Unit moves with surgical precision

Marjike Ryan was the first patient to be transferred to the new surgical close observation unit, pictured here with nurses Rebecca Dadion and Joanne Cucio, and nurse educator Maridy Morrison.

Westmead Hospital is improving care for critically ill patients and making way for more upgrades after a carefully orchestrated move carried out last week.

The surgical close observation unit (COU) successfully opened in a refurbished space (D3d) thanks to extensive preparation of the department and staff, including a relocation plan involving relevant clinical teams and Westmead Redevelopment.

The 12-bed COU provides an intermediate level of care between a general ward and intensive care. It neighbours the new cardiothoracic intensive care unit for patients with serious heart and lung issues.

Marjike is transferred to the new ward, with clinical staff close by to ensure she’s well cared for.

Surgery and Anaesthetics acting nurse educator Maridy Morrison said extensive consultation before the big day ensured a far smoother transition.

“It means everything’s considered. Not only the clinical aspect but also the movement – making sure we have wards people, patient flow is understood, telephone numbers are the same and so on,” Maridy said.

“This was a controlled move. Everyone knew where they were going and what they had to do.”

The move allowed intensive care services (ICS) to open a new 12-bed wing in the vacated space (E3c), including the successful relocation of several patients.

The unit manager offices in the refurbished space allow staff to keep an eye on the ward if necessary.

Westmead Redevelopment executive director Matt Sydenham said every consideration was taken into account to ensure minimal disruption for patients, their families and carers.

“The surgical COU relocation represents an important step in the redevelopment’s stage two refurbishment program across Westmead Hospital,” Matt said.

“We’re grateful for the support of the surgical, medical and ICS teams as well as the removalist in making this move as seamless as possible for patients and staff.”

The COU (previously known as a high dependency unit) has retained its existing ward contact numbers.

Joanne Cucio gets Marjike settled in her new surroundings.

The space it occupied (B5b) has now become an 8-bed chronic respiratory failure ward, and the former surgical high dependency unit (A3c) has been vacated to make way for the redevelopment of facilities for gastroenterology.

The moves are all part of the wider Westmead Redevelopment, the biggest feature of which is the new 12-storey central acute services building due to officially open on October 20, 2020.

Please contact the Westmead Redevelopment team on 1800 990 296 if you have any questions.