Auckland's call for more nurses was planned, says Bloomfield

Source: 1News

Everything is going according to plan, the Director-General of Health says, as Auckland’s hospitals call for more nurses to help them cope with the Covid-19 outbreak. 

Nurses (file photo).

On Tuesday night, a call-out was sent to nurses around the country to come to Auckland as the number of Covid-19 patients in the region grew to 42. 

Of the 42 people, eight are in North Shore Hospital, 19 are in Middlemore Hospital, and 15 are in Auckland City Hospital. 

Six of the 42 people are in ICU. The youngest person in ICU is 18 years old. 

Dr Ashley Bloomfield said when Covid-19 patients are in ICU, nursing staff split into two so there can be a dedicated group of people looking after the patients. 

“This is bringing extra staff in so that those DHBs can keep the separate streams of staff working in intensive care units,” he said of Auckland’s call for more nurses. 

He said this scenario had been planned and was now happening. He said preparation was “very good”. 

College of Critical Care Nurses chair Tania Mitchell told RNZ there was a limited pool of nurses and morale was low. 

"There has been a large increase in the equipment needed to look after ICU patients in New Zealand since we have been preparing for an outbreak of Covid, but not a similar increase in trained staff to care for these patients," she said.