Hospital staff asked to take festive break

EMMA BEER
Last updated 13:00 11/12/2012

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Staff at Nelson Hospital have been asked to take two weeks' leave over Christmas and New Year while the hospital is in summer shutdown.

The day stay unit will be closed and no elective surgeries done over this time.

But surgical services manager Dot McKeown stressed that the hospital would not be closed for acute patients - "we can't".

"We will still have full acute cover."

Patients who would normally use the day stay unit would be sent to different wards, she said.

This should not affect too many people, as patients would not be presenting to day stay before their surgeries because none were scheduled.

"And most acute patients come from the ward or from ED," Ms McKeown said.

One of the main reasons for the shutdown, and this year asking staff to take leave, was because of the DHB's current financial situation.

"The staff realise the rationale behind the summer plan, which is to help realise some savings in terms of leave liability.

"Traditionally, there's a lot of leave taken at this time anyway."

The board had a $1 million net loss in October, bringing the year to date deficit to $1.82m.

There will be no elective surgeries for two weeks, beginning December 24. The day stay unit will be closed for three weeks, until January 13.

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- The Nelson Mail

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