Expansion of northside hospital emergency services gets underway

Construction on the $6.7 million expansion of the Calvary Public Hospital Bruce (Calvary) Emergency Department (ED) has begun.

The expansion will deliver 22 additional treatment spaces, bringing the total to 61, and will see more than 40 additional doctors, nurses, administration and other health professionals joining the ED team over the next two years.

It will increase overall treatment spaces in Calvary’s ED by more than 50 per cent – a major boost to hospital emergency services on the northside.

Across the ACT, this represents an increase in Emergency Department treatment spaces of almost 20 per cent, to be in place by March 2020.

Once complete, the expanded Calvary ED will feature a redesigned and larger Fast Track stream and an expanded Short Stay Unit to help with patient flow through the ED. Enhanced waiting areas will make people more comfortable before and during their stay.

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith joined Calvary to announce the commencement of works and says the expansion will play a major role in helping to manage increasing demand for frontline hospital services in the territory.

“This is an incredibly important project for hospital services on the northside of Canberra, the fastest growing area of our city.”

“With almost 60,000 people presenting to the Calvary ED every year and 149,000 emergency presentations across the Territory in 2018-19, growing these services is a vital part of our commitment to continue investing in health services across the ACT.

“Importantly, the expansion will provide a 50 per cent increase in Calvary’s ED treatment spaces prior to next year’s Canberra winter – a period of peak demand for our frontline hospital services.

“The health of Canberrans will always be a priority for the ACT Government, and we will continue to invest in ensuring our community receives quality health care, when and where Canberrans need it,” says Minister Stephen-Smith.

The expansion of the Calvary ED is a $6.7 million capital works project from the 2018-19 Budget. The 2019-20 Budget included an additional $40.5 million in funding to Calvary over the next four years for increased emergency services and elective surgery.

A part of this funding package will create around 23 new positions in the ED in 2019-20 and a similar increase in staff in 2020-21.

Calvary Public Hospital Bruce General Manager, Mark Dykgraaf, said: “The expansion of the ED is a very significant investment in staff, equipment and facilities that will assist our clinicians to see, assess and appropriately treat people experiencing a medical emergency.

“We also anticipate that people seeking our services will appreciate the streaming of patients based on the assessment of whether they are likely to become admitted patients or are if they are expected to be discharged to home after their treatment. This early assessment is very informative for, and properly determines the expectations of, patients and their families or support people.”

The expansion of the ED is expected to be completed in three stages over the next 7 months. During this time, and while works are underway, there will be no disruption to services at the hospital.

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