CQHHS board members and hospital staff at the opening of the new Gladstone Hospital emergency department on August 5, 2020.
CQHHS board members and hospital staff at the opening of the new Gladstone Hospital emergency department on August 5, 2020.

OPEN: New emergency department welcomes first patients

GLADSTONE Hospital opened the doors to its new Emergency Department at 9am today.

The state-of-the-art $42 million facility began construction in February last year and has welcomed its first patients and an excited team of medical and admin staff this morning.

Central Queensland Hospital and Health Services Chair Paul Bell said the previous ED had some of the best clinical services in the state but was becoming cramped and overcrowded.

READ MORE: New $42 million Gladstone facility opens today

READ MORE: Future growth: Gladstone hospital to continue upgrades

“We were starting from a very good place that has been built up over the past two to three years,” Mr Bell said.

“Today operationally we are opening probably one of the best regional centres in Queensland.”

He said the layout of the new department was locally led by staff, patients and other stakeholders.

“As a board we are so happy with the outcomes and so happy that we got to today after starting this journey in 2016,” he said.

“I think what we’re seeing now is going to be very much a beacon for the rest of the ED’s in Queensland.”

He said one highlight of the new facility were two new family rooms to allow patients to be with family during serious situations.

“Those are all differences in the way this has been designed and put together,” he said.

“It’s just going to be a very caring and loving experience as they come into this new place.”

Dr Dilip Kumar and CQHHS CEO Steve Wiliamson at the opening of the new Gladstone Hospital emergency department on August 5, 2020.
Dr Dilip Kumar and CQHHS CEO Steve Wiliamson at the opening of the new Gladstone Hospital emergency department on August 5, 2020.

Clinical director Dr Dilip Kumar said his staff were very excited to get into the new building.

“It is bigger, there are more beds and more ability to look after the patients,” Dr Kumar said.

He said a number of new staff had already joined the hospital and some were due to start in coming months while recruiting was on going, with 30 new jobs created by the facility.

CQHHS Chief executive Steve Williamson said the new facility would have improved flow with patients at the heart of the design.

“(It will be a) much better experience, a much more rapid movement through in terms of assessment time, diagnosis, the access for ambulance services are so much better,” Mr Williamson said.

Board member Tina Zawali said the facility was opened with a prayer circle by an Indigenous elder acknowledging the traditional owners of the land.

“The way she spoke during that prayer was all about love and care,” Ms Zawali said.

“It’s more than just a building it’s more than just a sum of the parts, it’s more than that.”

The new Emergency Department was operation from 9am this morning, entry is on Park Street.

The old department will close it’s doors from 3pm as the board work to transform it into a specialist outpatient facility.

READ MORE: Daily 16-page digital edition to feature major stories