New nurse for Reefton


The West Coast District Health Board says it has recruited one nurse for Reefton, after three staff members resigned.
At the board meeting in Friday, it was revealed that the future shape of services in the township could change.
Clinical services manager Barbara Smith said yesterday Reefton Hospital was 116 years old, but continued to play a vital role in the community.
“We might be a small facility, but our links to the community remain strong,” she said.
The hospital comprises a small accident and emergency department, rest home and palliative care.
The DHB recently filled one registered nurse vacancy but is currently looking to fill two full-time nursing positions.
“We have recently been faced with staff shortages due to resignations, however a considerable amount of work has gone into securing staff to provide care until we have employed replacement registered nurses,” Ms Smith said.
She reassured the Reefton community that clinical staff were working hard to ensure all the shifts were covered while the DHB recruited for the positions.
“The Canterbury DHB has helped us with this and we have some agency staff who are available on a casual basis. All shifts are covered through to mid-October. We need to have the right people with the right experience. Apart from residential care there is also a very small A and E component, which is part of the nurses’ responsibility.
“However, there is a rural nurse specialist on call 24/7, and the registered nurse on duty would only have to attend to the patient for a short time until they arrived at the hospital,” Ms Smith said.