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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.

June 12, 2015

DHB announces changes to Buller older persons' health services

The West Coast District Health Board has announced plans to strengthen and enhance home-based services for older people and shift away from the provision of aged residential care facilities in Buller.

At a public meeting and in discussions with residents, their families and staff yesterday, Chief Executive David Meates says the direction of travel has been set after nine months of conversations with the Buller community.

"We wanted to understand the range of views about how best to care for and support Buller's older population. Throughout this engagement process, we've been clear about the opportunities and realities that we collectively face. Older people have been telling us they want to remain in their own homes for as long as they possibly can. We're responding to that and supporting a greater number of people to remain well and supported in their own homes. As a consequence, DHB-owned rest home occupancy is dropping," he says.

"Our DHB aged care facilities are in a poor state of repair and there's no further government funding available to fix them or build new facilities. We also know that O'Conor Home plans to progressively expand its capacity into the future.

"It's in this context that it's not viable to continue to maintain the DHB's Kynnersley Home or Dunsford Ward. Therefore, our intention is to consult with staff on the proposed closure of Kynnersley Home and the further strengthening of our community-based services. It is expected that this formal consultation will begin in July, with decisions in mid-August 2015."

Following these steps, and as O'Conor Home expands its capacity, the DHB expects to undertake a further formal consultation process on the proposed closure of Dunsford Ward.

"We'll be engaging closely with residents, their families, and staff over the coming weeks and months. Our aim is to respond to the needs and priorities of the community by continuing to increase the range of community-delivered services that enable people to be supported to live well in their own homes".

"We also want to continue to improve after-hours services, as well as working with other organisations to tackle the key issues identified through the community engagement process of the last nine months — including housing, transport and social isolation," Mr Meates says.

Mr Meates reiterated that it was a priority for the DHB to ensure there were sufficient beds and appropriate services to meet the needs of all current residents of DHB-owned facilities and those requiring care and support into the future.

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Ends

Lee Harris,
Senior Communications Advisor
West Coast District Health Board
e: 
t: +64 27 836 1528

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