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When North Canterbury physiotherapist Lucie Hartfield and her husband Don Shore were looking to open a unique rehabilitation centre, they knew they wouldn’t have to look far for the perfect location.
“Our vision for the centre was always to be in a rural setting,” explains Lucie, who opened the North Canterbury Rehabilitation Centre with Don in April 2018. “We wanted to provide a very different environment from a hospital setting and the Waimakariri District gave us many options to realise this with its calm, tranquil environment.”
The site the pair chose to set up their specialist operation was a former rest home in rural Ohoka, which had all the existing facilities that the couple needed for their business including multiple bedrooms, shared spaces, kitchen facilities and treatment rooms.
From here, they provide residential physical rehabilitation for people who have been in hospital following injuries, medical issues or surgery.
“They no longer need to be in hospital, but are not yet able to return to their own homes,” explains Lucie. “We provide a client-centred, 24-hour rehabilitation service overseen by a physiotherapist and an occupational therapist.” The centre is the only one of its kind in North Canterbury, and was set up by Lucie and Don after they saw a gap in rehabilitation services through their existing business Hartfield Physio Ltd, which opened in Rangiora in 2014.
Lucie says that although the setting is the best thing about locating their new business in the Waimakariri District, the pair has discovered many other assets to setting up here including support from other local businesses and agencies, easy staff recruitment, and access to nearby facilities and services.
“We’ve had a lot of support from Enterprise North Canterbury, Emergency Management Consultancy and our local MP Matt Doocey. We were also fortunate that the Mandeville Village opened nearby, with a grocery store and café for clients and their visitors.”
As for recruiting staff, Lucie says the majority of their 15 staff are from the North Canterbury area. “The recruitment process hasn’t been difficult and we have always had plenty of applicants,” she says.
“We are very proud of our achievements so far and this is very much due to the hard working and dedicated team that we have working with us.”
The North Canterbury Rehabilitation Centre is located at 64 Mandalea Road, Ohoka. For more information visit ncrc.co.nz.