Proud Westmead staff put new high-tech hospital to test

Question time … Director Clinical Change and Delivery, Carissa Kleiman, leads a staff tour group through one of the cath labs on Level 3 of the CASB.

They flicked switches, stepped out measurements and quizzed the project team about every aspect of Westmead’s Central Acute Services Building (CASB).

Staff tours over four days of the new hospital proved one thing – there’s growing excitement and support for the 14-level centrepiece of the Westmead Health Precinct.

Set to open early 2021, the CASB welcomed Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) staff from dozens of units across the precinct – and they weren’t disappointed.

Christopher Tolar, clinical product nurse at Westmead Hospital, said the building was filled with modern technology to benefit patients and staff.

“I was surprised by the size of the emergency department and the spaces to treat patients with different needs,” he said.

Elma Cruz, clinical product consultant at Westmead Hospital, said the additional space afforded huge benefits. “The hallways will enable easier, safe transport of patients,” she said. “We’re really looking forward to the opening to assist staff and especially patients.”

Getting comfortable … Shabreen Ifath and Maribel Rontal test out the amenities in the Emergency Department staff lunchroom on Level 1.

Asked about her first impressions inside the building, Maribel Rontal simply responded: “Wow”.

“There’s been so much input by everyone,” the resident support unit medical coordinator said. “From new equipment through to the patient experience, a lot of thought’s been given to patients, family members and carers.”

Shabreen Ifath, recruitment coordinator at Westmead Hospital, said planning had obviously been key to ensuring such well-organised spaces. “It’s hard to do at this scale but it’s been done really well,” Shabreen said.

“The beautiful palms and other trees are so calming outside. Plus the treatment of patients is far more private. It’s a facility with the patient in mind.”

First impressions … WSLHD staff talk about visiting the Central Acute Services Building for the first time.

Eighty-four organised tours covered:

  • Level 1 (Adults’ Emergency Department)
  • Level 3 (Peri-op suites, Cath labs)
  • Level 5 (Day Surgery and Recovery)
  • Level 12 (Cardiology)

Westmead and Auburn hospitals general manager Rebecca Tyson said the tours provided a perfect opportunity to take in the technology, amenities and workflow of the building.

“In what has been a tough year for all of us, it’s so exciting to see the CASB welcoming staff to their new future,” Rebecca said.

“When this building opens in early 2021, we’ll celebrate a state-of-the-art facility we can all take pride in as we continue to provide the very best patient care.

“Thanks to everyone who’s had an opportunity to come on the tours and I hope you’ll spread the word about this amazing building.”

Pride of place … General manager for Westmead and Auburn hospitals Rebecca Tyson offers her thoughts about the CASB. The new hospital opens early 2021.