Sixteen beds were opened for patients requiring rehabilitation and sub-acute care, including a dedicated single-bed room for bariatric, or very heavy, patients.
This room is one of two that hold the hospital’s first ceiling hoists.
These hoists enable patients to be lifted and carried safely to their ensuite with much greater ease, clinical nurse specialist Alexandra Dray said.
Ceiling tracks have also been installed in two other rooms so portable hoists can be added when necessary.
The expansion features six double-bed rooms and four single rooms.
Miss Dray, who was involved in the planning process from the beginning 18 months ago, said she focused on improving facilities for staff while delivering better patient care.
‘We enlarged the gym, patients have a new courtyard, the staff have a separate courtyard, we are the first in the hospital to use an electronic whiteboard system at the nurses station, and there is plenty of storage,’ she said.
A third consultant joined the team yesterday and Miss Dray said communication between staff would be boosted with interdisciplinary rooms where different health professionals could work together.
‘Previously, we had separate rooms for occupational therapists, physios and social work,’ she said.
Vinyl floors, instead of carpet, make the ward easier to clean and storage units identical to those being installed at Fiona Stanley Hospital were added.
Miss Dray said staffing levels were boosted by more than 43 full-time equivalent positions as part of the expansion, which was funded by the Federal Government through a National Partnership Agreement.
Senator Lines said the expansion was impressive and it was great to see so much room available for staff and patients on the ward.