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Orthopaedic services for South Waikato people is a winner

From this month (1 July), Lakes District Health Board will be delivering both secondary elective and acute orthopaedic services to the people of South Waikato.

This will include mostly Tokoroa and Putaruru people, along with some residents of Tirau and Matamata.

Elective and Surgical Services Manager at Lakes DHB, Greg Vandergoot says previous collaboration with Tokoroa Hospital has seen the establishment of pathways for the orthopaedic elective patient.

Staff at Tokoroa Hospital’s Emergency Department will decide whether an acute patient is a secondary level orthopaedic case, and will make arrangements for the patient to come to Rotorua Hospital.  This is the same pathway that Taupo patients currently follow for an acute presentation.

Rotorua staff currently hold monthly outpatient orthopaedic clinics at Tokoroa Hospital which will continue from 1 July.  Patients may be seen at one of the three sites being either Tokoroa, Rotorua or Taupo.

The contracted volumes for the elective (scheduled) orthopaedic patients and the acutes averages out to an additional five patients a week.  The additional work will not see Lakes patients wait longer for their orthopaedic procedures as a result of carrying out this work.

Greg Vandergoot says the service has been working for several years now to improve efficiencies which have resulted in additional capacity for Lakes.  This has further been supported by the site redevelopment which included an additional elective theatre.  He says this is a very exciting time for Lakes to be growing its services and in so doing, providing more jobs in Rotorua.  He says this development has seen the service gear up in terms of additional clinical and non clinical staff.

Lakes DHB has previously provided short term assistance to support Waikato DHB patients awaiting surgery in the specialities of Orthopaedics, Ear Nose and Throat and endoscopy surgery.

Mark Spittal, Group Manager Waikato and Thames hospitals says the collaboration with Lakes is one of a range of things being done to improve the timeliness with which people get access to orthopaedic services at Waikato.

“It is an example of how Lakes and Waikato DHBs are collaborating together to get a better outcome for patients in their regions.  In this instance Waikato has more patients than it can see and treat while Lakes needed a slightly larger number to enable the DHB to get better use out of its investment in staff and theatres.”

Lakes DHB Chief Executive Ron Dunham says the collaboration with Waikato DHB is a win-win, as it will see people receive the operations and care that they require, and it helps ensure maximum utilisation of hospital facilities.


For more information contact:

Sue Wilkie Communications Officer or Shan Tapsell Assistant Communications Officer
Phone (07) 349 7944 or mobile 027 242 3652

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