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Published Monday 8 May 2023

Te Whatu Ora Capital, Coast and Hutt Valley has opened new facilities to increase available beds and relieve pressure on busy hospital wards and Emergency Departments as winter approaches.

“Our Hutt Valley, Kenepuru Community, and Wellington Regional Hospitals continue to experience high occupancy, with patients often having to wait in ED for long periods of time until a bed on a ward, or another facility such as aged care, becomes free,” says Andre Cromhout, Acting Chief Medical Officer.

“Winter illnesses, such as the flu and COVID-19, increase hospital pressures and we have a number of initiatives underway to ease this – including opening new facilities within our hospitals and working with partner organisations to support greater community care.

“Last week we opened a new 14-patient Transit Hub at Hutt Hospital where we can monitor patients ready to leave hospital but who are waiting for discharge papers, or for whānau or an ambulance to pick them up.

“Each morning we discharge about 40-50 people from Hutt Hospital. However they are often unable to leave until late afternoon or early evening. The Hub enables these patients to wait in comfort while freeing up much-needed beds for new patients, particularly those waiting in ED.

“Today we are opening the renovated top floor of the old children’s ward at Wellington Regional Hospital as an interim general medical adult ward. The ward has 16 beds that will reduce pressure on other wards, including ED, and improve hospital flow. It will also enable other medical wards to focus on supporting patients requiring more complex care.

“Following on 9 May a Second Stage Recovery Unit will open at Hutt Hospital, where we can monitor surgical patients who are expected to stay in hospital less than 24 hours after their operation. We expect this will support 2,000 patients a year and free up beds in the hospital’s medical wards.”

“We continue to encourage Wellingtonians to ensure their vaccinations for the flu and COVID-19 are up to date, which reduce the chance of people getting seriously unwell.”

“Work on a range of community care initiatives, which will reduce demand on hospitals, is also underway. This will includeexpanding the minor ailments scheme currently operating in Upper Hutt. The scheme enables children and young people under 14, and those with a community service card, to access free consultations and medicines for minor ailments from a pharmacist.”

Staying up to date with your Flu and Covid-19 vaccinations
To make it easier to stay up-to-date with your recommended vaccinations you can book to get your Covid-19 booster and Flu vaccine at the same time. Book yours now at or call Healthline on 0800 28 29 26, book through your GP, pharmacy, or healthcare provider.


Pictured top: Opening of Transit Hub in Hutt Valley Hospital 

Pictured middle: Opening of Ward Two in Wellington Regional Hospital

Pictured bottom: Second Stage Recovery Unit at Hutt Valley Hospital which will open from Tuesday 9 May.