Qtown hospital to get upgrade
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