Twelve babes time arrival for Christmas Day

Last updated 05:00 28/12/2013

BABY LOVE: A record 12 babies were born at Waikato Hospital on Christmas Day, including Izzabella Millar, left, with mother Naomi Chapman of Matamata, and Liam Taylor, right, with mother Ashley Langdale of Morrinsville. With them is the on-call hospital manager during the festive period, Jo-Anne Deane, herself a Christmas Day baby.

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A record 12 babies were born at Waikato Hospital on Christmas Day.

The December 25 babes had an even gender split of six boys and six girls.

Christmas birth numbers were above average for 2013 as the median number on the day is eight, based on data from the past 10 years.

The median for births on a regular day is 10 - another average the festive babes came in above.

Meanwhile, the hospital emergency department and accident and medical centres saw fewer patients over the past three days than this time last year.

Staff hope that means Waikato people followed advice to check out their medical needs before Christmas, and the Waikato District Health Board hopes the low number of presentations will continue in the leadup to New Year.

Associate group manager Jo-Anne Deane, the on-call hospital manager during the period, said patient education from the health board and primary care providers was paying off as people only went to the emergency departments if they genuinely needed to.

"We've seen some very sick people over this festive time and it is important that our medical staff can spend time with them and that places like Anglesea Clinic can see the appropriate ones for treatment there," Ms Deane said.

"What it also means is that people got in to see their doctor before Christmas for things like prescription renewals and check-ups."

There were 180 presentations to the emergency department on Boxing Day, and staff redirected 10 per cent to Anglesea Clinic.

Two years ago, about 20 per cent of the people who came to the emergency department should not have been there but the hospital could not redirect them to Anglesea at the time, said Ms Deane.

"We've worked closely with Midlands Health Network and Anglesea to get a system in place so people can see a doctor but not in a busy emergency department."

In the leadup to New Year's Eve, the health board is using the Cap Plan tool to estimate how busy the emergency department will be.

The busiest days are expected to be Monday, December 30, and Thursday, January 2, based on the experience of previous years.

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- Waikato Times

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