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Transit Lounge Eases Pressure, Shows Value

4 August 2008

Transit Lounge Eases Pressure, Shows Value

Waikato Hospital's Transit Lounge helped the hospital get through a busy time last week by freeing up a record number of beds and taking pressure off the wards.

The hospital was close to full capacity at the end of last week and as a result, the lounge had its busiest week since opening in January.

A record 40 people were discharged to the new facility on Wednesday and a total of 144 for the week.

Clinical nurse manager Fiona Liddle was pleased that the Transit Lounge was able to demonstrate its ability to help the hospital in a time of need.

"By sending these patients to the Transit Lounge it meant that their beds could be freed up for new patients.

"Often patients are discharged from hospital but are unable to leave because they are waiting for a doctor's letter, a prescription or a ride home.

"Previously these patients would have waited in a ward, usually on their bed, but the Transit Lounge now provides them with a comfortable and relaxing place to wait that is also staffed by a full clinical team," Mrs Liddle said.

The Transit Lounge is a new purpose-built facility, established to improve the patients' journey and play an important role in the discharge process at Waikato Hospital by receiving at least 30 per cent of the 80 discharged patients each day.

Last week's figures exceeded this target by almost double.

Win Neil, of Gisborne, was in the Transit Lounge on Friday, and was impressed with the new facilities.

"It's lovely, really nice. Hard to believe it's part of the hospital," she said.

Mrs Neil was more than happy to give up her bed to someone more in need and wait in the Transit Lounge before going home to Gisborne - a nice change of scenery after a week in an old ward, she said.

Waikato Hospital's Transit Lounge is located at level B3 of the carpark and main entry building which also had a busy week.

More than 900 vehicles were recorded using the building on Wednesday; the busiest day since it opened for the public in March.

Thanks to the carpark building, all these visitors to the hospital had the convenience of undercover parking and direct access into the hospital from their vehicle without having to go out in the rain.

These changes and improvements at Waikato Hospital are part of Waikato District Health Board's Service and Campus redevelopment project.

For information about other planned changes visit www.waikatodhb.govt.nz/scr.

About Waikato District Health Board and Health Waikato:

Waikato DHB is responsible for planning, funding and providing quality health and disability support services for the 353,460 people living in the Waikato DHB region. It has an annual turnover of $915 million and employs more than 5300 people.

Health Waikato is the DHB's main provider of hospital and health services with an annual budget of $530 million and 4500 staff. It has seven divisions across five hospital sites, two maternity and continuing care hospitals and 21 community bases offering a comprehensive range of primary, secondary and tertiary health services.

Other Waikato DHB-funded health services - including primary health, pharmacies and community laboratories - are delivered by a wide range of independent providers.

ENDS

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