$6.5m for CT scanner anemergency department at Lakes District Hospital

Lakes District Hospital operational manager Janeen Holmes and Southern DHB deputy commissioner Richard Thomson in ...
DASHA KUPRIENKO/STUFF

Lakes District Hospital operational manager Janeen Holmes and Southern DHB deputy commissioner Richard Thomson in Queenstown at the $6.5 million hospital upgrade announcement.

More than $6 million will be injected into Lakes District Hospital to keep up with "young and stupid" patients in Queenstown's emergency department.

Southern District Health Board deputy commissioner Richard Thomson said a bigger emergency department was a priority for the hospital in Frankton.

Plans for a $6.5m upgrade to the emergency department and a diagnostic suite were announced on Thursday.

An emergency department for Lakes District Hospital will provide better patient flow, operational manager Janeen Holmes  ...
DASHA KUPRIENKO/STUFF

An emergency department for Lakes District Hospital will provide better patient flow, operational manager Janeen Holmes says.

The hospital would still have 10 beds, Thomson said.

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"It's a different demographic. They don't need as many beds as [Clyde's] Dunstan Hospital."

The Lakes District Hospital Foundation has received a $80,000 donation to build a whānau room.
DASHA KUPRIENKO/STUFF

The Lakes District Hospital Foundation has received a $80,000 donation to build a whānau room.

Queenstown's occupancy rate was "low", on about 55 per cent, and had not changed in years.

Patients in the emergency department were mainly "young and stupid" people who did "silly things" after consuming alcohol, Thomson said.

Queenstown's 10-bed hospital had been "in limbo" for many years. 

"A solution was needed for Lakes Hospital. There was a huge amount of angst from the community and annoyance from staff," Thomson said.

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Adding a CT scanner, an ultrasound and an X-ray to the diagnostic department would decrease the number of people having to be transferred to Invercargill or Dunedin hospitals.

Lakes District Hospital operational manager Janeen Holmes said more than 10,000 patients came though the seven-bed emergency department this year.

She said the upgrade would allow for better patient flow.

"It's extremely positive and it will be good to have a CT scanner too," she said  

The board was yet to lodge consents to Queenstown Lakes District Council, but construction work would start in the second half of 2018 with the emergency department being built first, Thomson said.

The project was not a "one off" and would be followed by further developments of the hospital, he said.

The Lakes District Hospital Foundation was also launched on Thursday to support the hospital to go "beyond its needs".

The foundation's chairwoman, Jayne Macdonald, said the community was working with Central Lakes Trust to satisfy community needs.

A whānau room would be build in the hospital using an $80,000 donation from the Adept McTodd Trust.

Family members currently had to share rooms with patients.

 - Stuff

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