Hospital prepares for lift replacement reshuffle

KELSEY FLETCHER
Last updated 09:00 14/12/2013

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Noisy elevator replacements at Palmerston North Hospital will see wards reshuffled and ear plugs given out to patients.

Two elevators in the Women's and Child Health Services block will be replaced consecutively from January 6. It is expected work on each elevator will take 12 weeks, and wind up in June.

From January 3, women in the 14-bed maternity ward, and post-natal and antenatal babies and mothers, will move to Ward 27 (surgical subspecialties). The 14 Ward 27 patients will be accommodated in Ward 24 (orthopaedics), Ward 29 (general/vascular surgery), and MAPU (Medical Assessment and Planning Unit).

Fewer patients will be admitted to the second floor of the Women's Health Unit, at present occupied by women surgical patients.

MidCentral District Health Board operations director hospital services Lyn Horgan said all patient flow and placements would be managed on a daily basis to ensure appropriate arrangements were made for patient care. "The changes will affect staffing as staff move with patients to provide care in the temporary settings," she said.

"MidCentral Health has been working with unions, and contracted services to ensure the transition of patients and ward staff goes smoothly, with patient safety uppermost in their minds."

Ms Horgan said staff, patients and visitors will be impacted by noise during the lift replacements, as concrete walls in the lift shafts needed to be drilled and then replaced.

"This noise is unavoidable, and will affect the whole building to some extent as the noise will travel up the lift shafts and affect patients on nearby floors," she said.

"Ear plugs will be available for patients requiring them." Ms Horgan said visitors would also be affected.

"Coloured signage indicating detour routes to affected wards will be in place around each lift replacement area," she said.

"Especially affected will be visitors coming to see patients on the second floor of the Women's Health Unit.

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- Manawatu Standard

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