Westmead’s quality coronary care doesn’t miss a beat in unit move

Karen Douglas prepares to be transported from Westmead Hospital’s A5b ward to the new Coronary Care Unit in the adjacent Central Acute Services Building.

This week’s relocation of Westmead Hospital’s Coronary Care Unit bolsters the new era in western Sydney healthcare and reminds us some things will, thankfully, never change.

The coronary care unit relocation has seen 38 patients recovering from heart attacks or being treated for other cardiac conditions move to the new state-of-the-art Central Acute Services Building (CASB) in the Westmead Health Precinct.

The visible difference between the old and new coronary care units is simply striking whilst the dedication to provide quality care remains proudly unchanged – something that’s not lost on patients.

Karen Douglas became the first patient the new unit, paying tribute to staff and their long record of care.

“I remember being a teenager and seeing the early days of this unit,” the Riverstone resident said.

“And now I’m here receiving the care so many others have. The staff are awesome. I cannot say one bad thing about any of them.”

Dedicated care- Registered nurse Frances Velez tends to Karen Douglas in the new Coronary Care Unit on Level 12 of the state-of-the-art Central Acute Services Building.

Once settled into the new K12A unit on the 12th level of the CASB, Karen said she was still coming to terms with the fact she had suffered a heart attack in her home last Wednesday.

“It certainly came as a shock. That’s why I’m so grateful of the care I’m receiving here,” she said.

“The rooms are amazing and it’s great to see the staff have such great facilities.”

Karen Harland was another patient to mark March 9 down as a milestone when she became the old unit’s very last patient in its more than four-decade history.

 “On the downside, I don’t get to see this new unit everyone’s talking about. The upside is I’m being taken to the cardiothoracic ward and due to be discharged,” the Wentworthville resident said.

Special moment- Registered nurse Aruna Pun chats with the old A5b unit’s last patient, Karen Harland, before she’s taken down to the cardiothoracic ward and discharged.

“I can’t praise everyone here highly enough. Friendly, approachable, and the care’s been awesome. I can’t fault them.”

Nursing unit manager Patrick Byrum said the relocation had run to plan – and on time.

“A lot of planning and preparation has gone into the move,” Patrick said.

“It’s a big day for cardiology after being here for 43 years. We’re now heading to a new ward and the staff are excited.”

Time to reflect- Nursing unit manager Patrick Byrum takes a moment to think about the unit’s proud 43-year history of service.

Registered nurse Aruna Pun saying the feeling was bittersweet in a way.

“We’re looking forward to our new unit but we’ve spent so much time together here. It’s the end of one era and the beginning of the next,” she said.

The centrepiece of the $1 billion-plus Westmead Redevelopment, the CASB will provide western Sydney with high-quality healthcare, research and educational facilities for decades to come.

The new building includes two new emergency departments – one for adults, one for children – more than 300 patient rooms, 25 digital operating theatres and a suite of other features.