This development follows a seismic assessment – carried out as part of a wider assessment of DHB facilities – that found that the Heretaunga Block would be earthquake prone under the law. The DHB now has some years to bring the building back to acceptable levels.
“The work that would be required to remediate the building would disrupt patient care. Instead, we will be looking at how we can move patients and services out of the building as well as examining what alternative arrangements might work for our communities,” said Hutt Valley DHB and Capital & Coast DHB chief executive Fionnagh Dougan.
“To do this, we will be establishing an integrated governance model to examine what the options and next steps may be and to develop an implementation plan to relocate services while ensuring continuity of, and access to, healthcare.
“To do this, Hutt Valley and Capital & Coast DHBs will work closely with our regional DHB partners as well as other key stakeholders – such as the Ministry of Health, Interim Health New Zealand, and the Māori Health Authority.
“We will also consult and engage with staff and providers and the Hutt Valley Board will recommend to the interim agencies that they prioritise any alternative in a way that ensures that the Hutt Valley community continues to have access to quality, safe and equitable health care.”
In the meantime, services will continue to be delivered from the Heretaunga Block and people can continue to access healthcare at Hutt Hospital as they normally would.
“We are working closely with experts and following all advice – part of which confirms that the risk posed to people is low. This means that we can continue to utilise the building for healthcare services while we consider all the options and plan our exit from the building.
“The ongoing safety of our patients, visitors, and staff remains our highest priority. We will ensure that that safety is not compromised while at the same time taking a measured and managed approach that enables the transition of services from the building in a way that does not disrupt the access and delivery of services to the people of the Hutt Valley.
Information about the Heretaunga Block is available online and will be updated as developments progress.
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