Maclean Hospital Emergency Department nurse unit managers Cathryn Osbourne and Dominic Bennett and Maclean Lower Clarence Hospital Auxiliary president Joyce Bell were at the Maclean District Hospital Emergency Department open day.
Maclean Hospital Emergency Department nurse unit managers Cathryn Osbourne and Dominic Bennett and Maclean Lower Clarence Hospital Auxiliary president Joyce Bell were at the Maclean District Hospital Emergency Department open day. Debrah Novak

Maclean Hospital's ED completed

THE first thing that hits you when you walk into Maclean District Hospital’s new emergency department is the smell.

But it’s nothing to be worried about ... it’s the smell of ‘new’.

The hospital held a public open day yesterday ahead of the emergency department’s official opening on Tuesday, and it looks as fresh as it smells.

The department’s nursing unit manager, Cathryn Osbourne, said the new facility would be the envy of many hospitals.

“We’ve pretty much got a state-of-the-art department now that anyone would be pleased to have, including many city hospitals,” she said.

“In the old emergency department, it was a bit like what I call a ‘nip-on clip-on’.

“There were bits and pieces off everywhere ... nothing was terribly organised ... the flow through the department was really poor ... and, there was no security.

“But in this new department, it’s fully secure and there’s a room for patients who are infectious or have mental health issues where they’ll be safe and cared for.”

Ms Osbourne said that room would be well used because of the large number of mental health patients who presented at the department.

She said even if they were not violent, the room would help keep them safe.

“We’ve got a proper mental-health bed where they can’t pull it apart and hurt themselves or anyone else; and we’ve got a proper resuscitation bed that’s electric that we can position patients comfortably,” she said.

Ms Osbourne also commented on the improvement for children treated at the emergency department.

“Twenty-five per cent of our patients are paediatric, so that’s a fair few in an older community like this,” she said.

“We now have a dedicated paediatric area where the kids can be apart from the adults, so it’s safer for them.”

Even going to the bathroom is now going to be easier for patients.

“With the old emergency department, we didn’t even have a toilet.

"We used to have to take people from the bed into the waiting room to use the bathroom,” she said.

Ms Osbourne said during the six months of renovations, staff and patients had to use the day surgery ward – but it was all worth it.

“It’s a much calmer environment; you can see all the patients – the stress level will be reduced,” she said.

“People can’t get in unless we let them in, so the staff will be a lot safer.”

The revamp was made possible through the generosity of a local resident who left a bequest of about $1.7 million to the hospital.

Some of the fit-out, however, was made possible by the Maclean Lower Clarence Hospital Auxiliary.

The auxiliary paid $5000 for a paediatric colour-coded cart; $4800 for an electric trolley; and $3200 for the mental health bed.

In addition, the auxiliary has ordered two state-of-the-art defibrillators, each worth $20,000.

Long-time auxiliary president Joyce Bell said its members were proud to have donated the equipment.

“It is thanks to the generosity of the people of the Lower Clarence and our hard-working members,” she said.



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