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Getting the DHB ready for winter – how do you get ready?

Some of the winter planning team at a recent meeting l-r Communications director Mary Anne Gill, Waikato Hospital’s Kevin Harris, Allied Health’s Lindsay Pooley and service manager Steve Coles.

The recent drop in temperature has many making preparations for winter but at Waikato District Health Board (DHB) the planning has been going on for weeks.

Waikato Hospital’s assistant group manager: hospital operations, Kevin Harris leads a team of people ensuring that all Waikato DHB hospitals are ready for winter and able to cope with the seasonal influx of patients.

“We did this last year and one of the first things we did was to adjust Waikato Hospital’s bed plan for expected increases in patient numbers and then flowing on from that we started planning our staffing needs.”

The final touches are going on at level 7 in the Elizabeth Rothwell Building for the opening of the Waikids winter ward next week.

Despite the late arrival of the flu vaccination, nearly 60 per cent of our staff have already been vaccinated against the flu.

“Having well staff is pivotal to that and that’s why I am very pleased to see the high level of vaccination. A lot of the thanks for that should go to Karren Moss in Health and Safety and the large numbers of volunteer vaccinators in the wards. They’ve given us a head start for winter,” said Mr Harris.

Over the next couple of months, Mr Harris will be highlighting exactly what goes into winter planning at Waikato Hospital every year.

Planning also involves seeing what happened last winter.

“The demand for beds is monitored daily against our plans, and adjustments to those plans are made when required.

“Nurse managers and duty nurse managers work hard to ensure that Waikato Hospital has the right number of beds open in the right places, at the right times to treat our patients.”

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