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Clutha Health First Hospital Services

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    Clutha Health First provides a wide range of services to the people in the Clutha District within its building and within the community settings.  We offer to our community:

    • Inpatient services with a 15 bed inpatient unit and palliative care unit
    • Maternity services with a small rural primary maternity unit staffed by registered nurses and midwives
    • Midwifery services practicing out in the community
    • District nursing services
    • Day rehabilitation for the elderly
    • Occupational therapy services
    • Social work services (medical)
    • Needs assessment services to older people
    • Outpatient clinics with specialists visiting regularly from Dunedin Public Hospital
    • General practitioners provide primary care services from our facility
    • Radiology services provided by Otago Radiology
    • Laboratory services provided by Southern Community Laboratories
    • Physiotherapy services provided by Southern Physio Services
    • Mental health services provided by Southern District Health Board
    • Public health nursing provided by Southern District Health Board
    • Mobile surgical services operating theatre visits every 5 weeks.

    Our hours of operation are from 0830 - 1800 Monday to Friday, with after hours services being available from 1800 - 0830 daily and at weekends. Please feel free to contact us on (03) 419 0500 with any queries.



    After Hours Services

    If you require urgent medical attention, please call an ambulance by dialling 111.

    After Hours:
    6pm - 9am patient access is through our triage service by phoning (03) 419 0500.

    An emergency by appointment only GP clinic operates from 09.00-18.00hrs at the weekends and public holidays. 

    For advice anytime please phone Healthline on: 0800 611 116

    Inpatient Services

    Our inpatient ward has 15 beds. We cater for acute medical, rehabilitation and palliative care patients.

    Delivery of all these services is through an interdisciplinary approach with the team consisting of nurses, doctors, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers, district nurses and most importantly the patients and their families. We are also able to stabilise medical emergencies in our resuscitation room.
    We liaise closely with other health providers in the Clutha District, Dunedin Hospital and our community team to ensure a smooth transition of the patient’s care between these services.

    If you wish to speak to our inpatient ward, please call (03) 419 0550 at any time.

    Outpatient Clinic Services

    Our Outpatient Department houses visiting specialists that come to Balclutha to hold their specialist clinics. We offer a wide range of clinics from Clutha Health First, which helps the people of the Clutha District with reducing the travel to our base provider in Dunedin for appointments. Our Outpatient Department is staffed by administration staff, nursing staff and a medical typist.

    We house a wide range of both publicly funded and privately funded clinics on a mainly monthly basis from our Outpatient Department. Referrals are accepted from other healthcare providers to these clinics.

    The clinics that are provided at Clutha Health First are:


    Breast Care Continence Specialist Diabetic Education Diabetic Photography Dietitian Endocrinology Gastroenterology Geriatrics Gynaecology and Obstetrics High Risk Podiatry Medical Mobile Surgical Services Neurology Oncology Orthopaedics Paediatrics Speech Language Therapy Surgical with Minor Operations


    Audiology Brief Intervention Mental Health Services Chiropractic Services Ear Health – Including Cleaning and Hearing Ear Nose and Throat Mole Map Orthopaedics Podiatry Smoking Cessation Ultrasound

    If you wish to speak to the Outpatient Department, please call between the hours of 8.00am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday on (03) 419 0570.

    Day Rehabilitation Programme

    Clutha Health First runs a day rehabilitation programme three days per week. The purpose for day rehabilitation is for you to remain in your own home and to plan your recovery goals for your daily life.

    During your visit you may see a nurse, a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist or social worker. You may also see, if required, a speech language therapist, a needs assessor, a dietitian, a continence adviser or a specialist physician/geriatrician.

    If you wish to enquire further about our day rehabilitation programme, please call (03) 419 0500 between the hours of 8.00am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday.

    District Nursing

    The Clutha Health First District Nurses are based at Clutha Health First and carry out their work in the homes of the patients in the community. Clinic appointments can also be provided as arranged.
    District Nursing services are provided by registered nurses who work independently but access patients' GPs and other health professionals for advice and refer to other health professionals as needed.

    The services provide general nursing care to include:

    Wound Care, including post surgical and ACC IV Therapy Oxygen Therapy Chemotherapy Meals on Wheels Assessments Urinary Cather Care Bowel and Stoma Care Palliative Care Health Promotion and Education

    To speak directly to one of our District Nurses please call us on (03) 419 0530 between the hours of 8.00am and 4.30pm Monday to Sunday, including public holidays.

    General Practice

    Clutha Health First general practice is a Cornerstone Accredited Practice located within the Balclutha Township. The practice facility incorporates a variety of consulting rooms, treatment rooms, a medical assessment unit, a procedure room, reception area and a comfortable waiting room. The practice is staffed by experienced and registered general practitioners and nurse practitioners supported by a large team of practice nurses, and an emergency clinician.

