A major transformation is underway at Westmead in Sydney’s west. An impressive new 12-storey acute services building, which will house two new emergency departments, is the showpiece of the Westmead Redevelopment.
Nearly 30 kilometres west of Sydney’s CBD, in the fastest growing city of Australia — Parramatta — the Westmead health, education and research precinct is transforming.
Two major hospitals, Westmead Hospital and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, dominate the precinct providing tertiary and quaternary specialised services that support New South Wales and Australia. The precinct also includes a private hospital, three research institutes, multiple healthcare service providers and universities.
The NSW Government is investing over $900 million in the precinct, including a central acute services building which will open in 2020. The new structure will link the two major hospitals and will host a number of adult and paediatric services including emergency, pharmacy, imaging and state-of-the art operating suites. The new facilities and services will improve health outcomes and experiences for patients, carers and families.
Key features of the new building include two new emergency departments — one for adults and one for children — operating suites with highly specialised equipment, a new Cardiac Comprehensive Care Centre and expanded imaging, pharmacy and logistics. New landscaped areas and parking will improve accessibility and patient and visitor experiences.
There will be new, comfortable, modern patient rooms — a high proportion of these will be single rooms with dedicated carer zones, while the remainder will be double rooms. The architect, HDR Rice Daubney, is maximising natural light and views of the region, including outlooks to the Sydney CBD and Parramatta. Adult patients, carers and visitors will be able to relax and reflect in patient lounges. Children will have access to play areas, while a carer’s retreat will provide additional respite.
Community members have been embedded in all stages of planning for the new hospital building, including participating in design workshops, reviewing floor plans, healthcare service discussions and testing simulation spaces. Consumers have also been involved in planning for information and computer technology as part of the transformation to a digital hospital. Several opportunities for community participation are coming up, including an arts and cultural program for the new building and a way-finding project to improve navigation and signage in and around the precinct.
Westmead’s education, training and research capacity is also expanding. A major upgrade to the hospital’s key learning spaces, the Westmead Education and Conference Centre, will be completed before the year ends. This is part of a commitment from The University of Sydney to invest $500 million over the next 15 years. This investment includes two floors in the new central acute services building that will enable greater integration of education, research and health services.
The revitalisation is not restricted to the renovation or construction of new facilities. The Western Sydney Local Health District is also taking the opportunity to review a wide range of elements of the business, including patient care and patient flow.
“The colocation of staff and patients from two of Sydney’s major hospitals is complex and requires major pieces of work, including workforce planning, ICT systems and reviews of healthcare service delivery and referral pathways,” said Leena Singh, Westmead Redevelopment lead for Western Sydney Local Health District.
“With under three years to go until the new building opens, our work is now shifting to the transition and operational planning to prepare for the move in 2020. Westmead is cementing its reputation as a vibrant, innovative centre of healthcare.”
Read more: www.westmeadproject.health.nsw.gov.au.
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