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Middlemore milestone

SARAH ROBERTS
Last updated 05:00 14/02/2014
Robyn Hughes
Sarah Roberts
NOW OPERATING: Middlemore Hospital’s surgical nurse manager Robyn Hughes can’t wait to move patients into the new operating suites. 

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Robyn Hughes will be playing her part in one of the biggest events in Middlemore Hospital's history this weekend.

Its operating theatres and neonatal intensive care unit are moving into state-of-the-art facilities in the new $190 million Clinical Services Building.

The surgical nurse manager will be making sure the transition goes as smoothly as possible.

Thirteen suites will replace 11 in the old surgical unit. It's a major increase in capacity that can more easily cater for complex modern needs, Ms Hughes says.

The theatres feature state-of-the-art technology including the ability to live-stream operation pictures.

"It means specialised doctors [in another theatre] can look at the pictures and tell them what is happening via the screen," Ms Hughes says.

The theatres will be used for elective and acute surgeries for adults and children.

A new family suite has been included to help relatives coping with stressful situations.

The move will happen gradually over the weekend with the old theatres decommissioned as each new facility opens.

Acting chief medical officer Wilbur Farmilo says the challenge is to keep five or six theatres running at all times to cope with emergencies.

"The logistics are huge so electives will not be happening here for a short period. The focus will be on commissioning the new theatres and ensuring that everything is working as planned."

The move will also brings a name change - the new Clinical Services Building will be known as the Harley Gray Building. Dr Gray was a respected orthopaedic surgeon at Middlemore for many years.

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- Manukau Courier

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