Kapi-Mana News : August 7th 2012
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Our Team: Charlotte, Craig, Wei Wei and James Denture Care Services Ltd Call for appointments on 237 8271 firstname.lastname@example.org 4488815AI New ways to help the homeless and drunk WHAT ABOUT THE WOMEN? Dr Paul Quigley was involved in the Te Whare Oki Trust, which set out to establish a wet house or a hostel for homeless alcoholics where total abstinence would not be a condition of staying there. The hospital board co-operated with Work and Income, Housing New Zealand, the Downtown Community Ministry and Wellington City Council to cater to the homeless or intoxicated who often appeared at emergency departments with injuries. He still had concerns for female alcoholics, who are often not recognised as homeless but the screening finds they do not have permanent addresses. Homeless alcoholic men can turn to the Night Shelter, but women cannot, nor can they go to the Women's Refuge because it won't accept them while they are drinking. ''There is still a need for a small domestic facility for women where alcohol is the problem,'' he said. Over-achiever: Emergency medicine specialist Paul Quigley is leading a project investigating the role of alcohol in the injuries of patients treated in hospital emergency departments. By JIM CHIPP A project to improve the effectiveness of Welling- ton Hospital's emergency department has suc- ceeded so spectacularly that other health boards are adopting it. Whenever an injured person turns up at Wel- lington's emergency department staff screen them for alcohol-use and find out whether they are homeless. If they appear too frequently a multi-agency team intervenes, and those interventions have sharply reduced the burden that homeless alco- holics and frequent flyers'' place on emergency departments. Paul Quigley is an emergency medicine specialist who divides his time between Welling- ton and Hutt hospitals. He said the project focused on injuries because they offer the best return for staff time. Injuries that occur in the presence of alcohol are more costly to treat and more likely to recur, he said. Patients who present with injuries are being asked whether, firstly, the patient themselves feels that the injury is related to alcohol, staff make their own judgement and, thirdly, the patient is screened for alcohol,'' he said. Asking patients directly whether the injury was related to alcohol has been very eye-opening in terms of finding out what the day-to-day cost to the country is of alcohol.'' Staff also find out whether the patient is homeless, he said. The aim is to find out why they are frequently returning. More than often it is the non-medical reas- ons,'' Dr Quigley said. If a patient has more than three presentations within one month, and is either homeless or alcohol is involved, they get the first flag, he said. At the subsequent presentation staff carry out an intervention. If they are homeless they are referred to Te Aro Health centre, to give them an alternative to the emergency department, and to a social worker to deal with accommodation issues.
July 31st 2012
August 14th 2012