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June 16, 2011

Whataroa and Hari Hari Rural Nurses

No loss of services to the community and more manageable staff workloads are the outcomes of a study into the rural nursing requirements of Whataroa and Hari Hari.

This month the West Coast DHB will begin a trial roster, with rural nurse specialists working seven days on / seven days off, that will see the health clinics in each town having three days of nurse-led clinics per week.

The trial is seen as a win / win situation, where services are retained in each town and nurses have a much more manageable workload with sufficient time-off after periods of being on-call 24 hours a day.

Whataroa clinics will be Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with Hari Hari clinics on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with doctor-led clinics continuing on Thursday in Whataroa and Wednesday in Hari Hari as they do currently. Members of the community are encouraged to phone their local clinic for appointments and are able to travel between towns should they need to see the nurse on a day when their clinic is not open.

"Our rural nurse specialists are a very important component in our South Westland health system, so it is very important that we manage their workload in order that they will stay happy and enthusiastic in their roles" said Hecta Williams, senior manager of the West Coast DHB.

"Being able to meet the needs of both the community and staff will lead to a sustainable service and ease retention concerns", she said.

The trial which is due to start in the second half of June will run for six months. Regular feedback from the nurses and the community will be welcomed in evaluating the trial.

As a further part of the retention and sustainability strategy for South Westland, the West Coast DHB is also employing an additional General Practitioner who will be based in the new Franz Josef clinic commencing 30 June.


For further information please contact

Bryan Jamieson
Community Liaison Officer
West Coast DHB
PO Box 387
Greymouth 7840
Phone (DDI): (03) 769-7665
Mobile: 027 245-9595
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