Clued in on closing clinics

2017-01-24 06:01
Hosting the information session at the Holy Cross hall were, from left, Jonathan Vaughn, Louise Appolis, Ada Smith, Dr Kathryn Grammer and Wayne Adams. PHOTO: gary van dyk

Hosting the information session at the Holy Cross hall were, from left, Jonathan Vaughn, Louise Appolis, Ada Smith, Dr Kathryn Grammer and Wayne Adams. PHOTO: gary van dyk

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Community information sessions have been held on the closing of clinics in the City Bowl and Woodstock as the building of a new healthcare facility in District Six nears completion.

The provincial health department hosted a public information session at the Holy Cross hall on Saturday to inform residents about the commissioning of the new community day centre (CDC) on the site of the old Peninsula maternity home in District Six.

This session was the start of a process that leads up to advertised, formal, open hearings around March or April for submissions on the needs of the community as well as the naming of the new facility, says departmental representive and regional director Dr Kathryn Grammer.

“We are hosting these sessions so that people understand why we are closing those old facilities in their neighbourhoods as part of rendering better service for the future,” she says.

“There is a lot of history attached to these facilities and our hope is that this history will be memorialised in the new facility.”

In the case of the Robbie Nurock CDC in Buitenkant Street – which has been there for 112 years – the premises are too small and outdated for modern, patient-centred service delivery, Grammer says.

“Part of the problem is also that there are insufficient consultation rooms for a full package of care as well as rehabilitation services. There is also a problem that the pharmacy is too small for legislated requirements. The ongoing maintenance costs of the old facility are also not sustainable.”

There are similar problems with the Woodstock CDC where the premises are part of a decommissioned acute hospital, Grammer explains.

“It is too large and sprawling with concerns of security and safety of patients and staff with multiple buildings not conducive to patient-centred flow and integrated care.”

Follow-up careShe adds that the commissioning of the single facility means economical management principles can be applied.

“These management principles also means that it will be easier to follow up on patients who had to move from facility to facility for different services.

“An example is that Nurock and Woodstock do not provide TB services so [patients] had to go to Spencer Road or Chapel Street. The new facility is also within 5km of the key areas that it serves but the ultimate aim is that it will provide improved patient care and better health services under one roof.”

Another item on the agenda Saturday was the naming of the facility. Grammer explains this is another important part of the process that involves the public.

“This is a complex process that involves us advertising the process in various media,” says Grammer.

“These notices invite members of the public to participate in an open hearing; public participation and informs the public what is to be expected, allowing them to express concerns, fears, support and even demands.”

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