Maternity out, aged care and rehab in

03/08/2015 - 16:32

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The opening of Fiona Stanley Hospital has enabled two suburban hospitals within five kilometres of one another to completely change their services, dropping gynaecological and maternity offerings to focus separately on aged care and rehabilitation.

Kaleeya Hospital

The opening of Fiona Stanley Hospital has enabled two suburban hospitals within five kilometres of one another to completely change their services, dropping gynaecological and maternity offerings to focus separately on aged care and rehabilitation.

Kaleeya Hospital in East Fremantle, which was sold by the state government late last year for $17.5 million, is now undergoing extensive refurbishments as new owner Southern Cross Care prepares to meet what it says is a growing demand for more integrated aged care services.

Southern Cross Care chief executive Errol Turner said the new site would cater for the frailest patients, offering 68 residential units, GP and allied health services, including lifestyle programs, in one place to avoid ‘bouncing’ between facilities.

“People in the aged care system who are considered high care or very frail can be vulnerable, and many return from hospital in a worse condition than when they entered,” he said.

“The Kaleeya residential care vision aims to minimise the bounce between health facilities … we want to avoid wherever possible hospital admissions, as primary health professionals are available at the premises.”

Meanwhile, last April, Ramsay Health Care announced it was responding to shifting demographics and health care needs of the local Attadale area, closing its private maternity hospital and reopening as a 31-bed rehabilitation hospital.

At the time, Attadale Private Hospital chief executive Jane Case said the new facility would be the only one of its kind south of the river.

It’s understood the change to rehab services also offers Ramsay major cost benefits.

“We have not taken this decision lightly, given the history of Attadale’s maternity services,” Ms Case said.

“Deliveries and surgical procedures at the hospital have been in constant decline since 2011.

“We have also had difficulties recruiting and retaining obstetricians, surgeons, midwives and operating theatre nurses, (and) there have also been challenges providing paediatrician cover for maternity services for some time.”

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