Andrew Little confirms no new adult ICU beds in Auckland in the past 18 months

The increasing number of positive community cases of Covid in Auckland will place an increasing burden on ICUs that Andrew Little has done nothing about for 18 months, says National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti.

“The failure to build new ICU beds lies squarely with Andrew Little, who wrote to me that our biggest ICU, Auckland DHB, only has 39 ICU beds and that this number has not changed for the past 18 months.

“This seems a small number, so I asked if the numbers were correct when he is consistently reporting 94 standing beds for Auckland DHB. It turns out 39 is the number of adult ICU beds which, to date, are the most useful given the age of those being admitted to ICU.

“Even more worrying is his confirmation that no adult ICU beds were added to in any of the three Auckland DHBs over the past 18 months.

“In September, only eight active cases triggered an urgent call for ICU nurses. Given non-Covid ICU occupancy rates of around 70 per cent and several days of 100 community cases, there will already be a significant strain on resources which are likely close to moving to surge mode. Surge mode means no routine surgeries, investigations or specialist appointments are undertaken.

“Andrew Little needs to report when the Auckland ICUs move to surge mode. This will be a signal that urgent provisions are being made, that we were underprepared and that surgeries and specialist appointments will be even more delayed.

“He should also sack the failing 20 Ernst & Young consultants advising on health restructuring and use their $6 million yearly consulting fees used to fund another eight ICU beds.”



Reply 47171 (2021) has been answered to Dr Shane Reti 26 Oct 2021

Portfolio: Health (Hon Andrew Little)

Question:
How does he reconcile his answer to 41987(2021) showing 39 resourced ICU beds at Auckland DHB on Aug 17 2021, with his answer 41045(2021) showing 94 resourced ICU beds at Auckland DHB one week later on 24 August 2021, and how is it possible for resourced ICU beds to increase by 55 beds in one week at one DHB ?

Reply:
I am advised that the figures in Written Parliamentary Question 41045 (2021) provides the total number of resourced Intensive Care Unit/High Dependency Unit (ICU/HDU) beds at Auckland District Health Board facilities as reported to the Ministry of Health in the daily occupancy reporting form. These figures include Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) beds/cots as part of Starship Children’s Hospital and other paediatric/children’s intensive care spaces. The figures reported in Written Parliamentary Question 41987(2021) includes only Adult ICU beds.

Answered to Dr Shane Reti 28 September 2021

The dates chosen are:

  • May 13, 2020: NZ moves to alert Level 2
  • April 2021: Delta enters MIQ
  • May 5, 2021: Public sector pay freeze announced
  • August 17, 2021: Current Delta outbreak starts

District Health Board

Resourced ICU Beds

May 13 2020

April 1 2021

May 5 2021

Aug 17 2021

Auckland

39

39

39

39

Counties Manukau

10

10

10

10

Waitematā

10

10

10

10

Please note: Auckland data is for adults only.

* Excludes Associate Charge Nurse Manager, Charge Nurse Manager, Educator, Clinical Nurse Specialist roles etc.

** Assume ICU/HDU only.

*** FTE – excluding casuals.