The Dargaville Hospital has gained three extra beds in their mental health and addiction service unit after recently completed renovations. The additional beds will reduce wait times for patients who will be well-supported with the addition of seven new staff members.
CEO Northland DHB, Dr Nick Chamberlain, said that with 139 admissions in the last year the facility had a definite need in the community. “This is a gold standard programme, and we are very proud of it.”
General manager for mental health and addiction services, Ian McKenzie, agreed and said it was beneficial to keep such a service local to prevent separating family members. “We are well positioned here now to support the community through specialist resources.”
The unit now provides an education room for teaching life skills such as cooking, budgeting and creating a resume, and a video conferencing room to help people connect with their future support team to ensure relapse prevention.
People in the unit also have access to a shared kitchen, lounge room and gymnasium. Eating together in the shared dining room provides further opportunity for learning social skills without the use of addictive substances.
Another integral part of the programme, according to operations manager, Jen Thomas, is DC, the detox cat, who insists on giving people extra attention when they need it.
The hospital maternity area has moved into previously underutilised rooms where it retains all of its midwifery and pre — and post-natal care services for mothers, allowing the detox unit to expand. It is hoped maternity services will flourish in the future with a residential midwife.