For immediate release
10 July 2008
Official Opening For New Hospital Buildings
The first stage of redevelopment at Waikato Hospital is almost complete and will be celebrated next week with an official opening ceremony.
The new carpark and main entry building will be officially opened on Tuesday (15 July, 10.45am) by Te Arikinui King Tuheitia and the Rt Hon Helen Clark.
Waikato DHB Service and Campus Redevelopment project director Ian Wolstencroft said although the building has been open since February it is part of a bigger stage of notable works.
"We wanted to wait until majority of the roading work was complete before making anything official.
"The completion of stage one is a major milestone for the project and the improvements to the Waikato Hospital as a result are worth celebrating.
"We now have more parking, better roading and easier access into the hospital," he said.
A commemorative plaque will be unveiled as part of the ceremony and the name 'Te Rau Aroha' will be officially given to the building.
This name was endorsed by the DHB's Kaumatua Kaunihera and means the love, acceptance and support of all who enter the hospital whether they are a patient, visitor or staff member.
Mr Wolstencroft also wanted to recognise the establishment of the Transit Lounge as an important piece of work completed in stage one.
"The new facility opened in January and has proven to be very popular with patients who have been discharged from a ward or have come in for a day procedure and need a relaxing environment to wait or recover in.
"Feedback has shown that they are impressed with the new facilities. It's a nice change from sitting up in a ward," he said.
The Transit Lounge is a purpose built facility staffed by registered nurses and assists the hospital in its daily operations by moving discharged patients out of the busy ward, freeing their bed for a new patient.
The redevelopment project at Waikato Hospital involves several new building projects and is scheduled for completion in 2012.
Construction activity currently underway includes a new Emergency Department, major renovations to the Delivery Suite and an extension of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
The first half of newly refurbished Delivery Suite is scheduled to open next month.
For more information about the redevelopment project go to www.waikatodhb.govt.nz.