Statement from HBDHB re presentations to Emergency Department over the Christmas period

Hawke’s Bay Hospital has been busy over the Christmas period with 150 patients presenting to its Emergency Department on Boxing Day and over 130 patients being treated most days throughout the holiday period so far.

Normally between 100-110 patients present to the Emergency Department each day.

Chief operating officer Warrick Frater said there had been too many people presenting for emergency treatment with minor injuries and illnesses which was frustrating for emergency staff.

“Unless it was an emergency people should go to one of the accident and medical centres open in Hastings and Napier over the holiday period and could call 0800 33 88 99 for opening hours or call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for 24 hour advice.

“Emergency Department staff are always busy over a holiday period and those patients presenting with minor illnesses and injuries will wait for some time.

“Patient presentations had been from a variety of medical and accident related injuries and illnesses, however there had been a number of people presenting with gastric related illnesses,” he said.

Handwashing and correct food storage, such as keeping food refrigerated, helped prevent gastric illnesses which could be particularly serious for the very young and the elderly.

Mr Frater urged people to check they had enough medication to last them through the coming long weekend.