Proposed closure of Dunsford aged residential facility

Press Release – West Coast DHB

DHB announces proposed closure of Dunsford aged residential care facility The West Coast District Health Board has announced a proposal to close the Westport-based Dunsford Ward rest home and hospital level aged residential care facility by 1 March …DHB announces proposed closure of Dunsford aged residential care facility

The West Coast District Health Board has announced a proposal to close the Westport-based Dunsford Ward rest home and hospital level aged residential care facility by 1 March 2018.

The DHB has started talking to residents, their next of kin, staff, contractors and unions this week to discuss the process from now until the facility is proposed to close. It follows a decision made two years ago after months of conversations and engagement with the Buller community on the direction of travel for older persons’ health services for the region.

West Coast DHB General Manager Philip Wheble says staff would now be working with residents and their families to consider options for new homes. Many of the residents would opt to move to O’Conor Home in Westport, which has space for all 15 current residents. Some may wish to go to other aged residential care facilities on the West Coast or in other parts of New Zealand, to be closer to families. And some may wish to return to living in the community, supported by services.

“During our meetings two years ago with a wide range of members of the Buller community, people were very clear about priorities and they were centred around supporting people to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible.

“As Dunsford Ward is part of our aging Buller Health facilities which no longer meet current building standards, alongside which, we have worked hard to strengthen community-based services and of course O’Conor Home has expanded its capacity,” he said.

The DHB has increased resourcing of community-based services, including home-based support services and expanding diversional therapy into the community.

A staff consultation period has now started and Mr Wheble says the DHB would be working closely with staff about this proposal in the coming weeks.

“I acknowledge that change can be difficult, and we know that our staff affected by this proposal will continue to work hard to minimise any disruption to residents. They are dedicated professionals,” Mr Wheble says.

ENDS

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