Planning under way for new Tamworth hospital building

TAMWORTH hospital is in the final stages of preparing for the construction of its new building.

About 40 attendees of a public meeting held on Wednesday night heard that building work was due to begin mid-year, ahead of an expected completion date of 2015.

Before that occurs, a range of services – including the renal unit, obstetrics and gynaecology clinic and support services – will move into new homes.

Others, including cancer services, the liver and cardiac clinics, social work and the Kameruka Brain Injury Transitional Living Unit, have already relocated, both permanently and temporarily.

The new building will house a range of services and units, including the emergency department, intensive care, high-dependency and coronary care unit, operating theatres, day surgery and recovery spaces, maternity unit, paediatrics unit, pharmacy, and medical, surgical and palliative care units.

Treatment spaces and clinical areas will increase significantly.

The intensive care and high-dependency units will increase from seven to eight beds and four to eight beds respectively, while the paediatric ward will gain another three beds.

There will be six more emergency department treatment spaces, another emergency resuscitation bay, and a new emergency department six-bed short-stay unit.

The number of operating theatres will rise to eight, and 10 more day-only surgery beds will be added. The maternity unit and renal unit will also be expanded.

Many of the services to move to the new building operate out of the Bruderlin building, which, from 2015, will provide inpatient units and ambulatory care (outpatient) clinics.

The historic 1883 building will be refurbished and partly restored, and the maternity ward, children’s ward and three surgical/medical wards will become office space.

The movement of services was of particular interest to the meeting, with attendees seeking to clarify when and where services would be moved.

Other questions asked related to the future of community health and Johnston House, and the movement of traffic around the site.

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