Monday 26 July 2021Health news5 minutes to read
Monday 26 July 2021 – 2.00pm
Please attribute comment to Philip Wheble, Incident Controller, West Coast DHB Flood event
Members of West Coast DHB’s WellFood team were the first to move back into the facility today. Buller Health was evacuated early evening on Saturday 17th July as flood waters rose rapidly and were starting to limit access to the facility.
Following a deep clean of the kitchen facility and installation of a replacement fridge and freezer, the team are enjoying being back in their usual workplace and prepping food for patients and Meals on Wheels deliveries. The New Zealand Defence Force helped out by doing the cooking last week, with Red Cross volunteers doing the deliveries.
Most services will move back in tomorrow. This includes:
Initially they will continue to operate as a drop-in centre with no appointments necessary this week
Radiology will be back in business from Wednesday.
The following services will continue to operate from the temporary facility at Club Buller:
It’s hoped that they will be able to relocate later this week. Foote ward will need to be clinically cleaned and re-stocked and once we ensure suction and gases have been tested and validated, it will be prepared for patients to move back. In the meantime staff are continuing to care for three inpatients in the temporary ward at Club Buller.
One boiler is running and the second should be up and running this afternoon and currently being tested – importantly there is hot water and heating in Buller Health. The newly-installed pumps in the tunnel are working well. The next job to be completed before other services can move back in tomorrow is replacing and testing data cables to ensure reliable connectivity.
I would like to thank our own team on the ground in Buller, along with a number of skilled contractors who have worked tirelessly to get the building in a safe state for reoccupation, with heating and hot water.
Our largest workforce in Buller is the team of people who provide care in people’s homes. I’m pleased to report that all our client and patients in the community have been contacted and are continuing to receive care. Despite 16 DHB cars being off the road due to flood damage, we’ve sourced replacement rental vehicles to ensure continuous care.
Importantly, emergency services are still working so for any emergency people should still call 111.
For non-urgent health care, you should call your own general practice team (Coast Medical on 03 789 5000 or Buller Medical Centre on 03 788 9277. After-hours follow the instructions to be transferred to a nurse who can provide free health advice.)
I’d also like to give a shout out to the team at Whakarongorau Aotearoa who operate the Healthline 0800 611 116 number and behind the scenes have provided a seamless service to Buller residents needing free health advice. Whakarongorau also provide the nurse triage service after hours and have helped us keep the community informed of all the temporary clinics we’ve been running. Thanks team!
We know that supporting wellbeing, and managing anxiety will be ongoing for a community facing recovery after such a significant event. We are exploring new ways of working to boost access to mental health and wellbeing support services in Westport.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, not sleeping, and feeling anxious all the time please seek help from your own General Practice team or drop into our drop in GP clinic. You can also talk to the team at the Hub, currently located at the NBS Theatre.
Finally, here are some useful numbers for organisations who can help:
If it’s an emergency, please call 111 – emergency services are operating
For health advice at any time
You can also call the Buller Support line 0800 768 348 to access help and advice. Call to be connected to welfare advice and support or answers to any questions you may have about the recovery efforts.
Page last updated: 26 July 2021
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