More palliative beds for hospital
MORE palliative care beds will be added to the Ipswich Hospital as part of its $128.7 million expansion.
The 90-bed upgrade will include three extra palliative care beds, on top of the 10 already existing at the site.
The extra beds boost palliative care bed numbers in the city, adding on to Ipswich Hospice Care’s six-bed facility.
It comes after Shadow Health Minister Mark McArdle held a protest at an Oxley health care facility in December calling on the State Government to pour more money into end-of-life care.
While the completed upgrade is not due for completion until 2016, the project took an important step forward last month with the State Government calling for managing contractor tenders.
As well as delivering extra beds and a significantly expanded Emergency Department (ED), officials claim it will improve access for patients, staff and visitors to the hospital with a revamped main entrance.
“There will be additional drop-off and pick-up zones and an improved public entrance from East Street,” Dr Gerry Costello, the hospital’s executive director, said.
“This will improve access from public transport and the Ipswich town centre.
“Another welcomed addition is the construction of a multistorey car park which will be delivered as part of the project.”
The total number of ED treatment spaces will rise to 47 and ED short stay beds to 18.
An expansion will also take place at St Andrew’s Ipswich Private Hospital this year, with an $8 million project to deliver new surgery theatres, procedure rooms and new day surgery rooms.
Hospital owners Ramsay Health Care stumped up the cash to expand the hospital to cater for the city’s growing population in the future.