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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.

September 24, 2013

Reefton Hospital continuing to provide safe and effective care

It’s 116 years old but Reefton Hospital continues to play a vital role in this historic West Coast district.

“We might be a small facility, but our links to the community remain strong,” says Clinical Services Manager Barbara Smith.

The hospital comprises an A&E Department and a rest-home. It also offers palliative care, should it be required.

Like all health services operating in rural areas, Reefton Hospital faces ongoing challenges to recruit suitable staff. The DHB recently filled one Registered Nurse vacancy but is currently looking to fill two full-time nursing positions.

“We have recently been faced with staff shortages due to resignations, however a considerable amount of work has gone into securing staff to provide care until we have employed replacement Registered Nurses,” says Barbara.

“Our priority is to provide safe and effective care for the aged-care residents of Reefton Hospital.”

Barbara is reassuring the Reefton community that clinical staff are working hard to ensure all the shifts are covered while the DHB actively recruits for the positions.

“The Canterbury DHB has helped us with this and we have some agency staff who are available on a casual basis. All shifts are covered through to mid-October.”

Barbara says the unique nature of the Reefton Hospital adds extra challenges to finding staff. Recruitment is continuing for permanent nurses.

“We need to have the right people with the right experience. Apart from residential care there is also a very small A&E component, which is part of the nurses responsibility.

“However there is a Rural Nurse Specialist on call 24/7, and the Registered Nurse on duty would only have to attend to the patient for a short time until they arrived at the hospital,” she says.

Services offered at A&E include treatment of minor trauma and stabilisation prior to transfer to more advanced care, most commonly at the Grey Base Hospital.

“Reefton Hospital has always been here for the community, and we are committed to providing quality care,” says Barbara Smith.


Erin Jamieson

Communications Team

m: 021 743 237

t: 03 769 7400

Corporate - West Coast District Health Board | Grey Base Hospital, PO Box 387, Greymouth 7840

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