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Community Based Assessment Centre trial

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  • Community Based Assessment Centre trial

    Booked out for bird flu pandemic

    9 Aug 2007

    Queenstown Events Centre has been booked for its biggest event - a flu pandemic.

    Southland District Health Board minutes reveal the centre is a "community-based assessment centre" in SDHB's pandemic plan.

    Trouble is, no one quite knows what's entailed - particularly Events Centre boss Ian Paterson.

    "To be honest, I'm not completely au fait with what they've got planned for us at all, other than I've been notified that we'll be a facility that will be used," Paterson says.

    He's not the only one short on detail.

    The pandemic plan on SDHB's website makes clear that flu victims won't just struggle off to their GP - they could infect other GP patients unwell for other reasons.

    The drill will be to front up to a mass assessment facility like the Events Centre - largely staffed by nurses.

    You'll either be given some anti-viral medication and sent home or admitted to hospital - for a day stay or perhaps longer.

    SDHB planners assume 40 per cent of the population will be struck down. But will the Events Centre cope?
    The pandemic's peak is predicted at week four, and during peak week the centre may have to handle 2000 victims.

    Paterson guesses the main auditorium could accommodate 1000 stretchers, maybe 1500.

    On its own figures, SDHB's nearby Lakes District Hospital certainly wouldn't cope.

    A projected 640 local flu victims will require hospital care, with a peak of 200 in week four - but LDH has only 22 beds.

    And those victims are purely local residents - there are also 3000 or more tourists here on the "average" Wakatipu day.

    Two SDHB emergency planners shied away from interviews so Mountain Scene went to Public Health South's Dr Marion Poore, head of the Otago-South - land regional pandemic plan.

    She?s not surprised the Events Centre boss is in the dark.
    Much top-level planning has been done but "there's still a lot more detail to go in" she says.

    The Events Centre will be briefed ?in the fullness of time?.
    When? "I don't have a timeframe for that."

  • #2
    Re: Community Based Assessment Centre trial

    From the New Zealand Pandemic Plan

    Community Based Assessment Centres (CBAC) are in the New Zealand Pandemic Plan.
    The flu centres will:

    * Will be able to dispenses antivirals and antibiotics.
    * Allow specialization in influenza treatment.
    * Allow HCW, such as midwives,who need to remain separate from influenza cases to continue working.
    * Will be involved with tele-triage and tele-advice.
    * Will support home based care.
    * Mobile flu centres are a possibility.

    They will not be providing inpatient or observation services.