Qtown hos­pi­tal to get up­grade

The Southland Times - - NEWS - DASHA KUPRIENKO

More than $6 mil­lion will be in­jected into Lakes Dis­trict Hos­pi­tal to keep up with ’’young and stupid’’ pa­tients in Queen­stown’s emer­gency depart­ment.

South­ern Dis­trict Health Board deputy com­mis­sioner Richard Thom­son said a big­ger emer­gency depart­ment was a pri­or­ity for the hos­pi­tal in Frank­ton.

Plans for a $6.5m up­grade to emer­gency depart­ment and a di­ag­nos­tic suite were an­nounced at Lakes Dis­trict Hos­pi­tal yes­ter­day.

The hos­pi­tal would still have 10 beds

‘‘It’s a dif­fer­ent de­mo­graphic. They don’t need as many beds as Dun­stan Hos­pi­tal.’’

Queen­stown’s oc­cu­pancy rate was ‘‘low’’ on about 55 per cent, and it had not changed in years.

Pa­tients in the emer­gency de­part­ments were mainly ‘‘young and stupid’’ peo­ple who did ‘‘silly things’’ after con­sum­ing al­co­hol, Thom­son said.

The hos­pi­tal had a high tran­sit rate too, he said.

Queen­stown’s 10-bed hos­pi­tal had been ‘‘in limbo’’ for many years.

‘‘A so­lu­tion was needed for Lakes Hos­pi­tal. There was a huge amount of angst from the com­mu­nity and an­noy­ance from staff,’’ Thom­son said.

Adding a CT scan­ner, an ul­tra­sound and an X-ray to the di­ag­nos­tic depart­ment would also de­crease trans­fers to In­ver­cargill or Dunedin hos­pi­tals.

Lakes Dis­trict Hos­pi­tal’s oper­a­tional man­ager Ja­neen Holmes said more than 10,000 pa­tients came though a seven-bed emer­gency depart­ment this year.

She said the up­grade would pro­vide a bet­ter pa­tient flow.

‘‘It’s ex­tremely pos­i­tive and it will be good to have a CT scan­ner too,’’ she said

The board was yet to lodge con- sents to Queen­stown Lakes Dis­trict Coun­cil.

Con­struc­tion work would start in the sec­ond half of 2018 with the emer­gency depart­ment be­ing built first, Thom­son said.

The pro­ject was not a ‘‘one off’’ and would be fol­lowed by fur­ther de­vel­op­ments of the hos­pi­tal, he said.

A Lakes Dis­trict Hos­pi­tal Foun­da­tion was also launched and would be sup­port­ing the hos­pi­tal to go ‘‘be­yond its needs’’.

The foun­da­tion’s chair­woman Jayne Mac­don­ald said the com­mu­nity was also work­ing with Cen­tral Lakes Trust to sat­isfy com­mu­nity needs.

A wha¯nau room would also be build in the hos­pi­tal from an $80,000 fund do­nated from the Adept McTodd Trust. Fam­ily mem­bers were cur­rently shar­ing rooms with pa­tients.

Ja­neen Holmes and Richard Thom­son

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