Working at Thames Hospital

Thames Hospital is a 54 bed secondary hospital consisting of a consultant-led Emergency Department with 13,000 attendances per year, general medicine, general surgery, rehabilitation services, and primary birthing services led by independent midwives.


Thames Hospital has allied health services of laboratory, radiology, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social workers, district nurses, public health nurses, dental therapists, vision hearing tester, dieticians, diabetic educator onsite and an outpatients department with visiting specialists.

Thames (external link) is a beautiful town situated at the base of the hills near the sea. With a mild and sunny climate, it is a haven for divers, fishers, hikers and outdoors enthusiasts. (Coromandel Fun (external link) )

Thames is only an hour's drive from Auckland and is a popular gateway to the Coromandel Peninsula (external link) , well known for its beaches and hills covered with sub-tropical rainforests.

The Thames/Coromandel/Hauraki area has a resident population of 45,000, however, the area is a mecca for holiday makers and at peak season (December - January) up to 200,000 people move to the baches and scenic areas.

The area has excellent pre-schools, schools and a friendly community atmosphere.

Staff at Thames Hospital

Doctors:

The hospital is staffed by four general physicians, three general surgeons and a visiting geriatrician supported by registrars, and medical officers/senior house officers. There are two anaesthetists and Emergency Department (ED) doctors who are specifically trained.

NB: Medical officers/senior house officers cover low risk inpatient surgical patients during the weekend. A physician is on site or on call at all times. ED doctors are also on site 24/7.

Surgeons and anaesthetists are not available weekends.

Nurses:

Nursing staff are managed by clinical nurse managers in each major area (ED, theatre and the Inpatient Unit). These managers are supported by a clinical nurse educator and together they support and supervise the registered nurses, enrolled nurses and health care assistants throughout the hospital. Community nursing services and allied health services operate from seven bases around the Coromandel Peninsula.

Allied Health Team:

Allied health staff (social workers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and dieticians) work very closely with medical and nursing staff, 8am - 4.30pm Monday to Friday. The Physiotherapy Department covers inpatients, outpatients and community services five days per week seeing DHB and ACC (external link) patients for no fee.

Family Health Team:

The team includes mental, public and community health and Older Persons Assessment Team and Disability Support Limited (DSL) assessor, drug and alcohol services, vision hearing technician, ear nurse and diabetes nurse specialist.

The Older Persons Assessment Team is a multidisciplinary service between the hospital and community. The team facilitate packages of transitional care in the community for up to six weeks aiming to keep people in their homes as long as possible. Clients live within an hour from Thames.

Kaitiaki:

Thames Hospital has a part-time kaitiaki service.

Administration:

Receptionists, medical typing, coding and medical records also work onsite at Thames Hospital.

Hotel services:

Non-clinical staff at Thames Hospital include property/estates and kitchen staff, orderlies and cleaners.

Hospital facilities and services

Theatre:

Thames has two operating theatres providing general surgery, plastics, minor orthopaedics, dental surgery, ENT and women's health services.

The theatres are supported by their own Sterile Services Unit; an endoscopy suite which provides gastroscopy, colonoscopy and flexible cystoscopy procedures; and the Day Stay Unit.

The Day Stay Unit admits the patients for surgery and procedures, and patients staying overnight following surgery are transferred directly to the Inpatient Unit from theatre recovery. The Day Stay Unit also carries out some specialised haematology procedures.

Emergency Department:

Thames Hospital's new emergency department is open 24/7 to care for more than 13,000 presentations a year. The 15 bed department includes two resuscitation bays, observation beds, plaster room, isolation rooms and a negative pressure room. 

ED medical staff are led by a clinical director and medical officers. The registered nurse team is lead by a clinical nurse manager. You can expect a lot of clinical variety and great learning opportunities provided by a cohesive, friendly, happy team. The department and all the clinical equipment you could wish for are brand new. Mobile ultrasound is available for those with appropriate experience. Best practice and lean thinking guides practice improvement and change.

Inpatient Unit:


Thames Hospital serves the Thames, Coromandel and Hauraki area. Approximately one quarter of this population are over 65 years and this is reflected in our inpatient population. The 25-bed Inpatient Unit includes a four bed high acuity unit with 13 surgical and 10 rehabilitation beds. 

The medical service is a 24/7 acute service caring for patients with acute and chronic medical problems.  It has a multidisciplinary team approach and full bed occupancy most of the time. Patients come from the local area and the wider Waikato region for planned surgery including bowel and breast surgery. There is a 24 hour acute surgical service Monday to Friday afternoons.
 
Rehabilitation patients are admitted to Thames Hospital's Inpatient Unit from Waikato Hospital following orthopaedic treatment for fractures or joint replacement, or after a stroke. The unit also offers rehabilitation to patients referred through the medical service at Thames Hospital. Working closely with the multidisciplinary team is an important part of the rehabilitation programme.

