An important milestone in the development of Christchurch's new temporary outpatients department was reached today, with the completion of the building's roof.
Last year the Canterbury District Health Board contracted construction company HRS to build the two-storey building on the old Hagley Hostel site. The relocation of outpatients will allow space for a new 36 bed Acute Medical Assessment Unit on the ground floor of Parkside.
David Meates, CDHB chief executive, says DHB staff, HRS and other contractors have done an amazing job since work began on January 9 this year to get the building weather tight and on track for a July opening.
"The team working on our new outpatients clinic should take a bow – it's on track, on budget and will open to patients early in July," Mr Meates says.
The building, which is on schedule to be completed in just 140 days, has been built in modules so that in the future it could be picked up and moved to another site if required. Mr Meates says the opening would be a significant first step in increasing Christchurch Hospital's capacity.
"Once outpatients has moved out of the Parkside block, it will be full steam ahead to develop our new Acute Medical Assessment Unit (AMAU). During construction of AMAU, work will also begin on creating additional ward space so the number of surgical beds can be increased and expanding our Surgical Progressive Care Unit (SPCU)."
Mr Meates says the new outpatient facility has been designed as a temporary solution to relieving the physical constraints the CDHB faced.
"The longer term solution will be locating outpatients in the new facility development for the Christchurch Hospital campus."Mr Meates says outpatients plays a crucial role connecting patients with health professionals.
"More than 300 patients attend outpatient clinics each working day – more than 70,000 patient visits per year. Each day clinics cover a range of specialties, including general surgery, cardiology respiratory, and urology," he says.
Outpatient clinics will be held on the ground floor of the new two storey building and there will be office space for 100 staff on the top floor.
"Most of the new office space will be used to decant staff from Christchurch Hospital so that repairs can be undertaken and additional clinical wards can be made available."
The AMAU will move from its existing site of Level One in the Riverside block to the current outpatients site at Parkside. The existing AMAU will revert to a normal General Medicine ward and two of the three temporary wards at The Princess Margaret Hospital will be progressively closed, leaving one ward specialising in rehabilitation of stroke patients.
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