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New Hospital Beds Welcomed

New Hospital Beds Welcomed

The first of the 719 new hospital beds ordered for Waikato District Health Board arrive in Te Kuiti and Taumarunui from Taranaki on Monday (7 December).

There will be 21 beds installed at Te Kuiti Hospital at 8.30am and another 21 at Taumarunui Hospital at 11am.

Waikato DHB board signed off on a $3.3 million replacement programme of 719 beds and 400 mattresses after a 2007 audit found half of the DHB's hospital beds are in such bad shape they should be condemned.

On 14 December a further 41 beds will arrive in Hamilton to go in Waikato Hospital wards 17, 54 and 4 with another three available for education purposes.

Waikato DHB can now gradually scrap its condemned and out-ofdate models and wheel in the sparkling new all-electric beds worth nearly $4000 each.

The roll out of beds will take several months with 44 beds a fortnight coming from Taranaki until later next year. Tokoroa Hospital and Matariki continuing care facility in Te Awamutu get their beds from 14 January followed by Rhoda Read continuing care in Morrinsville and Thames Hospital finishing with Waikato Hospital.

With the new beds comes a change in practice. The beds are set up so they are steered from the foot of the bed rather than the head of the bed.

Nursing and midwifery director Sue Hayward said the new beds had many advantages over the old ones such as improviing patient comfort and the ability to position the patient and set at different heights.

"Pushing from the foot end will enable the attendant to see the patient and more importantly should the patient require a nurse escort, then the nurse can walk beside the bed observing the patient at all times."

Pushing from the head end makes it very difficult for patients to be observed during transit by anyone other than members of the public, she said.

Specialist hospital bed manufacturer, Howard Wright Ltd, of Bell Block in Taranaki, won the first $2.9m tender for hospital beds.

The prize-winning company won the tender from stiff international competition and after rigorous clinical trials.
ends

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