Churchill hospital impressive

03:49, Apr 29 2013

If I ever need surgery, I want to be looked after by the good folk at Churchill Trust Hospital in Blenheim.

Most of all I like the shiny new hospital building they work in.

The staff at Wairau Hospital are just as qualified and friendly and, in some cases, are exactly the same people, but their new hospital complex isn't quite as flash as the Churchill building.

Which I guess is a good thing. Wairau was built on the public health budget, while Churchill was done with private funds. Wairau provides mostly free care, while the patient (or their insurance company) pays for care in five-star Churchill health unit.

I was among the people who went to the open day at Churchill yesterday for a look around, and was most impressed.

Right from the front door, it says "we will take care of you in great comfort". The interior design and layout are well done, all designed with patient care in mind.

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Best of all are the nine patient rooms, which are more like hotel rooms than a hospital ward. It's obvious from the beds and the medical gear attached to the wall beside them that this is a hospital, but I'm sure the decor and services would make the pain a lot easier to cope with. And certainly for visitors, too.

The hospital shares the operating theatres at Wairau Hospital, which are connected by a long corridor. And that's the idea behind the hospital trust in the first place.

It was set up in 1994 to help retain senior medical staff in Blenheim, giving them the option of working in both public and private. Last year they did 1400 elective surgeries through Churchill - surgeries that probably wouldn't get done through the public system, or certainly not as quickly.

The trust hospital was originally based in part of the old hospital until the new health unit was opened this month.

The staff still can't believe how good it is to work there. One nurse told me yesterday they felt thoroughly spoilt, and I can see what she means.

We're very lucky to have two such good hospitals side by side and I shouldn't make comparisons when the only thing that really matters is the quality of care.

I almost feel like needing surgery just to try it all out. Almost.

The Marlborough Express