TAMWORTH hospital’s rehabilitation unit is set to get a major facelift, following mounting feedback from the community.
Hunter New England Health (HNEH) committed to improve the ageing unit, but remained tight-lipped about the cost of the project.
“We’ve just started the planning on that,” HNEH executive director of regional and rural health services Susan Heyman said.
“So, we’ll estimate what work we need to do and then we’ll cost that work.
Ms Heyman said the rehab refurbishment will be a continuation of minor upgrades that have been under way for about 12 months, with work done on the unit’s bathrooms, air-conditioning, roof and ceiling.
“We’ll do the second series of the bathrooms,” she said.
“We’ll also complete the garden area and the veranda.
“Planning will identify any additional works that may be required to assist patients, staff and their families to be more comfortable.
“We have people here that spend a few weeks here, if not, a few months here, so it’s really important that the environment that the patients are in, but also their families are in, is the best that we can provide.”
HNEH chief executive Michael DiRienzo said the rehab upgrade was now a priority with the $211 million nearing completion.
“Earlier this month, I visited Tamworth Hospital and took some time to speak with staff and patients in the Rehabilitation Unit. Many of them raised with me their desires for the unit to be improved. I’ve also discussed the issue with the local member Kevin Anderson,” Mr DiRienzo said.
The Tamworth MP said there had been a lengthy push to get renovations done in the rehab unit.
“I’ve got a file one-foot-thick in my office, from people who have contacted me and offering suggestions on what this area should look like,” Mr Anderson said.
“It looks like my grandmother’s lounge-room, very comfortable, but, we absolutely need to upgrade it.”
While the overall redevelopment of Tamworth hospital draws to a close, Mr Anderson said there was still areas to work on, pinpointing the need to attract more specialists to the facility. Works on the hospital’s orthopaedic ward are ongoing and due to be completed by April.