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New wards open at Waikato Hospital’s Acute Services Building

Hamilton’s Peggy Sweeney was well prepared for her move from the old to the new at Waikato Hospital today.

The 82-year-old did her hair, set up her flowers and waited for the attendants to move her from Ward 22 in the Smith Building to Ward A2 in the new $63.5 million Acute Services Building. Charge nurse manager, Caroline Washer had everyone organised and waiting.

“This has been really good therapy for me and I feel very special,” said Mrs Sweeney.

She was the first in the new ward and it took her no time at all to set herself up in her single room.

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, the Medical Short Stay Unit (both in Menzies Building) and 22 and 23 (in the Smith Building) moved into the new facility today (Tuesday 19 July) and will be moved lock, stock and barrow by tomorrow afternoon.

The move comes six months after the new Emergency Department opened on the ground floor of the building. The new wards are on levels two and three.

All excitement and a little anticipation was the mood in the Medical Short Stay Unit as charge nurse manager Gem Williams was on hand to wheel the first patient, Dorothy Flay, 81, of Ohaupo into the new Acute Medical Unit.

Mrs Flay waited patiently in the old Medical Short Stay Unit as staff checked over last minute details of the move plan. She wasn’t too sure of what all the fuss was about but was happy to play a key part in the process. The move went all to plan and she was delivered to her new room with views to the south of Hamilton.

Mrs Flay is due for discharge soon so she may well be the first to the new wards and the first to be discharged.

Project manager Chris Baker felt the move went smoothly and without a hitch.

“Everyone was pleased to be finally in the new area and patients seem impressed with their new surroundings,” he said.

Ward 23 will also move their patients to A3 on level 3 on Wednesday at 10am to noon. Tomorrow at 8.30am to 10am, Ward 5 will move to Ward A4.

Yesterday staff involved in the construction, planning and development celebrated with an afternoon tea in The Atrium, a central patient waiting area, for the cutting of a white ribbon into the new Acute Medical Unit.

Building programme director, Ian Wolstencroft spoke about the new medical wards being the envy of the surgical wards.

“Congratulations to all those who will make the building work,” said Mr Wolstencroft.

Director of nursing and midwifery, Sue Hayward talked about the day being an amazing day to celebrate this new facility. She spoke of the number of nurses involved in the design.

Waikato and Thames hospitals group manager Mark Spittal thanked all the staff involved.

Clinical director Dr Graham Mills spoke of his vision for the new Acute Medical Unit, which is the seventh of its kind in New Zealand. This new unit will provide timely assessment and early decision making with unnecessary duplication. Junior nurses and doctors will work with the support of senior staff close at hand.

“Our vision is for quality patient journey by doing your best, preparing for the worst then trusting God to do the rest. Also with God we will fine tune the model over time.
This is a place of healing for the people of Waikato and be proud,” he said.

ENDS

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