Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced $1.85 million for vital upgrades to patient amenities in the state’s Spinal Injuries Unit (SIU) at Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH).
The Premier said the PA Hospital which takes patients from right across Queensland, currently treats an average of 100 patients with a spinal cord injury each year.
“The 40-bed facility at the hospital is the state’s referral centre for acute and rehabilitation services and many patients spend anywhere from three to 18 months here which is a long time,” the Premier said.
“This upgrade will provide refurbished facilities that are newer and more comfortable for long-term patients but also more accommodating of family interaction, which is a key part of therapy in this unique space.
“The $1.85 million commitment will provide 10 refurbished bathrooms, a renovated dining room and a new wheelchair accessible garden feature that will improve patient amenities and family interaction for long-term patients going through rehabilitation for spinal injuries.”
Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services Steven Miles said many of the patients at the SIU end up there because of accident or other trauma or because of medical illness or disease.
“At present, there is no cure for spinal cord injury which can often result in serious permanent disability,” Minister Miles said.
“Most people with serious spinal cord injury need to come to the PA in Brisbane for treatment and rehabilitation.
“It can often be quite a long time to be away from home, so we want to make sure they have the best possible facilities so they and their families are as comfortable as possible.”
PAH Spinal Injuries Unit Director, Dr Sridhar Atresh said that the refurbishment to the dining room, and garden area will be very valuable to the patients who will greatly benefit from interactive spaces away from the bedside.
“Time with family and friends is so vital to patients who are staying with us for an extended time so having external areas to interact away from the clinical space, which are purpose-built for the equipment our patients use, is a necessity in this area of care,” he said.
“Most importantly, the upgrade to our patient bathrooms will vastly improve their experience with greater comfort and improved access to accommodate the equipment used in spinal injury care.”
Planning for the upgrade will begin later this year.