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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.

August 31, 2015

Changes to Buller older persons' health services finalised

Following nearly a year of conversations with the community and staff in Buller, the West Coast District Health Board will introduce new community-based positions and will soon close the DHB-operated Kynnersley Rest Home in Westport.

The DHB has confirmed the direction of travel set after nine months of conversations with the Buller community, and the outcomes of a staff consultation which were discussed with staff, contractors and their unions yesterday.

Rest home occupancy levels are continuing to drop dramatically in Buller, as more people choose to stay in their own homes for longer and are being better supported to do so. O'Conor Home is expanding its capacity and both DHB aged residential care facilities in Westport are in a poor state of repair. No further government funding is available for building or fixing Buller aged care facilities.

In terms of strengthening community services, the DHB will establish a new Flexible Integrated Rehabilitation Support Team and there will be positions for existing staff within that team.

Other staffing changes include:

  • An Enrolled Nurse position will be established in District Nursing
  • The Diversional Therapist will be reassigned to community based services
  • The Kynnersley component of the Activities Officer role will be reassigned to Dunsford Ward
  • The Clinical Nurse Manager will be reassigned to Buller management
  • Consideration will be given during implementation planning as to how additional support could be provided for diversional therapy activities.

The newly created positions will be advertised among staff within the next fortnight.

West Coast DHB General Manager Buller, Kathleen Gavigan, says the DHB will close Kynnersley Home once all the residents are settled in their new homes, expected to be by 1 October.

"We are talking with residents and their families to finalise arrangements for moving to new homes in a phased way over the coming weeks," Kathleen says.

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.

The DHB will continue to improve after-hours services for people requiring care and support in their own homes, as well as working with other organisations to tackle key issues identified through the community engagement process - including housing, transport and social isolation.


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

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