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Stage One of new ICU opens at Dunedin Hospital

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The opening of Stage One of the new Intensive Care Unit at Dunedin Hospital represents a great leap forward for critical care for the Southern district.

Key advances include vastly improved patient privacy, noise reduction and control of light levels, including ready access to natural light.

“The environment is going to be conducive to speeding patient recovery through improved peace and tranquillity combined with much better environmental control of noise and light levels,” says Intensive Care Clinical Director Dr Craig Carr.

“There’s also greatly improved privacy with the ability to shelter patients from adjacent bays so they sleep better and are less exposed to what’s happening elsewhere in the unit.

“As well as improving recovery, it will also allow them more time and privacy with their family and whanau.” 

ICU CNM Shayne

ICU Charge Nurse Manager Shayne Wylie explains the journey to get to the opening of Stage One.

The bed spaces are a lot bigger – an increase from eight square metres per bed in the current unit to 20 square metres. The four isolation rooms are 25 square metres.

Whereas the old ICU has no ceiling hoists and limited dialysis capacity, in this unit every bed has a ceiling hoist, dialysis capacity and modern pendants with data, oxygen and suction.

“For the staff it’s going to be a joy to work in a well-equipped, bright modern space with daylight flooding in,” Dr Carr says. 

ICU staff have been involved in every aspect of the design. 

The result is a unit with excellent sightlines, state-of-the-art central monitoring, a streamlined flow of equipment and more efficient use of space.
Importantly, staff now have dedicated space off the patient-floor areas for handovers, education, confidential clinical discussions and staff breaks. Previously many of these functions were undertaken concurrently in a single, small room.

Southern DHB Chief Executive Chris Fleming says the new ICU will transform the way critical care is delivered in the hospital.

“Our present ICU is clearly not up to scratch. Our clinical staff, who have been doing an incredible job in challenging conditions, will now have a unit that optimises their ability to care for critically ill patients.”

Redeveloping the ICU was identified as a priority project in the programme of works to upgrade infrastructure at Dunedin and Wakari Hospitals.

Our redeveloped Gastroenterology Department opened earlier this year, following the opening of a revamped and enlarged Audiology Unit at Wakari Hospital in 2017.
Redeveloping the ICU is a bigger project and is therefore being completed in two stages.

Stage One opens with 12 bed spaces today and Stage Two, with a further 10 bed spaces is scheduled to open in mid-2019. 

Southern DHB Commissioner Kathy Grant paid tribute to the staff in the unit and those in nearby areas who were disrupted by the construction impacts.

“It is not easy to make major changes in a working hospital and there has been a great deal of effort and goodwill in making sure Stage One of this project is completed.

“The final result is something we as an organisation can be very proud of.”

Introducing Te Puna Wai Ora – Southern Critical Care

A new name is accompanying the new beginning for critical care in the Southern district. To mark the opening of Stage One of the ICU, a new name has been chosen to better describe the new direction of this important service: Te Puna Wai Ora - Southern Critical Care.

The transition from Intensive Care to Critical Care will be more fully realised with the work of the unit when Stage Two opens in mid-2019. 

At that point the hospital’s six-bed High Dependency Unit will relocate from the fourth floor to the fifth creating a co-located ICU/HDU Service.

“When Stage Two opens, we will be well on our way to realising our goal of an integrated, flexible work-space where specialist teams can care for our sickest patients in one location. This improves  continuity of patient care, reduces unnecessary transitions between wards and teams, enhances the skill-sets of staff that previously worked solely in the ICU or solely in the HDU and facilitates smoother patient journeys as they recover from serious illnesses or major surgery. Today’s opening is an essential step in this direction, and we believe our new name reflects our vision to improve our patients’ experiences and journeys,” says Dr Carr.

Key facts

Staging: This is Stage One of the redeveloped ICU. Twelve bed spaces will open in this stage and a further 10 bed spaces when Stage Two is complete in mid-2019.

Noise reduction: Ceilings are thick acoustic tiles. We also have bulkheads that stop the sound bouncing across the ceiling tiles. 

Privacy: Half the 12 bed spaces, including four isolation rooms, can be shut off completely from the rest of the unit.

Lighting: There is dimmable lighting in the patient bed-space and down-lighting so staff can get around safely when the patient lights are off.
Access to natural light: The beds on the northern side of the hospital have great access to natural light. These will be used for longer stay patients. The beds can be turned around so they can face out the window.

Technology: State-of-the-art central monitoring. Modern pendants containing all services that can be moved away from patients’ sightlines.

Stage 2: When Stage 2Two opens the six-bed High Dependency Unit will relocate to the ICU, creating a co-located ICU/HDU Service on the 5th floor of the Ward Block.

The combined ICU/HDU will mean patients can transition from levels of care, in either direction as necessary, without moving their physical location. 

New name:  Te Puna Wai Ora - Southern Critical Care. The new name is in two parts. One has been gifted to us from a local wise Taua (local for Kaumātua) and the other has come from our team’s input.

This gift provides the following meanings/understandings:
 The spring of wellbeing, the place of life, the place of renewal.
The connectedness of the south as the rivers flow together.
The waters surrounding the baby within the womb – a place of home or returning. home, safeness where all our needs are being met.
Holistic health for Mind, Body and Spirit.
Connection to those who have gone before us and helping prepare us for our future.