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Canberra Hospital emergency department to receive more beds

By Canfan - 1 December 2014 4

Major expansion works to be undertaken at the Canberra Hospital emergency department will refurbish the busy frontline of the health system and deliver more beds while improving emergency services, Chief Minister and Minister for Health Katy Gallagher said today.

“Investment in health infrastructure is one of the ACT Government’s highest priorities and this $23m expansion of the emergency department at the Canberra Hospital is the latest strategy to help deal with increasing presentation numbers to our EDs,” the Chief Minister said.

“The Canberra Hospital emergency department is the Canberra Region’s major trauma centre, and treated more than 70,000 patients over the 2013-14 financial year, the highest ever recorded for a single year.”

When complete with the additional floor area in the order of one thousand square metres, the new ED will also include:

  • Up to nine additional acute beds for patients with severe conditions;
  • Additional beds or cubicles for patients with less severe problems;
  • An expanded Emergency Management Unit (EMU) that provides care for short-term patients;
  • A new and larger mental health assessment unit;
  • An increase in the number of ambulance bays;
  • An improved layout that will create efficiencies leading to an expected reduction in waiting
    times; and
  • The integration of the paediatrics streaming function which transfers children (and
    parents/carers) to a dedicated waiting and then treatment area for young people.

“Senior staff that work at the emergency department have been integral in the development of these expansion plans which will help the way the department functions,” the Chief Minister said.

“We are listening to their ideas and responding with this investment which will provide up to 12 new beds and many other benefits including two additional resuscitation bays, where the most seriously ill patients receive treatment.”

This expansion is part of the Health and Infrastructure Program (HIP) which is investing in Canberra’s health by changing how and where patients are cared for.

Design for the works is now underway. The project will be delivered via a multi-staged construction plan that will allow continuous operation of ED with new areas to open progressively throughout the 18 months expected building time.

The contractor has been instructed to minimise disruption, however patients, staff and visitors should expect increased noise and vibration as these essential works take place.
The works are expected to create more than 100 construction jobs.

(Katy Gallagher Media Release)

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4 Responses to
Canberra Hospital emergency department to receive more beds
gun street girl 10:22 am 20 Dec 14

snoopydoc said :

Felix, while we will indeed need more nursing staff to look after more patients in more physical care spaces, we’re unlikely to need more doctors. Often it’s simply a physical lack of bed space that stop us seeing patients faster, not staff shortfalls. It’s called “access block”. More physical beds will allow us to be more efficient / faster / reduce waiting times with the existing level of staffing.

…Until those beds are full and unable to be emptied, because of a greater access block in the rest of the hospital (and thus, the current cycle continues). Ultimately, the real solution lies in creating beds outside of the ED – facilitating the transfer of admitted patients into actual ward beds, allowing flow to continue in the ED. Similarly, directing funding into bolstering care and services in the community would reduce the demand for attention in, and admission to, acute facilities.

But hey, opening ED beds makes for a good press release, at least.

snoopydoc 5:18 pm 19 Dec 14

Felix, while we will indeed need more nursing staff to look after more patients in more physical care spaces, we’re unlikely to need more doctors. Often it’s simply a physical lack of bed space that stop us seeing patients faster, not staff shortfalls. It’s called “access block”. More physical beds will allow us to be more efficient / faster / reduce waiting times with the existing level of staffing.

ozdownunder 10:34 pm 03 Dec 14

That’s excellent news for Canberra

Felix the Cat 10:33 am 02 Dec 14

It’s all very well to have bigger and better facilities but I can’t see a mention of more doctors and nurses to work in them.

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