On-site works has now started at Armadale Hospital as part of its $900,000 plus Emergency Department (ED) upgrade announced late last year.
The first stage is expected to be completed one week ahead of scheduled, by the end of January.
Health Minister Roger Cook visited the hospital today to view the Emergency Department expansion work.
The upgrade comes on the back of more than $360 million committed by the McGowan Government to hospital upgrades across the Perth metropolitan area and regional Western Australia.
The projects include:
- $19 million upgrade at the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital emergency department;
- $257 million Joondalup Health Campus project which includes 12 new emergency department bays;
- $5 million in upgrades for the Peel Health Campus emergency department in addition to $152 million announcement for a major expansion to bring it back into public hands;
- $1.4 million investment at Royal Perth Hospital in infrastructure works to improve patient flow and deliver a better patient experience;
- $73 million for Geraldton Health Campus program of works, including emergency department upgrade;
- $7 million State and Commonwealth funded Mental Health Emergency Centre at St John of God Midland Public Hospital which is currently underway.
The upgrades come as WA hospitals are experiencing a significant increase in attendances to emergency departments.
Latest data shows ED attendances in Western Australia increased by 8.6 per cent – or about 250 more people a day – from November to December last year.
There were 92,557 attendances to WA Emergency Departments in December 2020.
This was a 6.9 per cent increase compared with December 2019 (5,955 more attendances) and 12.8 per cent higher than December 2018.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) tracks the performance of public hospital emergency departments including their capacity to admit, transfer or discharge people within four hours.
The latest annual report of the AIHW reveals WA has the best performing emergency departments in the nation, ahead of NSW, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.
The work at Armadale Hospital – part of the East Metropolitan Health Service – is being undertaken by Marawar Building Services – which boasts more than 50 per cent of staff being Aboriginal.
Following site orientation and required health and safety training of all personnel working on the site during the first week of January, the company started required demolition of the ED area and decommissioning and deactivating a range of equipment.
New wall frames and sheeting, in addition to work on the ceiling, has already been completed. It is anticipated that most of the new light fittings and painting will be finished this week.
The project is particularly challenging as the ED will continue to operate during the reconfiguration and upgrade works.
Last financial year, more than 60,000 people attended the Armadale Hospital ED, which services Perth’s south-eastern suburbs.
The ED reconfiguration has been designed to improve the patient experience through the development of a dedicated paediatric patient treatment area and waiting room, an enhanced low stimulus area for mental health patients, the establishment of a short stay unit for those patients who need to stay within the ED overnight and a dedicated ambulatory assessment area.
In addition, to ensure appropriate safety measures and enhanced capability to deal with COVID-19 patients, a dedicated respiratory assessment area will also be developed.
When completed, the ED is expected to improve the patient experience, provide clear patient flow pathways and decrease the time people need to wait to see medical staff.
The project is anticipated to conclude in mid-2021.
As stated by Health Minister Roger Cook:
“The McGowan Government made a commitment to high-quality healthcare in the public sector and it is proud to be delivering just that across both the city and in the regions.
“All Western Australians should be able to access medical care in a timely manner.
“The Armadale Hospital ED reconfiguration will help service people living within Perth’s south-eastern suburbs more efficiently and effectively.
“The work was undertaken following extensive consultation with the medical staff working in the ED – the people who know best what is needed to help with patient flow and ensuring that patients get the care they need as quickly as possible.
“Mental Health is at the forefront of all our decision making and an enhanced low stimulus area for mental health patients at Armadale Hospital is a significant step in the right direction.
“Development of a dedicated paediatric patient treatment area at Armadale Hospital makes sense – it enables children to be treated in a specific purpose-built area, away from adults.
“These staff at Armadale Hospital are regularly commended on Patient Opinion for the outstanding care – the work currently being undertaken will help improve the patient experience.”