Better Health Services for South Australian Families

South Australian parents will receive enhanced care for their new additions following completion of the Marshall Liberal Government’s upgrade to the Special Care Baby Unit at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the upgrade to part of the Special Care Baby Unit was part of a $50 million redevelopment being carried out across the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

“The Marshall Liberal Government has invested heavily to ensure South Australian women and children continue to receive world-class care in modern facilities as we plan for the new hospital,” Minister Wade said.

“This significant upgrade is another part of our strong plan to deliver better health services, closer to home, for South Australian families.

“This redeveloped facility will provide a healing and supportive environment to some of our most vulnerable newborn babies and their families.

“Since it was elected just over two years ago, the Marshall Liberal Government has been addressing the neglect of the Women’s and Children Hospital.

“To deliver quality services now we have provided $65 million more funding, employed 100 FTE more employees, and are investing $50m of capital works in the current site.”

The Unit delivers an expanded treatment space which will benefit both patients and staff and also offers isolation rooms for one or multiple babies, a new family lounge area and additional space at the cot side for families and carers.

Additional features include an information panel located at the front of the nursery where families can see which staff members are assigned to care for their infant, a staff call system in each cot space and the introduction of programmed circadian lighting to promote neuro-developmental care.

Women’s and Children’s Health Network CEO, Lindsey Gough, said the larger space will help to improve patient privacy and infection control while making families feel more at home.

“We are excited to see the completion of the first stage of the Neonatal Nursery redevelopment which will allow us to continue to deliver high quality care and services to our patients and their families,” Ms Gough said.

“These essential upgrades will sustain our current hospital while we continue to plan for the new purpose-built hospital to be co-located with the Royal Adelaide Hospital.”

The next stage of the Neonatal Nursery redevelopment will involve upgrading the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

The upgrade will include expanded cot space areas, individual rooms for improved privacy and infection control, and a multi-purpose room for palliative care patients so families or carers can stay overnight.

“This upgrade will allow us to provide increased family centred care and the best possible facilities to our most vulnerable patients,” Ms Gough added.

“While these works are underway, we will make sure our patients and families are kept as comfortable as possible, including providing tiny earmuffs for our patients if required.”

The NICU upgrade will commence in September 2020, and is scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2021.

Other upgrades as part of the Marshall Government’s $50 million investment into the WCH include:

– $15m Child Adolescent Mental Health Ward relocation and redevelopment with outdoor space and High Dependency area.

– $5.9m Paediatric Emergency Department redevelopment, with improved triage area, dedicated Mental Health Assessment Spaces and three extra treatment areas.

– $11.8m Operating Theatres refurbishment in their current locations.

– $2.7m Engineering and ICT infrastructure upgrades.

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