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Waitakere Hospital emergency department to almost double

Waitakere Hospital emergency department to almost double in size

A major expansion to the physical size and layout of Waitakere Hospital’s emergency department will see it almost double in size with the addition of 19 cubicles, four new rooms and extensive new patient and whānau facilities.

Waitemata District Health Board’s $9.8 million expansion will extend the emergency department footprint at Waitakere Hospital by 1313 square metres creating significant extra capacity to meet the needs of west Auckland residents.

Waitemata DHB chief executive Dr Dale Bramley says the state-of-the-art emergency department expansion is central to the organisation’s commitment to invest and further develop its clinical services and facilities in west Auckland.

“The expansion will provide a fit-for-purpose emergency department that will ensure we can continue to provide high-quality round-the-clock care from an advanced facility that will serve the people of west Auckland well into the future,” says Dr Bramley.

"It will see a new front-of-house zone developed, which will include an improved patient entranceway, reception and triage areas designed for better patient privacy, four ambulance bays and a whānau zone to improve the experience for patients and their families,” he says.

“The space created within the existing emergency department footprint will also see the development of a new paediatric zone, enabling greater utilisation of the bed spaces and clinical resources.”

Following the completion of the front-of-house zone and the refurbishment of the paediatric zone, cubicles for adult emergency department admissions alone will increase from nine to A new corridor will also be constructed to connect the emergency department front-of-house zone and emergency ambulance bays with the main hospital, providing a more efficient route to the inpatient wards for ambulance transfers.

Dr Bramley says the co-location of the spaces will support a more efficient flow of patients both within the designated zones and through the department to both inpatient care and to the ambulance bay for transfer.

Preliminary design for the project will commence this month with construction work to start in September. Completion is expected by December 2015.

The emergency department at Waitakere Hospital first opened in February 2005. In its first year the department saw 17,392 patients. Over the last eight years, the number of patients presenting to the department has increased exponentially with 43,900 seen in the 2012/13 financial year. This is the greatest increase in patient numbers of any emergency department in the country.

The expansion of the emergency department follows a significant programme of investment in west Auckland over recent years, with the delivery of projects such as the major expansion and upgrade of the Rangatira Paediatric Unit, the provision of 24-7 emergency care at the emergency department, the addition of a new endoscopy suite and the development of the Awhina Health Campus in conjunction with Unitec.

ENDS

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