Dedicated paediatric unit re-opens in July

Ipswich General Hospital. Photo: David Nielsen / Queensland Times
Ipswich General Hospital. Photo: David Nielsen / Queensland Times David Nielsen

PARENTS will soon have access to a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week dedicated facility for children at the Ipswich Hospital.

Four new beds set aside for sick children will be set up inside Emergency Department with a dedicated waiting area for families nearby.

The new unit will be funded by a $5 million funding boost from the State Government, part of which will be spent on another new ED unit with 10 beds for adults.

It comes after the QT revealed the $6 million unit - considered urgently needed in 2009 by the Bligh Government - was mothballed last year under former Chief Executive Sue McKee.

The unit had only ever been funded for four months during the Winter "high demand period".

Hours after the QT's story published, the West Moreton Hospital and Health Service back-flipped, announcing the facility would re-open following intervention by Queensland Health.

Now, almost five months later, the State Government has confirmed parents will be able to use the emergency paediatric unit again in July.

About 20 per cent of presentations to the Ipswich Hospital ED are children, West Moreton says.

The new facility will utilise the existing child friendly toilets but feature a new waiting area alongside the treatment area, deemed more appropriate by the team leading the re-opening.

Both will be permanent facilities at the hospital.

West Moreton Hospital and Health Service Dr Kerrie Freeman said the opening of the new paediatric unit had been led by Ipswich Hospital Director of Paediatrics Dr John Gavranich and Director of Emergency Dr Cade Grime who worked closely with Children's Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service to perfect the design.

"Our senior clinical leaders have developed the model based on our needs, then worked with CHQ to make sure we had that model right before opening the doors," Dr Freeman said.

"Their advice has led us to change the location of the unit to make it closer to the support available in the general ED if needed.

"When parents come to the Emergency Department they will be directed through a set of doors to a separate, child-friendly waiting area with its own procedure room and toilet facilities."

In 2009 the Bligh government announced an expansion of paediatric services at Caboolture, Ipswich, Logan, Redcliffe and Redlands hospitals off the back of the South East Queensland Paediatric Planning Report.

The expansion, which in Ipswich's case was finished as part of the $128 million renovations, was marketed as offering "the best care for your child close to home".

Since the expansion of Logan Hospital, families have had access to a 24-hour specialist paediatric services in the emergency department all year round.


Extract from South East Queensland Paediatric Planning Report
Extract from South East Queensland Paediatric Planning Report

Topics:  children's health health ipswich hospital

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