New digs at Frankton’s hospital

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Lakes District Hospital nurses, from left, Cara Withy, Nicole Watts, Jennie Burt, Kirstie Brustad and Jeanette Andrews in the new ED

If you think moving house is hard, try moving an emergency department.

Lakes District Hospital staff started moving from the old ED in to the new, purpose-built wing last week – something they’ve waited nine years to do.

The shift was finished on Tuesday, just in time for the first patient to be treated about 11am.

The new ED wing has nine beds, up from seven, with one more to be added by September, two high-tech resuscitation rooms, a state-of-the-art isolation room which features a “negative pressure” door, a dedicated heli-entrance, metres from the helipad, an elevated nurses’ station providing a view of the beds, and air conditioning.

Charge nurse manager Jennie Burt says staff got their first peek at their new home about six weeks ago.

“In the old department we gave good care, but here we can provide that care, plus a wonderful experience … it’s just given everyone a real buzz – we feel excited and lucky but, also, we deserve it.”

Next cab off the rank in the two-stage $6.5 million upgrade will be the long-awaited CT scanner, expected to be installed next month.

The entire project’s on track to be finished by September.