Demand for our services remains high with 509 patients presenting to our emergency departments yesterday. A number of initiatives, some outlined below, continue to be implemented as part of access strategies. Further updates on our access initiatives will be provided in subsequent Operations Bulletins. As always, thank you to all staff for your ongoing efforts. We appreciate that these remain challenging times for health services.
Opening of the Behavioural Assessment Unit in Sunshine Hospital Emergency Department
Clinical operations in the Behavioural Assessment Unit (BAU) at Sunshine Hospital Emergency Department (SHED) commenced this week. This is a significant milestone in the expansion of clinical services at SHED. The BAU is designed to provide best care for patients with mental health, alcohol or other drugs needs who attend SHED.
Training and orientation continues for all staff who work and volunteer at SHED and we encourage all staff to familiarise themselves with the new clinical area. For more information, please refer to this article on Westerly.
Sunshine Hospital Transit Lounge update
Established in late February, the Sunshine Hospital Transit Lounge provides care for clinically-stable patients who are either transiting in or out of hospital. Located on the ground floor of Sunshine Hospital, the clinical space accommodates patients ready for discharge, who would otherwise occupy a ward bed while waiting for transport, a discharge summary or medications. Similarly, clinically-stable patients admitted via SHED can be cared for in the Transit Lounge while waiting for an inpatient bed to become available. The Transit Lounge is open seven days a week, 8am-6.30pm.
Last month (May), 473 patients were transferred to the Transit Lounge, equating to 35.8 bed days saved. The Transit Lounge has proved a welcome addition, improving access and flow as well as patient experience. Thirty per cent of discharged patients currently go home via the Transit Lounge. We will continue to ensure that all clinically-appropriate patients have access to the Transit Lounge.
Sunshine Hospital Expansion of Pharmacy capital works update
Structural work continues on the Sunshine Hospital Expansion of Pharmacy (SHEP) with all pad footings now cut and poured in the loading dock. Structural steel works are in progress, in readiness for the concrete slab pour scheduled for July. The new automated dispensing cabinets (ADCs) are currently being tendered. The expansion of the current pharmacy footprint – from 350m² to 800m² – will support our clinical operations and accommodate growth in staff numbers to continue to meet the needs of our communities.
Changes to the pandemic orders from 11.59pm Friday 24 June
Victorian Minister for Health Martin Foley has announced modest changes to the pandemic orders that will come into effect from 11.59pm Friday 24 June. None of the changes are anticipated to impact health services, which remain sensitive settings, so third dose mandates, mask wearing, visitor restrictions and other measures are still in place at Western Health.
Of note, positive COVID cases, who must still isolate for seven days from their test date, may now leave home to drive a household member directly to or from education or work without leaving their vehicle. Some tips to reduce the risk of transmission include: all people in the vehicle wear a high-quality mask, opening at least one window (cracking a window open makes a massive difference), and ensuring that the heating/air conditioning system is set on fresh air (not recirculation).
Executive Director Operations (Acting)