Midlmore Hospital in South Auckland has had a wave of sick children for almost a month. Photo / Dean Purcell:
Eleven sick newborns are being cared for in the playroom at Middlesbrough Hospital because it has not been used up in regular wards.
The number of adult cribs is also declining, with families and staff already under stress as they decide who can be admitted and who should be cared for at home.
The reduction in beds was due to the work being done on the building, as a large increase in respiratory diseases has hit the hospital.
The Manukaau County Health Council said the hospital initially had 26 beds for both neonatal and pediatric care.
According to the spokesperson, the growth of children in the hospital about 11 weeks ago placed 11 beds in the playground.
RNZ was told that the playroom was well placed, with armchairs for parents and a partition for beds.
The source said that the treatment room, which is usually used for bathing children with conditions similar to burns, has also been converted into two beds.
Nine days ago, the children’s ambulance department had its busiest day ever. 140 patients passed in 24 hours.
The lack of beds in the ward added to the ED problem, and children had to stay longer in emergencies while waiting for room to be vacated.
The staff told RNZ that the situation was very stressful as they decided who to accept and who to send home.
Matthew Harwood, a doctor at Papakura Marae Health Clinic, says community doctors face similar challenges.
Last week he had a patient he supervised at his clinic because he knew Middlesbrough was very busy.
When the girl did not recover, she was sent to the hospital.
“The specialists there are wonderful, they took him without hesitation, knowing that I would try to lead him as much as I could. “The interesting thing is that as soon as he got there, he picked him up really fast,” Harwood said.
Although some who found out they were overcrowded did not want to go to the hospital, many felt safe or secure if their sick children were seen by a specialist, he said.
The Middlemore Neonatal Unit regularly cared for about 10 percent more newborns than this year’s maximum, and և $ 5 million was provided to modernize it.
RNZ understands that some employees questioned why the work is being done during the busy winter season.
DHB said it was currently suspended pending board approval, but was due to end in August.
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