LOCALS believe a full redevelopment is needed to fix Tamworth’s ageing rehabilitation unit, following an announcement on the building’s future.
Hunter New England Health (HNEH) is not able to put a price tag on a face-lift for the unit’s, with Regional and Rural Health Services Executive Director Susan Heyman confirming “we’ll estimate what work we need to do and then we’ll cost that work.”
“In the short term, we will prioritise the refurbishment of an additional two bathrooms and work will begin to upgrade the veranda and gardens,” she said.
“Planning will identify any additional works that may be required to assist patients, staff and their families to be more comfortable.”
With scope for more work to be undertaken, locals haven’t been shy, dropping their two cents worth about the unit, and welcoming news of the refurbishment.
A poll of The Leader’s readers found the overwhelming majority in favour of a complete redevelopment of the unit. Readers also took to Facebook to list their demands for an upgraded unit.
A number of people said the addition of televisions for patients in their rooms would be a welcome addition, while some suggested a more comprehensive overhaul.
“The whole thing needs to be knocked down and rebuilt, it hasn't changed in a very long time,” Jodi Moss said.
Others were more blunt in their assessment of the rehab.
“My grandmother was recently in there for several days and referred to it as a morgue,” Jeremy Dean Dryden said.
“If you weren't depressed before going into rehab you would be a short time after being admitted,” Susan Louis said.
Ms Heyman said the next phase of the rehab refurbishment was looking at “what else needs to be done here for patients and for their families”.
“Of course we always like receiving feedback from the community. Positive and negative feedback and to improve wherever we can, but this work has been in the planning for quite some time,” she said.