The Health Centre, Claris
The Health Trust enthusiastically took on its first major challenge: creating a Health Centre at Claris. A local architect offered invaluable support, plans were drawn, and local trades people willingly came on board. The former state house was rapidly transformed into a modern functional Health and Community Centre.
In October 1990 the Community Health Centre was officially opened by the Governor General Sir Paul Reeves. The community celebrated and a new era began.
Twenty years later in 2010 an extensive refurbishment was undertaken – enabled by a further grant from ASB Community Trust. Careful architectural planning allowed a reconfiguration of the medical end of the building, improving spaces and adding a third consulting room. The interior was refreshed throughout; floor coverings replaced, and walls repainted.
In 2012 the Trust once again took on a building project, with funding support from the Local Board (Auckland Council), enabling the addition of an annex room. The room is connected by a wide covered veranda to kitchen / bathroom facilities in the main building close to the Community Worker’s office area. Designed to target smaller groups and one-on-one services; counselling services, office space for special projects, patient interaction with visiting allied health professionals The office is well equipped; including broadband, telephone and printer.
The annual maintenance program has kept the building in very good repair.
The Health Centre in Claris is divided into three sections:
- Medical consulting rooms, reception / office area, waiting room, toilet / shower facilities, an emergency treatment area and X-ray facilities.
- A short stay area which includes a kitchen, bathroom, and a bed for emergency and overnight care when the weather deteriorates, and aircraft are unable to land. It also doubles as a birthing unit in special circumstances.
- The staffroom and Community Worker office are closed off from the main medical end and have outside access. This area includes a large storage cupboard for equipment for health rehabilitation.
The Nurses Cottage
The original cottage has been upgraded and refurbished several times over the intervening years: In 1996 with the assistance a grant from the Ministry of Health, and in 2006 with a grant from the ASB Community Trust. Later grants from Auckland Council enabled installation of better access for both foot-traffic and wheel-chair ambulance liaison.
The cottage is a multi-use facility allowing access to health care for the North Barrier residents and visitors – many of whom arrive by boat. Primarily it provides a base for the island’s northern Rural Nurse Specialists with the doctor holding a weekly clinic. However, like the centre at Claris it is designed such that it can host patients needing observation or transfer. It is also used for small group meetings and contains a community renal dialysis machine.
The cottage has an inverter and battery system for power generation. Solar & LPG gas for hot water, heating and cooking.