    The general practice has on-site access to plain x-ray, ultrasound and laboratory services. In addition to routine primary care services it delivers a wide range of other services which include childhood immunisations, cervical screening, targeted vaccinations, CLIC programme, cardiovascular risk assessments, driver’s medicals, travel immunisation, advice and treatment, orthopaedic fracture clinic, minor operations, NZ immigration medicals along with a breast care clinic, gynaecology nurse specialist clinic, diabetes nurse specialist clinic, joint injection clinic and a palliative care support programme.

    The practice has approximately 8,000 enrolled patients. Surgery hours are 9.00am – 6.00pm, Monday to Friday, with evening clinics being offered from 6.00pm - 9.00pm. An emergency by appointment only clinic operates from 09.00-18.00hrs at the weekends and public holidays.

    For more information, to book appointments or request repeat prescriptions please visit Clutha Health First Health Centre

    Laboratory (Southern Community Laboratories)

    Southern Community Laboratories is proud to have been a part of Clutha Health First since it first began operation in 1998.

    Laboratory Manager Carolyn Thomas is on site full-time, and is backed up by part-time staff, Jacqueline Perrin, Barbara Thompson and Anne Craig.

    The laboratory provides a phlebotomy service, along with limited urgent testing on site. The majority of the testing is performed at the laboratory in Dunedin.

    We are open for your specimen collection requirements from 8.30am - 4.20pm, Monday to Friday. Telephone (03) 418 0042.

    Maternity Services

    The Clutha Health First Primary Birthing Unit is a primary birthing facility that has a reputation for providing one on one care to new parents in a friendly, quiet and ‘homely' environment. It is staffed by a small team of local qualified nurses and midwives ensuring a peaceful, safe and friendly atmosphere in which to begin your parenting journey. We also cater for fathers/support persons who wish to stay with the mother and baby.

    We provide a holistic birthing environment with all the necessary equipment and expertise required to deliver safe care to women experiencing a low risk pregnancy and anticipating a normal birth. 

    The Clutha Health First Maternity Centre comprises:

    Two private bedrooms with a shared ensuite One private bedroom with own ensuite Birthing room with pool and ensuite A lounge for you to relax in and share with your family/visitors with facilities for refreshments.

    Clutha Health First is an accredited Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) facility. This accreditation is part of a global strategy to revitalise world attention to the impact that feeding practices have on the nutritional status, growth and development of infants and young children.


    Midwives LMC

    Our team of four local LMCs offers personalised antenatal, birth and postnatal care for women at Clutha Health First, at home, or at Queen Mary Maternity Centre in Dunedin.

    Our midwives are routinely available between 9.00am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday. Outside of these hours one of our team is on call who will be available to assist you for any labour and birth care or urgent enquiries. 

    We look forward to sharing this childbirth experience with you and your family. Please feel free to discuss any concerns or questions with us.

    Christine Hayward: 027 201 8076 Megan Pigou: 027 201 8131 Michelle Thomson: 027 201 8022 Sheryl Smith: 027 201 8137

    Mental Health Services

    Free helpline information

    0508 TAUTOKO
    24/7 confidential and free suicide crisis helpline.
    Phone 0508 828 865

    0800 KIDSLINE
    24/7 free helpline for young people.
    Phone 0800 54 37 54

    0800 LIFELINE
    24/7 helpline and textline for confidential support.
    Phone 0800 543 354

    0800 WHAT'S UP
    0800 WHAT'S UP is a FREE confidential counselling helpline and web-chat service for children and teenagers.
    Phone 0800 WHATS UP (0800 942 8787)

    1737, Need to Talk?
    Free text or call anytime to speak with a counsellor.
    Phone 1737

    Mobile Surgical Services

    On its 5 week cycle of New Zealand providing low risk elective day surgical services to the rural communities, Clutha Health First is a stop for the Mobile Surgical Services ‘Bus’, a fully equipped state of the art Mobile Operating Theatre.
    The bus is staffed by health professionals that travel with the bus on its cycle around New Zealand as well as both local and regional staff. Once onboard you will find some staff from Clutha Health First, providing some familiar friendly faces for those that encounter its services. Coordination of its services is completed by the Outpatient Department staff in conjunction with the operating specialists.

    The 'bus' arrives at Clutha Health First and takes approximately one hour to prepare for surgery. It is hooked up to Clutha Health First for power, water supply, wastewater and computer data lines. In case of power failure, the 'bus' has an onboard generator.

    These services have not been available in our smallest centres since the closure of surgical services in primary hospitals in the 1980s and 1990s. The 'bus' provides a welcome return to day surgery in rural New Zealand and the range of services available can be extended with the support of District Health Boards (DHBs), which know communities’ needs through DHB wait list information.

