Moving some patients from The Princess Margaret Hospital to Burwood Hospital is underway without a hitch but it's left some confusion around the future of the old Cashmere site, a landmark of the southern suburbs since 1959.
David Meates, Canterbury District Health Board chief executive, says the patient moves started on Monday and have gone like "clockwork".
"I'm incredibly proud of the way the clinical teams and everyone has worked together and also for the support of the New Zealand Defence Force who have helped shift frail elderly patients across town.
"It's been nothing short of remarkable. However, I've fielded a lot of questions about what's happening with the old Princess Margaret site and I want to be clear that there will be a number of services here for the next couple of years."
Mr Meates says several specialist mental health services will remain at The Princess Margaret Hospital including the mothers and babies unit, child and youth mental health inpatient services and eating disorder services.
"Our Older Persons Health Community teams will also be based at The Princess Margaret Hospital.
"A range of support services, such orderlies, security, maintenance, transport and equipment stores will also stay on site, and there will be someone at reception to help with enquiries during office hours. The café will operate a reduced service Monday to Friday from 7:30am-3:00pm."
Mr Meates says the New Zealand Fire Service's Addington Fire Station is also moving in to the old Riley Day Unit, where they plan to have a number of staff and a fire appliance stationed here during the day Monday to Saturday while their new facility is constructed.
The long-term plans for The Princess Margaret Hospital are yet to be decided, Mr Meates says.
"If the Board decides there is no future strategic purpose for the DHB to retain the entire site there is a set process for the disposal of land that would have to be followed and this involves both Public Works Act clearance and then giving Ngai Tahu the right of first refusal, this means they would have first option to buy the land at market rates. The DHB may choose to maintain some or all of land for possible future development.
"Whatever is decided, the local community and the wider city will be kept informed," Mr Meates says.
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