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Greymouth Rest Homes work together to solve staffing shortage

Tuesday 26 April 2022Health news3 minutes to read

Some residents of two Greymouth rest homes are being temporarily relocated from one facility to the other to address the impact of COVID-19 and the extensive period of border closures on staffing.  

Health care providers across New Zealand are struggling to recruit staff because of these impacts, and this situation is particularly acute on the West Coast.

Granger House and Dixon House, supported by the West Coast DHB, are working together to ensure that safe and sustainable care can continue to be delivered to older people living in residential care in Greymouth.  The changes mean temporarily relocating some residents to ensure that everyone continues to receive the level of care suited to their individual needs.

As part of this approach, each facility will focus on one level of care until such time as their staffing shortages can be addressed.  Both facilities currently provide both rest home and hospital-level care.

NZ Aged Care Association Nursing Leadership Group member and Clinical Advisor to Dixon House Trust Board Gillian Robinson says “with over 1000 nursing vacancies in NZ aged care services, places like the West Coast have struggled to recruit the required number of nurses.  It’s great to be working with Granger House and the DHB pooling resources to ensure the ongoing care of our residents within their local community”.

While the rest homes and the DHB acknowledge that this change may be unsettling to some residents, people will still be cared for by familiar faces, and continuity of care can be supported. The DHB has been working in conjunction with staff from both facilities to communicate these changes to all residents, their families/whānau and next of kin.

WCDHB General Manager Mr Philip Wheble says “both Dixon House and Granger House have a great reputation for providing excellent quality care to West Coast residents, and they want to ensure that they are in the strongest position possible to maintain services.  This is a sustainable solution that will allow the facilities to adapt and flex the available resources to meet demand”.

Granger House and Dixon House have a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in place so the most suitable level of care is provided to residents at both facilities. Under this MOU, Granger House has been designated as a hospital-level care facility for a time to allow appropriate staffing and support to be focused there. Dixon House will operate as a rest home facility. The DHB will continue to support the facilities with additional staff, and to ensure that the transition runs smoothly, with as little disruption as possible for residents and their whānau.

ENDS

Note to editor:

Dixon House is an independent 42 bed Aged Residential Care facility with 22 Rest Home Care beds and 20 Hospital Care beds. They also provide palliative and respite care.

The facility is currently home to 31 residents.

Granger House Lifecare is an independent 70 bed Aged Residential Care facility with 40 Hospital Care beds and 30 Rest Home Care beds. They also provide respite care.

The facility is currently home to 69 residents.

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Page last updated: 26 April 2022

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