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New Patient At Risk Team Formed

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Staff at Dunedin Hospital are celebrating the formation of the new Patient at Risk (PAR) team as part of an expansion into critical care units.  

From February 12, the existing Clinical Team Co-ordinator nurses are transitioning to the new PAR team that will run under a new 24/7 model. 

The Dunedin PAR is a nurse-led team managed from within Te puna wai ora Southern Critical Care.  

It is made up of seven Clinical Nurse Specialists, a Nurse Practitioner Intern and an Associate Charge Nurse Manager, and an increasing emphasis will be placed on supporting and educating ward staff in looking after acutely unwell patients. 

Southern Group Director of Operations Hamish Brown says the development of the team is extremely positive. 

“The PAR team is a hands-on role supporting and educating but also providing early escalation to definitive care for deteriorating patients. The PAR team will also ensure that patients that have been discharged from Intensive Care Unit remain on the right trajectory to keep getting better.” 

Southern Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Jane Wilson says the PAR team will mean more support for staff to deliver more timely and appropriate care. 

“Above all else, this initiative is about making it safer for patients in our care and there is no other priority more important than that.” 

Patient at Risk Associate Charge Nurse Manager Rod Bowen says, “there is a great team of staff in the wards, and we want to work with them to improve our hospital's recognition and response to patients that are at risk of deteriorating." 

“Deteriorating patient response teams have been shown to save lives and reduce the time to definitive and appropriate care for patients, and it is our hope that our PAR team will do exactly that here in our hospital,” Rod says. 

Southern is also working toward implementing the national Kōrero Mai (Talk to Me) Project that has been designed to help patients and their families and whānau get the help they need if they feel concerned about a change in a patient’s condition. 

Rod says whānau will be able to call the PAR team in and “we are really excited that we can empower our patients and their families to have a voice in their care.” 

A PAR team will also be established at Southland Hospital in 2024.