BASS Coast Health’s (BCH) theatre staff are happy to be back at work in the newly upgraded Operating Suite at the Wonthaggi Hospital.
The operating theatre and maternity department closed temporarily on May 26 to enable the upgrade to be done.
The closure also ensured easy access to the work site and guaranteed that there was no risk of infection to BCH’s surgical patients.
Prior to and during the upgrade, birthing women were closely consulted with and redirected to alternative local health services for the births of their babies, while still having the option of receiving their antenatal and postnatal care locally at Wonthaggi Hospital.
This highly planned arrangement went well, with all women successfully giving birth within the local area.
BCH CEO Jan Child was impressed that all those involved collaborated so well on the project.
“There were a lot of ‘moving parts’ with this project, which made it very complex.
“A lot of planning went into the refurbishment right across BCH, communication with patients, doctors, the community, Ambulance Victoria, emergency transport services and surrounding hospitals – everyone involved just got on with it and it is a credit to them.
“Installation of new air handling units to supply air conditioning and heating to the Operating Suite and Central Sterilisation Services Department was completed as scheduled.
“This was followed by building works such as modifications to the operating theatre nurses’ station and day surgery reception area, replacement of Post Anaesthetic Care Unit joinery and repainting of the operating suite.
“Precision cleaning was then able to be done, along with repeated air testing to ensure that all infection control requirements were met prior to the reopening.
“During the closure, staff took advantage of the change of pace in a variety of ways – from enjoying some well-earned leave, to relocating to work in other wards within the hospital or by taking opportunities to upskill and undertake further training.”
Ms Child was thrilled with how smoothly the upgrade went.
“Everyone worked really hard to make this experience so successful, but in particular, I’d like to thank Gippsland Southern Health Service for taking such wonderful care of our birthing mothers during this time.
“I’d also like to thank the BCH staff who were displaced but absolutely embraced the change with such enthusiasm.
“The upgrade to the aging infrastructure will ensure that BCH can now confidently increase its capacity to grow its surgical services as part of its quest to become a sub-regional health service.”