New wards open at Cashmere hospital

6:38 am on 5 May 2011

The Canterbury District Health Board is opening three new wards at Princess Margaret Hospital in Cashmere to alleviate some of the pressure on quake-damaged Christchurch Hospital.

Part of Christchurch Hospital was closed after the quake on 22 February, and although it is largely up and running, it is still 100 beds short.

Health services are becoming stretched and as winter looms, the DHB says it is vital to have the extra wards, which will provide 75 more beds.

DHB member Andrew Dickerson has previously warned that a "perfect storm" of problems following the quake could result in Christchurch facing one of its worst winters.

The DHB's quake recovery plan has been put in place to alleviate some of those issues.

It has also established a community-focused group of medical professionals to focus on looking after more vulnerable people in their own homes.