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Oxford Rural Community Hospital to reopen in June

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Canterbury DHB will reopen Oxford Rural Community Hospital in mid-June.

Becky Hickmott, Executive Director of Nursing, says that the Oxford facility will reopen first because there is limited capacity in other aged care settings in Oxford. The majority of the residents are from this facility and there is staff capacity in Oxford to provide care for the seven residents who wish to return.

In the districts that surround Waikari, Ellesmere and Darfield rural community hospitals, there are beds available in other local Aged Residential Care facilities, and until we have sufficient staff to ensure the safe and appropriate care of their residents, their reopening will unfortunately be further delayed.

We continue to see widespread and elevated COVID-19 infection rates among our staff and our Canterbury community, including in the areas affected by these temporary closures. Residents were relocated to other facilities because Canterbury DHB could not guarantee staffing levels that would enable these rural community hospitals and local aged care facilities to provide safe and appropriate care.

"The current circumstances require a discussion with our rural communities on how we might deliver an improved mix of services in these rural areas that makes the best possible use of our resources and allows some services to be provided closer to home," says Becky.

Canterbury District Health Board is committed to investing in rural communities and wants to work in partnership with them, and our staff who know their communities best, to develop a future service model based on modern, evidence-based practice.

A working group comprising clinical and operational staff, together with community representation will be convened to develop a proposal on a possible future model of care in these communities.

"We are aiming to share the proposal in four to six weeks’ time. We will then be looking for feedback, initially from staff. There also will be a process for listening to the views of the current residents and their families and later, the wider community," says Becky.

"In the meantime, our focus will be on ensuring a smooth and welcoming return home for the seven residents coming back to the Oxford Community Hospital."

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