10/10/2006 - 22:00

Kaleeya crew beats closure

10/10/2006 - 22:00

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Transferring an entire maternity unit from one closing hospital to a newly established facility was never going to be straightforward.

Kaleeya crew beats closure

Transferring an entire maternity unit from one closing hospital to a newly established facility was never going to be straightforward.

However, the staff at Kaleeya Hospital exceeded expectations, and have been recognised for their efforts by the StateWest Achievement Awards, with the hospital’s Maternity Unit Project Team winning this year’s group prize.

The Maternity Unit opened in April, following the closure of Woodside Maternity Hospital and the transfer of services to the new location.

Faced with a limited timeframe of three months, and some opposition from within the community, the team was able to facilitate a smooth transition between locations.

Consultation with thirty stakeholders from government, community and industry was critical to success, with interested parties comprising local government (Cities of Fremantle, Cockburn, Melville and East Fremantle), heritage groups, midwifery associations and nursing training institutions, among others.

Key to the successful transition was the collaborative structure adopted by the Kaleeya team, with a management steering committee overseeing five working groups and five sub groups.

This structure enabled the team to address concerns as they arose while minimising disruption to the construction timetable.

Chaired by members of the management steering committee, the five working groups were devoted to service planning, capital works, clinical governance, corporate issues and human resources.

Staff were consulted through regular forums, initially held on a weekly basis, then fortnightly for the duration of the project.

Members of the steering committee were in attendance at these staff forums and working groups to facilitate interactive communication.  

Medical staff and midwives were invited to comment on design plans, and two midwives were members of the capital works working group, managing the design and construction of the new facility. 

Staff transfer from Woodside to Kaleeya and other South Metropolitan Area Health Service facilities was 95 per cent.

The establishment of the maternity unit has resulted in improved long-term viability for the Kaleeya hospital, greater opportunities for staff and graduates, increased capacity and flexibility and the protection of the heritage-listed Woodside building.

Technological improvements have been implemented, with PACS (film-free) x-ray systems and piped gases now available.

The cost of upgrades was less than $1 million, and is expected to be offset by savings in operating costs, estimated to be $1 million per year.

Importantly, operating theatres within the unit will encourage a wider variety of clinicians and specialists to consult at Kaleeya Hospital, providing more choice for women and improving the scope for emergency surgery for obstetric patients if required.

The new unit contains four birthing rooms, each with access to a private balcony, as well as a hospital nursery and a range of accommodation options, including single rooms.

The location of the unit allows women to access on-site ancillary services, including a clinical pharmacy, radiology, ultrasound and physiotherapy services.

There is a new Postnatal Home Visiting Midwifery Service, meaning women are able to leave hospital earlier and access home support during their first days at home.

About 330 babies have been delivered at Kaleeya, with more than 270 bookings scheduled for the remainder of 2006.

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