Staff excitement grows for new inpatient unit

Westmead Hospital staff during a site tour of the inpatient unit (B6) – Hugh Playford second from the right.

Staff were impressed with progress during a recent site visit to the refurbished inpatient unit in Westmead Hospital. 

This space is being refurbished to update the facilities so it can be reinstated as a functioning ward. The unit will include 64 beds and will provide care for a range of surgical patients. The area will also include new meeting rooms, flexible working offices and new bariatric bedrooms.

A group of staff from departments, including the intensive care unit (ICU) and cardiothoracic surgery, recently attended a site visit. The group viewed patient rooms, staff stations, and collaborative workspaces that will used in multidisciplinary education, training and research, as well as handover and department meetings. The visit helped them develop the design for the ICU expansion which will be located in D3 and is being delivered as part of the next stage of refurbishment.

Westmead Hospital head of intensive care services and project user group (PUG) champion Hugh Playford said there’s great excitement about this refurbishment.

“For staff, the space will be roomier, with improved amenities. The new areas for collaboration between teams will be very important. For example, a patient with acute diabetes may need assistance from multiple surgical or other healthcare specialities on a single hospital visit. Multiple teams can gather in the new collaboration area before, during and after they meet with a patient,” Mr Playford said.

Hugh said the design of refurbished areas could influence the patient recovery process.

“There’s been a considered design of the inpatient unit, with patients’ needs in mind. There’s as much natural light as possible in patient rooms and waiting areas. There’s more room to move and a number of spaces for quick or longer chats between patients and their team. The faster we can promote a patient’s mobility, which can be assisted through the physical ward design, the sooner we can help patients to return to their home.”

During the refurbishment, PUG members and teams who will occupy the inpatient unit will review their operational procedures and processes.

“We are refining ordering processes for our storerooms so we can reduce clutter and maintain appropriate stock levels. We are reviewing what medical devices and equipment we immediately have at the ward, ensuring they can be easily located, so staff can find what they need, when they need it. All these things will make an impact on our staff. If we didn’t make these changes, we would import old challenges and ways of doing things into a new space, and what would be the point of that?”

Work is expected to be completed in March 2018. Read more about the Westmead Hospital refurbishment program: http://www.westmeadproject.health.nsw.gov.au/projects/refurbishments