Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) is grateful to the Waimakariri and Hurunui communities for their responses to the recent public consultation around the North Canterbury Heath Hub.
Carolyn Gullery, CDHB General Manager, Planning and Funding, says the five public meetings attended by more than 200 people were a highlight for the CDHB team along with the encouraging response to the survey.
“It’s a rewarding experience to be able to engage in constructive discussions with a community about their needs. We are thrilled at the communities’ interest in the delivery of health services in North Canterbury,” Carolyn says.
“The overwhelming response, which included almost 3000 returned surveys and many people also making an effort to attend a public meeting, exceeded our expectations and has helped inform us of the health services valued by the community.”
Carolyn says a number of valuable ideas were presented and will now be considered for inclusion in the Health Hub.
“We appreciated the opportunity to share what we want to achieve for North Canterbury and the challenges involved in spreading our resources most effectively across the whole Canterbury region.”
Survey responses showed strong public support for inpatient beds, maternity services, enhanced radiology and outpatient specialists’ clinics to be included in the Hub. Respondents also supported of other community services such as St John Ambulance being located in the Hub.
“We are pleased to be able to move forward with this support from the community on the proposed services,” Carolyn says.
“We are currently on track to start construction in mid-2013. Given the strong interest the community has displayed around the delivery of health services, we look forward to continuing to involve the public in the Hub’s development.”
A summary of the survey response has been placed on the Canterbury website www.cdhb.govt.nz.
What’s the next step?
The next challenge is where to locate the Hub, which will be key to the next stage of the development.
Once a location and services for the Hub are decided, a recommendation will be put to the board in July and then the CDHB will submit a business case to the Ministry of Health for approval.
Where will the Hub be located?
Not surprisingly survey responses closely matched the geographical spread of respondents with 84 percent favouring a Rangiora site. The remaining respondents mentioned Amberley, Woodend or a location with easy access off State Highway One.
The CDHB is considering the information offered through the public consultation, population projections and the planned provision of our whole region’s health services, to decide on the best location. The CDHB looks forward to finishing this work shortly and communicating this decision.
Will the Hub have after hours services?
The Rangiora community’s concerns that were voiced in early in 2011 about after hours services were again commented on in the survey and at the Rangiora public meetings.
While the Health Hub is not intended to include general practice services, the CDHB values hearing the current opinion on this matter. The public meetings have also been a chance for the CDHB to inform the public of North Canterbury about the after hours service that has been in place since September 2011 and to continue our engagement with the public on this matter.
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