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Published Tuesday 12 Sep 2023

The Kenepuru Accident & Medical Clinic (KAMC) at Kenepuru Community Hospital is experiencing a shortage of doctors, which is exacerbating the long-running challenges we have faced in staffing the overnight shift from 10pm to 7am. As a result, we are reviewing how best we can continue serving the communities that use the KAMC with the staffing resources we have. This has involved exploring different options for providing community-based overnight after-hours services.

We remain committed to supporting our communities overnight, and are considering every option available.

This includes looking at how we may allocate our resources differently, as well as considering how we may improve people’s access to the services of our partner providers after hours.

We are also actively recruiting for suitable clinical staff and are working to explore whether there is a workforce nationally and internationally that could assist in future.

No decisions have yet been made and we are considering every option possible. If we are unable to secure additional overnight doctors, we may need to change the way we provide overnight (10pm to 7am) care in Porirua from November – for example a telehealth ‘triage and treat’ referral service triaged by nursing staff to paramedic or GP where appropriate.

People can be assured that this decision would only be made in the interests of patient safety and certainty of access, and to ensure the health and safety of our staff.

Considering changing the overnight service is not an easy decision for us to have to make. The Porirua community is important to us and we know the community and our health provider partners value the service.

If we are able to keep the clinic open overnight, we will, and any change to its hours would be a last resort after we have exhausted all other options.

If we were to make any changes, they would only affect the KAMC between the hours of 10pm and 7am – there would be no effect or change to services provided by the wider Kenepuru Community Hospital, or the KAMC between 7am and 10pm.

 In the meantime, people are still able to access the KAMC 24 hours a day.

As with all other community after-hours facilities, the KAMC is not an Emergency Department (ED). There will be no change to emergency care – anyone who needs emergency care should call 111, or visit Te Pae Tiaki Wellington ED or the Hutt Hospital ED, as they do now. Anyone who is unsure whether they require emergency or urgent care can contact Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for free advice.

As no decisions have yet been made, we are not able to provide further detail. Once final decisions have been agreed, we will let our communities and partner providers in advance of any changes that may be made to the KAMC service.