wcdhb banner
News and Media Releases

Media Releases Archive

Introducing This Page

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.

November 8, 2013

DHB confirms community consultation with Buller community in the New Year

West Coast DHB chief executive David Meates has today confirmed that the Westport community will have a chance to input into the way in which aged care services are organised in Buller in the New Year.

"It is important to remember that two years ago, extensive community consultation took place in Westport regarding an Integrated Family Health Centre [IFHC] and the services that it would bring together on one site," says David Meates.

"The outcomes of that consultation are at the heart of the recent announcement by the government of an $8 million IFHC, which includes a number of inpatient beds. This is a great outcome of effective consultation.

"When we consulted with the people of Buller, we received submissions and feedback indicating a clear mandate from the community, health professionals and other interested parties that we should co-locate all health services on a single site. The DHB Board concluded that the current Buller Hospital site was the best option for the Buller community because of factors including the site's ease of access and its central location. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in reaching agreement with the O'Conor Trust to bring its aged care services onto the Buller Health site. O'Conor has instead started building additional rest home capacity on its own site.

"I want to clarify some confusion in the community about bed numbers for the new IFHC. We have not made any mention of future aged care arrangements in plans for the Buller IFHC. The detail associated with how we organise residential care for older people in Buller needs further work in light of O'Conor's decision, and both staff and community input is vital to this process.

"At this early stage in our planning, and following detailed modelling and conversations with clinical staff in Buller, it was determined that there would be approximately 10 inpatient beds attached to the IFHC. These beds will primarily be for patients with similar needs to those currently in Foote Ward. However, it's important to state that the beds will be multi-use. There will be beds for maternity and palliative care, and all beds will be flexible to be used as required.

"The preliminary concept design stage is underway and the design team has spent two days in Buller talking with staff. They will meet staff again in a fortnight. It is essential that clinicians are involved in shaping the plans at this very early stage as they are the people who will be delivering the care.

"In the New Year, we will consult with the Buller community on our thinking about the ways in which aged residential care services might be organized."

Buller District Council Mayor Garry Howard says, "I have been in contact with the DHB and it is clear to me that both the Council and DHB have a shared commitment to a new, integrated family health facility to serve the people of our community. I understand that the DHB is developing an IFHC with 10 medical beds, and they will reconsult with the community about aged care services.

"I am concerned at recent comparisons made between an earlier proposal for a 92 bed facility and the recent IFHC announcement. I am assured that the recent announcement does not include aged care beds and it is therefore mischievous to make this comparison because it creates anxiety in our community which is not helpful. The council and I look forward to working alongside the DHB throughout this important process," says Garry Howard.

David Meates says, "The chance for staff and the community to have a say in planning aged care services is important. We look forward to re-engaging with the community next year."



For more information please contact:

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

Back to the Media Releases Archive