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Published Thursday 19 Mar 2020

Capital & Coast DHB is asking people to only use the entrance to the Wellington Emergency Department (ED) if they are specifically seeking ED care.

 

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The ED consistently experiences high levels of unnecessary foot traffic as people cut through its waiting room to reach other areas of Wellington Regional Hospital.

This can affect the ability of ED staff to properly triage and manage patients, and hinders infection control measures by increasing the risk of spreading contagion to other areas of the hospital.

This is particularly important as health authorities respond to COVID-19 and prepare for the coming flu season, which is expected to see an increase in unwell people presenting to ED with flu and flu-like symptoms.

As part of the COVID-19 preparations, ED is undertaking a trial in which anyone coming to ED is assessed against the COVID-19 criteria at the front entrance. These staff – who are in personal protection equipment as a precaution – are redirecting non-ED patients, visitors and staff to other entrances of the hospital.

Anyone in need of ED care who enters the hospital via another entrance can be directed to ED from the main reception.

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