Waitaha’s rural hospitals reopen

The first residents were welcomed back to Ellesmere Hospital on Monday 31 October. Te Whatu Ora Waitaha are working with whānau, general practices and community providers at Darfield and Waikari Hospitals to bring residents back over the following week.  

“We are really pleased that these facilities have reopened and are ready to provide care to people based in our rural communities,” says Becky Hickmott, Executive Director of Nursing, Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury. 

“Our vision for rural health services is that people are able to access a range of support locally that enables them to stay well.  We understand that a whole range of different things can impact a person’s wellbeing and enabling older people from our rural communities to remain near their whānau can play a big role in this, particularly due to the type of care these facilities provide.” 

“Te Whatu Ora Waitaha is committed to investing in rural communities and we will continue work in partnership with them, and our staff who know their communities best, to continue to develop the service model of these facilities based on modern, evidence-based practice.”

The closure of the rural hospitals, including Oxford, was a temporary measure due to the challenges in providing safe staffing during the COVID-19 Omicron outbreak. Oxford Hospital reopened in June.

Rural hospitals operate under the Aged Residential Care contract, offering respite and end of life services. If you have a query about accessing any services provided by one of our rural hospitals, please contact your normal healthcare provider.  

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