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This section contains media releases released a little while ago. Please note that due to the long time when some of these were released images have been removed and some links might no longer work.

July 4, 2012

West Coast DHB working closely with Canterbury DHB to provide orthopaedic services

The West Coast DHB is working more closely with Canterbury DHB to provide comprehensive orthopaedic services to the West Coast community as part of a transalpine approach to providing sustainable services for the West Coast.

West Coast DHB chief executive, David Meates says, the West Coast DHB faces a number of challenges to ensure West Coasters enjoy a clinically sustainable and financially viable health system now and in the future.

“To meet these challenges we have identified regional collaboration as one of our health priorities. Specifically, this means working more closely with the Canterbury DHB to provide greater certainty for planning and delivering health services,” Mr Meates says.

Orthopaedic services on the West Coast including outpatient clinics and orthopaedic operations, such as hip replacements, will be provided by both West Coast and Canterbury orthopaedic surgeons.

Unplanned acute orthopaedic services will be coordinated by the CDHB Acute Admitting Service as the first point of contact. If the person’s injury requires immediate treatment, there will be an orthopaedic surgeon available in Greymouth for emergencies.

Most orthopaedic trauma is not immediately life threatening and many procedures are better deferred and carried out when swelling has resolved and conditions are ideal. In these situations, people will be admitted to Grey Hospital and reviewed the next day, with their surgery planned for an appropriate time. Acute orthopaedic cases will be discussed daily at the Christchurch Public Hospital trauma meeting, involving West Coast orthopaedic staff through telehealth videoconferencing.

There will be short periods in any week where senior generalist doctors, rather than orthopaedic surgeons, will be providing the on-site backup in Greymouth. On the rare occasions that a need for immediate surgery coincides with these times, the person will be transferred to Christchurch for treatment.

“Although internal processes have changed, West Coasters can be assured of high quality orthopaedic services,” Mr Meates says.

”We will continually evaluate this new way of working and make any changes to the process identified through staff and other feedback. The way the service has been functioning will be reviewed after three months.

“Maintaining safe, high quality sustainable orthopaedic services to the people of the West Coast is our key priority.”

For more information

Bryan Jamieson
Community Liaison Officer
West Coast DHB
PO Box 387
Greymouth 7840
Phone (DDI): (03) 769-7665
Mobile: 027 245-9595
Email: This is not a link as we want to prevent spam.  Please transfer the email address on the image carefully into your email client before sending the email.  You might find, with some older email addresses on this site that they are no longer current, for staff-change reasons.  If your email bounces back please contact the WCDHB Communications Team - see Contacts section of this site.

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