can be treated at their home is less likely to need re-admission back to hospital.
Community nursing services are moving patients towards self-managed care, or whanau care to try and limit the number of people who may have to visit the home.