Plan to transfer patients en masse: St John of God Midland Public Hospital

St John Ambulance WA’s Philip Townsend, St John of God Midland Public Hospital’s Jeffrey Williams and Swan Kalamunda Health Service’s Tim Williams.
St John Ambulance WA’s Philip Townsend, St John of God Midland Public Hospital’s Jeffrey Williams and Swan Kalamunda Health Service’s Tim Williams.

ORGANISERS are calling it the biggest transfer of patients in WA.

With St John of God Midland Public Hospital opening at 7am on November 24 and Swan District Hospital closing at the same time, staff at both hospitals are busy preparing to transfer patients on the day.

St John of God Midland Public Hospital nursing director Jeffrey Williams said the goal was to make the process as smooth as possible on opening day.

A patient transfer working group had been formed three years ago and included staff from the two hospitals and St John Ambulance.

“The working group has developed a detailed plan for the day and carefully examined operations, logistics and a range of possible clinical scenarios that could occur, to ensure the effective and safe transition of patients and services,” she said.

Swan Kalamunda Health Service clinical services director and working group chairman Tim Williams said a collaborative effort between key stakeholders had ensured comprehensive plans for the safe transfer of up to 120 inpatients.

“As a general hospital, Swan District sees quite a diverse case-load each day and the planning for the transfer takes into account the varying needs of a number of different patient cohorts, including maternity, rehabilitation, paediatric, general medical, surgical and mental health patients,” Dr Williams said.

“In addition, further planning is underway to transfer a small number of patients from Kalamunda Hospital and the Graylands Campus to the new Midland hospital in the days following its opening.”

St John Ambulance WA area manager Philip Townsend said that the organisation would draw on previous experience of transferring patients to new hospitals.

“We have a special crew for the patient transfer and our usual ambulance services will continue as normal that day,” he said.

Swan District patients and their loved ones will be kept informed about the closure and transfer procedures.

Since September, outpatients and maternity patients have been kept informed about transferring their care to the new hospital when it opens.

Local GPs have been kept informed and invited to information events so they are aware of the services at the new hospital.