CDHB’s new Acute Medical Assessment Unit opens

Tuesday May 7, 2013

The Canterbury District Health Board’s new Acute Medical Assessment Unit (AMAU) at Christchurch Hospital officially opens today (Tuesday), with the first patients coming through its doors tomorrow (Wednesday).
David Meates, CDHB chief executive, says the new AMAU is the first step in getting all acute general medical wards back to one site after the February 22 earthquake forced them to be split across The Princess Margaret and Christchurch Hospitals.
“More than two years after the earthquake shook up our hospitals, we can celebrate this first move towards getting acute medical services back onto one site,” Mr Meates says.
“Everyone involved, from the CDHB clinical and property redevelopment teams, to the contractors Leighs Construction, need to take a bow because it hasn’t been an easy road to get to this point.”
Mr Meates says the logistics of running large construction projects within a working hospital requires considerable planning and flexibility.
“Since the quakes there has been ongoing construction and disruption and it will be this way for the next five to six years. It amazes me what a remarkable job everyone continues to do considering the added pressures here at work and for many still at home as well.
Mr Meates says the new AMAU has been built to the highest standards.
“The construction teams have done a superb job in just seven short months, under some very challenging conditions, and under budget. This was also the first project that Leighs used their Filipino workers on and it proved to be a great success.
“Although it is a windowless ward, the artwork, colour scheme, reflective cladding and lighting make it a light, airy, and natural environment.
“Both patients and staff in the unit will benefit from what the new facility has to offer. The 11 additional beds will bring the total number of beds in the AMAU to 36.”
The new AMAU includes four staff observation areas which allow the direct observation of patients, and two consultant rooms which allow staff to assess patients directly referred by their family doctor, reducing the pressure on ward beds and the Emergency Department.
The new AMAU is on the ground floor of Christchurch Hospital's Parkside West building. This area was made available when the Parkside Outpatients Department moved into the new Hagley Outpatients building in July last year.
Construction also continues on Level 2 and Level 3 in Parkside building two 27 bed wards plus a 10 bed Surgical Progressive Care Unit and a Plastics Outpatients clinic. This is due to be completed in August.
Facts about AMAU
  1. The new AMAU is a 36 bed unit which is an increase of 11 beds. The floor space is 1500 square metres.
  2. The unit has two consultant rooms that will allow the Senior Clinicians to complete an assessment on patients directly referred from General Practitioners.
  3. Three single isolation rooms with ensuites and HEPA Filtered capacity are part of the 36 beds.
  4. The unit has four staff observation areas which allows direct sight of patients.
  5. A large room in the centre of the unit will allow clinical teams an area for clinical patient handover.
  6. The old AMAU situated in Riverside was an old ward design (approximately 900 square metres) that was renovated to accommodate the AMAU but did not cover the needs of the clinical teams.
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Page last reviewed: 09 July 2013