Tenterfield Hospital emergency department upgrade

Those presenting with an emergency now enter the hospital at the southern side of the building, through the existing ambulance bay.
Those presenting with an emergency now enter the hospital at the southern side of the building, through the existing ambulance bay.

Tenterfield Hospital's emergency department has been closed for major renovations, but don't worry alternative arrangements have been made for the duration.

Hospital manager Tony Roberts hopes for the revamped emergency department to be completed by the end of June, providing better use of the space and greater safety for staff and patients.

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In the meantime those presenting with an emergency can access the temporary facility through the existing ambulance bay (on the southern side of the building).

Heather Tolley was among the first to be treated in the temporary ED, which has all the technical capabilities of the old facility.

Heather Tolley was among the first to be treated in the temporary ED, which has all the technical capabilities of the old facility.

The new access is well signposted and lighting and security cameras have been upgraded, but Mr Roberts asks patients and their families to please be considerate when accessing the ED while there's an ambulance parked in the bay.

The temporary facility required five of the existing 18 hospital beds to be decommissioned, but Mr Roberts said this is not an issue as the normal daily occupancy is less than the beds still available. On rare occasions patients may be required to share a room where they wouldn't have otherwise.

Tenterfield Hospital manager Tony Roberts at the temporary Emergency Department entrance which will allow the old ED to be gutted and upgraded.

Tenterfield Hospital manager Tony Roberts at the temporary Emergency Department entrance which will allow the old ED to be gutted and upgraded.

Once the new ED is operating the five beds will be returned to the roster.

In the meantime the old ED will be gutted and reconfigured for a better use of the space. The patient waiting area will be expanded, with a section for those requiring closer observation.

There is enhanced security even at the temporary entrance, where staff can see and communicate with patients before allowing access.

There is enhanced security even at the temporary entrance, where staff can see and communicate with patients before allowing access.

There will be a new 'quiet' consulting room to treat anxious patients who may need a separate space free of stimulation.

As well as providing a safer environment for staff and patients, Mr Roberts said the new ED give the hospital and ambulance service a better layout for tending to patients.

The health department worked with the ambulance service on the design, to everyone's satisfaction.

The old ED room is now merely a shell, and soon the walls will be moving.

The old ED room is now merely a shell, and soon the walls will be moving.

"It was a collaborative effort," Mr Roberts said.

Other stakeholders like the police and patient transport service had an opportunity for input, and the design passed an infection control review.

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