Lynley Bilby is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Hospital anticipates busy weekend

Telecom and Vodafone have added mobile capacity across Auckland to cope with the city's events this weekend. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Telecom and Vodafone have added mobile capacity across Auckland to cope with the city's events this weekend. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Auckland City Hospital emergency department is beefing up medical staff - and security - as it anticipates a surge in casualties during the busiest weekend the city has seen since the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

More than 200,000 people are expected to attend the NRL Auckland Nines, the Rapture Festival and the Lantern Festival over the next 48 hours.

Hundreds of extra buses and trains have been put on to ferry thousands of people around the city and streets have been cordoned off around Eden Park as thousands of spectators prepare to descend on Kingsland.

The Major Events Operation Centre, which is linked to the central city police district command centre, has been activated and police and ambulance staff have been bolstered for the influx of spectators and concertgoers.

Auckland City Hospital Emergency Department Clinical Director Dr Anil Nair said the weekend's events could see an increase of nearly 100 extra patients treated at the emergency department over the next two days.

The hospital had an operational plan designed to manage the possible increased workload.

"There are a number of extra staff deployed or on call across different departments. For example, in the emergency department, we have four more clinical and security staff and we have increased the hours for clerical cover."

Auckland Corporate Taxis Chief Executive Colin Samson said his drivers were gearing up for a busier weekend than normal with a large number of bookings in the system.

"A lot of those bookings are going to Eden Park early in the day," he said.

The two largest telecommunication companies were also boosting cellular coverage across Auckland with mobile Cell Sites on Wheels (COW) at Western Springs.

Vodafone spokeswoman Michelle Baguley said the network was well placed to service the capacity crowd due to the extensive preparation for the Rugby World Cup at Eden Park a few years ago.

Vodafone customers at Eden Park, Western Springs and Albert Park, would have access to the 4G network.

Telecom had also added additional mobile capacity across Auckland including 4G live at Eden Park on a permanent basis, said spokesperson Lucy Fullerton.

The telco had also installed a Cell Site on Wheels (COW) at Western Springs and built additional capacity on the site servicing Albert Park for the Lantern Festival.

- Herald on Sunday

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