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New day stay key element in $6 million Hospital expansion

New day stay key element in $6 million Grace Hospital expansion

Tauranga’s Grace Hospital has announced plans for a $6 million building project which will bring significant changes to the Bay of Plenty’s private day stay surgical scene.

The leading specialist surgical hospital has awarded the contract to local company Marra Construction, with work due to get underway this month (December 2013).

Grace Hospital General Manager Janet Keys says the project involves constructing a ground floor wing beside the existing hospital, and includes another floor above to provide in total, an additional 1300 square metres of space.

“The key addition will be a dedicated day stay theatre and an endoscopy procedure room, which addresses patients’ needs for privacy and comfort – and meets or exceeds the standards for such facilities.

“The first floor will encompass consulting rooms and a larger training room for staff and consultants, and helps future-proof hospital facilities.’’

Grace Hospital, which opened in 2007, has six operating theatres, a separate procedure room, 48 in-patient beds and a day stay department. The hospital made national news on opening as the first hospital in the country to embrace robotic surgery – and install a da Vinci surgical robot.

Ms Keys says the board has recently approved the purchase of the latest model Si robot to enhance the hospital’s reputation as a leader in innovative surgical technologies, including robotic surgery. The further training opportunities that will become available with the Si model will attract new surgeons to robotic surgery, and allow Grace Hospital to become a centre for surgeons to begin their robotic training in New Zealand.

“Robotic surgery has overtaken traditional surgery methods in many countries for some specialties such as urology and gynaecology. Grace Hospital has built a reputation for being at the leading edge of health care innovation, and the robotic developments underline this.”

Health consumers are also more aware of health screening procedures such as endoscopy and appreciate the efficiency of a private service in performing these procedures, Ms Keys adds.

Surgery to be performed in the new day stay theatre includes minor ear, nose and throat procedures such as tonsillectomies, along with gynaecological, orthopaedic and plastic surgery.The new endoscopy room will focus on meeting new standards for patient care for this specialty which focuses on investigation of the gastro-intestinal system.

Ms Keys says she and the hospital’s senior staff are excited to be able to respond to the growing health care requirements of the community.

“We’ve had a number of new consultants moving into the region over the last couple of years, and the increased capacity with the addition of the day stay theatre, means that we can move some sessions into that new theatre, and so free up sessions in the existing theatres.

“This will also mean that we’ll be able to delay the construction of additional in-patient theatres for several years."

Ms Keys says new consultants in the region also appreciate the opportunity to perform their patient consultations on the Grace campus and benefit by association from its strong reputation, "so the new consulting suites will be well utilised.”

Norfolk Southern Cross Board Chairman Terry Moore says the decision to build the new day stay theatre follows well-established overseas trends towards increasing reliance on day stay surgery.

“Grace Hospital is planning to enable a wider range of day stay procedures by catering specifically for an increased flow of day stay patients.

“Pressure from funders for cheaper surgery options, increased demand from patients for less invasive surgery techniques, and technological advances all support the development of a custom-designed service.”

Grace Hospital senior staff don’t expect patients, surgeons or staff members will suffer much if any disruption as the project gets underway, but will provide regular updates to all stakeholders as the work progresses.

Marra Construction managers are pleased to have been awarded the contract, and have estimated there will be up to 50 staff or sub-contractors on site. It is hoped the new building will be operational late in 2014.

Background: Grace Hospital is owned and managed by Norfolk Southern Cross Ltd, a partnership which combines the benefits of two of the major private hospital companies in New Zealand; Acurity Health Group Ltd and Southern Cross Hospitals Ltd.

The hospital was opened in 2007, and incorporates six modern operating theatres, a procedure room, High Dependency Unit, 50 inpatient beds and a separate day-stay facility.Surgery across the main specialty groups is carried out at Grace; orthopaedics, urology, general, ENT, plastics, gynaecology. More than 60 consultant surgeons and anaesthetists work at the Grace facility, and 185 staff employed by Norfolk Southern Cross.


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