Outpatient Department:

Outpatient consultations are delivered though a new, purpose built facility in the Thames Clinical Centre, and are co-located in the radiology and phlebotomy room. There are 17 consulting rooms providing space for 37 different types of clinics.

Clinics:

Thames Hospital's outpatient department is a vibrant blend of many different specialties, all working to provide a high standard of care. A full range of outpatient services are available from resident and visiting clinicians. These include:

  • medicine (with exercise tolerance testing [ETT], spirometry)
  • general surgery (including preadmission, endoscopy, minor ops)
  • nurse clinics (include chemotherapy, blood transfusions, haematology infusions, ear treatment, continence, visual fields, ulcer and respiratory education)
  • geriatrician
  • diabetes
  • ophthalmology
  • paediatric medicine and surgery (visiting physicians)
  • orthopaedics including fracture clinic
  • ear, nose and throat (ENT)
  • gynaecology
  • colposcopy
  • urology
  • plastics

Daily and weekly clinics include:

  • general medical
  • general surgical clinics provided by resident Consulting staff
  • plastics
  • orthopaedics
  • fracture
  • ophthalmology
  • paediatric medicine
  • geriatric
  • palliative care

Fortnightly clinics include:

  • gynaecology
  • rheumatology
  • oncology

Monthly clinics include:

  • haematology
  • diabetes
  • neurology
  • cardiology
  • colposcopy
  • respiratory

Allied health clinics include audiology, podiatry, and speech language therapy.

Clinical Equipment: All standard resuscitation, monitoring and IV/subcutaneous administration equipment is available. Mobility and pressure care management equipment is available. Propac ventilation units are used mainly for transport purposes. BIPAP and CPAP is also available. Bariatric equipment can be accessed.

Radiology:

This newly built department includes two general rooms, a CT scanner and ultrasound. The service has a digital x-ray system operating within Thames Hospital. The department offers a service seven days each week, with an MRT on call after hours for emergency x-ray and CT.  The ultrasound service is available four days per week. The department has Computed Radiography and will have a full Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) from November 2009.

A radiologist visits each week for consulting, reporting and an ultrasound session.  Ultrasonographers visit twice weekly.

Experienced and friendly MRT staff provide an excellent service for the clinical staff.

Laboratory:

Laboratory facilities at the hospital include biochemistry, microbiology, blood crossmatch and is available 24/7.

Occupational Therapy:

The service operates 8am - 4.30pm Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays. Areas covered by the team include:

  • inpatients – medical, surgical and rehabilitation. The inpatient occupational therapy service now has full use of the new, purpose built facilities which include a therapy kitchen, bathroom, quiet room and rehabilitation courtyard
  • community – our community occupational therapists cover from the tip of the Coromandel Peninsular and out across the Hauraki plains. We also have a community visiting neurodevelopment therapist and a community paediatric occupational therapist based in our department
  • Community Rehabilitation Team – this team provides intensive rehabilitation to older persons within their own homes
  • Older Persons Assessment Team – this team provides assessment and short-term input to older persons in the community.

We have an experienced and friendly team of nine occupational therapists (including two paediatric therapists) and two occupational therapy assistants.

Thames Birthing Unit:

Thames Birthing Unit is a primary birthing unit for normal births with your chosen lead maternity carer and postnatal care following the birth.

The unit. within the hospital, is small and welcoming with a relaxed and homely atmosphere, and is well equipped to support primary birthing and post natal women and their whanau.

The unit is open 24-hours and the skilled staff are friendly and provide expert care and advice to mothers during their stay at the unit. The unit is “baby friendly” and staff are trained to provide breastfeeding support and education, in order to help establish breastfeeding in those early days. As well, fathers can stay overnight.

Sterile Services:

This unit services all hospital departments, theatre, podiatry, district nurses and houses endoscopy cleaning and a reprocessing area.

Patient Lounge/Quiet room:

There is a large lounge/dining /rehabilitation area in the Inpatient Unit including a rehabilitation courtyard. Whanau rooms for family meetings are a feature of the new build.

Te Whare Whanau:

A Whanau House accommodates several people. A kitchen, laundry and bathroom facilities are available for family/whanau.

Helicopter access:

The helipad is situated at the rear of the hospital.

Education Suite:

There are two large meeting rooms, one with teleconferencing/telemedicine facilities and computers.

Other services and facilities include:

  • interpreter services
  • telephone service
  • televisions in patient lounges and some bedrooms
  • New Zealand Post Office mailbox (Monday – Friday 2pm)
  • Sperry Lane Café
  • chaplaincy and pastoral care
  • accommodation for relatives.