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Contingency plans in place for NZNO strike at Canterbury & West Coast DHBs

Tuesday 8 June 2021Health news3 minutes to read

Following confirmation today that the New Zealand Nurses’ Organisation (NZNO) strike will go ahead as planned from 11am to 7pm on Wednesday 9 June, both Canterbury and West Coast DHBs have contingency plans in place to ensure the public can still access the care they need.

Acting Chief Executive for Canterbury and West Coast DHBs, Becky Hickmott says the number one consideration, as always, is patient safety, and acknowledges that NZNO also supports patient safety by providing Life Preserving Services (LPS)* during the strike.

“Urgent and emergency care will remain available throughout the period of the planned strike. This includes the Emergency Department, acute (unplanned) surgery, all intensive care units, cancer care and the Renal Dialysis unit.

“111 calls will be responded to as usual and people should access urgent and emergency care as they normally would, but expect things to be busy,” says Ms Hickmott.

“There are close to 5000 nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants at Canterbury and West Coast DHBs, so the strikes are expected to cause significant disruption to non-urgent services in both regions.

“We apologise in advance for the disruption this strike will cause but we respect NZNO members’ right to take industrial action and acknowledge that these key staff have a valued role as part of our health system,” Ms Hickmott says.

NZNO members who will be striking on Wednesday include nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants.

“We have put a number of measures in place to ensure we can continue to provide urgent and emergency care during the strikes. Our contingency plans include rescheduling non-urgent and planned care to reduce the demand on staff who will be working during the 8 hour strike.

“We are in the process of contacting people whose surgery or outpatient appointment will need to be deferred. If you haven’t heard from us, you can assume your care will go ahead as planned. If you want to check, call the number on your outpatient appointment or surgery letter. “Urgent procedures and surgery will be prioritised during the planned strike period.

“Our aim is to ensure those working during that period are available to care for patients with high and complex needs, as well as those needing emergency care,” Ms Hickmott says.

Useful numbers for contacting health services on the West Coast can be found here:

https://www.wcdhb.health.nz/your-health/find-and-enrol-at-a-health-center/

Phone numbers for Canterbury Hospitals and Health Centres can be found here:

http://www.cdhb.health.nz/Hospitals-Services/hospitals/Pages/default.aspx

ENDS

*What are Life Preserving services (LPS)?

Life Preserving Services (LPS) are the staffing levels and agreed essential tasks that ensure people in our care will be safe. LPS is provided on a voluntary basis, but because the union is responsible for providing LPS, staff who agree to cover LPS duties are enabling their NZNO colleagues to strike.

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Page last updated: 11 June 2021

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