Mildura Weekly : Friday March 21 2014 Vol 8 No 20
Mildura Weekly – 21/03/14 13 www.milduraphonebook.com.au WORK is expected to start within two months on a $9million dol- lar project for new accommoda- tion for medical professionals and students in Mildura. The tenders of several con- struction companies are currently being considered for the build- ing of fully self-contained apart- ments on a site next to the old hospital in 13th Street. Mildura Base Hospital Chief Executive Officer Dane Huxley said the project would provide accommodation for students, practitioners and medical officers employed or training at the hos- pital. “Lanyon House, which has served the hospital so well, is now dated and past its use-by date,” Mr Huxley said. “The new two-storey complex will be at- tractive, functional and an asset to our efforts in trying to attract key staff, as well as students, to the region.” The two-storey complex will comprise 35 single units and two double units, providing accom- modation for medical, nursing and allied health students and practitioners employed or train- ing at the hospital. There will be on-site car parking for tenants, a multi-purpose building and laundry. Mr Huxley said the aim of the higher standard of accommoda- tion was to support the hospital’s efforts to attract more medical students and trainees to Mildura and to allow the region to retain more health professionals. “We need to be able to com- pete successfully with centres such as Ballarat and Bendigo, and a number of key specialist recruitments in recent months show that we do have some ad- vantages and strengths, such as lifestyle and professional oppor- tunity,” Mr Huxley said. “But with this development, the accommodation we can offer will be another strength we can draw on.” The accommodation project is the second stage of the MBH redevelopment, the first stage of which is the current upgrade of the hospital’s accident and emer- gency, maternity and mental health departments. It is expected construction of the accommodation will begin around May. The Federal Govern- ment is funding the project. Start soon on MBH $9m medico units A PROGRAM that has pro- duced dramatic improvements to care for stroke patients has received Mildura Base Hospi- tal’s highest award for 2013. The MBH Quality Award was presented to the stroke unit at the hospital’s first staff forum for the year. The unit is credited with reducing the average hospi- tal stay for stroke patients by more than two days. It also last year reduced the numbers of patients experiencing com- plications from stroke from 58 percent to only nine percent. An average 80 stroke cases are admitted to MBH each year, and at the awards pre- sentation, hospital CEO Dane Huxley said the initiative had improved services for all stroke patients. “When the decision was made in 2012 to set up an Acute Stroke Unit within the general medical Ward 3, the aim was to improve the out- comes for stroke patients right across the journey,” he said. “I am pleased to say this has been the case, from a pa- tient feedback viewpoint, and is clearly reflected in the hard data collected by Health Ser- vice.” The initiative was driven by stroke project officer Jo Cot- trell, and Ward 3 senior nurs- ing staff Kristjan Hobbs and Bronwyn Daymond. It also had significant input from the ward’s nursing staff as well as intensive care staff, emergency department staff and physi- cians. The National Stroke Foun- dation Clinical Guidelines for Stroke Management, a comprehensive guide to best practise stroke management in Australia, was also used in developing the policies and services. “The model of care we put in place really means that pa- tients are medically stable earlier, and being flagged and referred early for rehabilita- tion,” Ms Cottrell said. “We now have in place a system in which nursing staff provide more assertive and timely reporting of observa- tions that are of clinical con- cern. “Patients are assessed by a speech therapist and physio- therapist within 24 hours, and assessed and managed by all allied health team members within 48 hours. “They are actively partici- pating in therapy from day one, and the model provides a continuous and interconnect- ing journey of care for stroke patients.” Some of the key outcomes for acute stroke patients under the project are reduction in av- erage length of stay in hospital from 8.9 to 5.6 days, reduction in complications from 58 per- cent to 9 percent, significantly improved outcomes for stroke patients, and significant im- provement in time from refer- ral to assessment by physio- therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Mr Huxley said the level of care for stroke patients had been further enhanced by the launch of the Vicstroke Tele- medicine Program at Mildura Base Hospital. It allows local physicians to link directly with a neurologist 24/7 to assist in managing stroke patients in the vital first few hours. Quality award for MBH stroke unit • JOB WELL DONE: Pictured after the awards presentation, see story below, left to right, are Kristjan Hobbs, Katrina Gates, Dane Huxley, Sr Marion McDonald from the MBH Advisory Board, Jo Cottrell and Janet Hicks, MBH re- design and improvement manager. Part of Wesfarmers Insurance GC_WFI1569 Farm insurance you can shake hands with. Insure with WFI and you’ll deal directly with a local area manager who will take the time to understand you and your needs as a farmer. So, your insurance will always be handled with a personal touch. Plus, you have the option to tailor your own insurance package to suit your needs. WFI, good people to know for insurance since 1919. 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Friday March 14 2014 VOL 8 No 19
Friday March 28 2014 Vol 8 No 21