    For further information on the 'bus' please refer to the Mobile Surgical Services website, or feel free to contact our Outpatient Department on (03) 419 0570 who will be happy to answer your questions.

    Needs Assessment

    Needs Assessment is a process to identify your need for support services. It takes into consideration your current informal and formal supports, your abilities and your eligibility to access Disability Support Services. In order to access support services funded by the Ministry of Health, via the Southern District Health Board, it is necessary to undergo a Support Needs Assessment. This service is for older people with health and disability needs that may continue for six months or longer and who may require ongoing support services.

    A service coordinator for the South Otago area will assist you to find suitable ways to meet your needs as identified in your assessment.

    The service coordinator will:

    Give you information about:

    What services are available Whether you qualify for funded services If a financial means test is required Who the providers of services are

    Allocate services:

    Allocate services according to need and availability Funding may be limited by the SDHB If you want funded support you will be given options of providers who have a contract with the SDHB You will be referred to the provider of your choice.

    You will be given information about other services or community supports if you need additional help or do not qualify for funded services.

    If you receive Home Support, your needs will be reviewed annually, and if in residential care when your needs change. You may ask for a re-assessment or a review of your services at any time if your situation changes, or if you wish to change your provider.

    If you wish to speak to our Needs Assessor, please call (03) 419 0520 between the hours of 8.00am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

    Occupational Therapy

    Occupational therapy is a professional health service, which uses carefully selected purposeful activities to promote, restore and maintain or develop an individual’s ability to accomplish tasks that are relevant to their daily lives. When disability, illness or injury limits people’s ability to function, an occupational therapist can assist them to achieve and maintain their maximum level of independence.

    Our occupational therapists make an initial assessment of a person’s ability to carry out daily tasks of living e.g. managing to dress oneself using correct techniques after a total hip replacement, after injury, or after admission to hospital. A person’s goals and demands of their environment are identified and become the basis for the treatment programme. This may include carefully selected activities, adaptative techniques or education, provision of equipment or housing alterations, which will minimise the effects of disease, injury or disability.

    Our occupational therapists can provide:

    An assessment in your own home for people who are elderly or disabled Provision of short term loan equipment/ assistive devices for independence after operation/ accident or for palliative care needs Advice and information on community resources Assessment and retraining in activities of daily living following injury / illness Assess your eligibility to access funding for essential provision of equipment and /or alterations to your house to allow independence within your home environment Advice on accessing lottery grants for equipment needs Post concussion or suspected concussion education and follow up Stress management and relaxation education Education on coping with specific disabilities e.g. arthritis and stroke

    Our occupational therapists also hire out wheelchairs to those in our local community. Should you require information on this service, please contact our Occupational Therapy Department.

    To speak directly to one of our occupational therapists please call us on (03) 419 0525 between the hours of 8.30am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday.

    Radiology - X-Ray (Pacific Radiology)

    Pacific Radiology Ltd is a private company wholly owned by radiologists resident in Otago and Southland. Our main branch is in Dunedin, with sub branches in Balclutha, Gore, Clyde, Queenstown, Wanaka, Gore and Invercargill, known as Southland Radiology.

    Pacific Radiology is our provider for x-ray and ultrasound services at Clutha Health First by Pacific Radiology staff. We use the CR/PACS system for imaging which was installed in 2008. We provide publicly funded examinations under contracts with the Southern District Health Board and Hospital Trusts at Gore Hospital, Clutha Health First, Dunstan Hospital and Maniototo Hospitals.

    Services Pacific Radiology Offers in Balclutha:

    This is acquiring an image of specific parts of your body through the use of x-rays. A Medical radiation technologist (MRT or radiographer) records the image. A radiologist (a doctor with specialist training) interprets the film and sends a written report to your referring doctor by mail, fax or email.

    The body can also be seen by creating images that do not use x-rays, instead ultrasound waves are used. This is the preferred way to examine babies before birth and often a number of abdominal and pelvic organs.

    For further information on Pacific Radiology, visit their website or telephone 0800 505 909.

    Social Work

    Within our Clutha Health First Community Team we have a medical social worker that provides services to those in the inpatient ward and within the community. The requirement to access social work services is that a person has personal health and/or age related issues.

    Our social workers provide:

    Information on hospital services Supporting individuals / family / whanau through the transition from hospital care to home Information on disability allowance (services funded) Information on management of disabilities and services available Travel and accommodation funding information for people travelling outside of Otago to receive medical treatment at other centres Supporting people to access community services / organisations Linking people with other healthcare / social service providers Supporting individuals / family / whanau to manage lifestyle changes as a result of health and / or disability issues Supporting caregivers caring for a family member at home Relationship management Assisting with grief / stress management

    If you wish to speak to one of our social workers, please call us on (03) 419 0523 between the hours of 8.30 and 5.00pm Monday to Thursday.