THE new Wagga Rural Referral Hospital is well and truly taking shape, with the emergency department for the new facility largely finished.
The Advertiser was granted a sneak peek inside the new emergency department on Friday, which cuts a strikingly different figure to its counterpart in the old Wagga Base Hospital.
Gone are the dreary and drab plain walls and overbearing flourescent ceiling lights.
Replacing them are bright, open spaces, with feature walls painted in striking colours like “mango” and “avocado”, according to the designers of the new hospital.
“I like to see a bit of colour – at the moment it’s a bit more in your face than it will be once it’s full of equipment, but it’s much nicer than we’ve got,” hospital general manager Denis Thomas said.
The new emergency department will feature 14 treatment spaces – a similar number to the current hospital – but will have three resuscitation bays, up from just the one at the old Wagga Base Hospital.
A new feature of the Wagga Rural Referral Hospital’s emergency department is the introduction of an emergency medical unit, which Mr Thomas hopes will help alleviate bed blockages that have plagued the old facility.
“(The emergency medical unit) is primarily for people who are going to be discharged from the emergency department and not go into the hospital proper, but may need an extended period of observation before they can be let go,” Mr Thomas said.
“That will give us a level of capacity we don’t have at the moment. (Bed block) will be diminished because there have been a number of processes put in place to make sure we can get patients through the emergency department more quickly than we did in the past.”
Hansen Yuncken project manager Michael Martin, who has been overseeing the redevelopment, has spent much of the past three years building Wagga’s new hospital and mental health unit.
He and his team are now on the downhill stretch as the finish line nears – but he admits this may be the most critical part of the process.
“Everything’s got to go together and everything’s got to work,” Mr Martin said.
“A lot of people have put in a lot of effort to get (the new hospital) to where it is.”
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