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Acute Services Building handed over

Builders have handed over the keys to the $48 million Acute Services Building at Waiora Waikato Hospital campus in Hamilton and now the work begins in earnest to get the second and third floors of the facility up and running in six weeks.

Fletcher Construction project manager Tony Hunt said most of the team that worked on the project, which started in January 2009, were there at the handover.

Tainui kaumatua and the hospital chaplaincy blessed the upper levels at an early morning ceremony today (Tuesday 7 June). The ground floor, which houses the emergency department, opened earlier this year.

Sam Toka and Pakira Watene led the walk through the wards and then finished with a prayer and a song in the Atrium. Staff from the medical wards, emergency department, Building Programme Office, Programme Management Office, Property and Infrastructure and Te Puna Oranga (Maori Health Unit) were all present.

“This is a job to be proud of,” said Mr Hunt. Key features include the number of single rooms, good access to toilets and the open plan layout.

Health Waikato chief operating officer Jan Adams said the original business case as part of  the service and campus redevelopment at Waikato and Thames hospitals, had the building initially housing emergency department only.

“In 2008, we commissioned a specialist healthcare consultancy, which works mainly in the UK, Scandinavia, Australia and New Zealand, to review the business case,” she said.

“Their recommendation was to expand the building to include three medical wards and a medical assessment and planning unit.

“Modern healthcare delivery focuses on an adequately sized emergency department with rapid access to medical wards that can treat patients in modern surroundings once their initial diagnosis has been made.”

The consultants said a co-location with emergency and treatment was essential.

The Acute Services Building has modern facilities, can accommodate bariatric patients in six specially designed rooms, a greater number of single bedrooms and ensuites with toilet and shower facilities.

The current wards five, 22, 23 and the Medical Short Stay Unit will move into the new facility over two days in mid July.

In preparation for the move, the three wards have been part of the productive ward series, which focuses on improving ward processes and environments to help nurses, and therapists spend more time on patient care thus improving safety and efficiency.

“The results have been interesting in these medical wards – we’re seeing big increases in direct patient care as a result. So when they move into the new building, they’re ready to hit the ground running as a unit knowing they’ve made the process changes before they moved, rather than after,” said Mrs Adams.

The Acute Services Building levels two and three open Tuesday 19 July and Wednesday 20 July 2011.

ENDS

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