Children’s wonder ward

Artists’ impressions of the new children’s ward at Joondalup Health Campus. Picture: Silver Thomas Hanley
Artists’ impressions of the new children’s ward at Joondalup Health Campus. Picture: Silver Thomas Hanley

New artist impressions show a recreation room with a giant aquarium, touch-reactive play floors and a ceiling that creates the illusion of a blue sky to comfort the young patients.

The redevelopment will be a world away from the current paediatrics ward, which looked aged and cramped, with little natural light, when the Weekender toured recently.

Health industry architect Silver Thomas Hanley hopes the design will leave children feeling less isolated in their rooms, with a heavy emphasis on floor-to-ceiling glass panelling.

The designers are working closely with head of paediatrics Desiree Silva and paediatrics clinical nurse manager Linda Harris.

Partially funded by Telethon, the $15 million, 37-bed ward was initially named the Telethon Kids’ Ward, but has since been renamed the Telethon Children’s Ward to avoid confusion with the Telethon Kids’ Institute.

Professor Silva emphasised the importance of distractions for children visiting hospital.

‘The important thing is the ward does not look like a standard ward,’ she said.

‘What we’re trying to achieve is absolutely top-level paediatric care, but in an area that looks like a mixture between Scitech and Underwater World (AQWA).’

The ward would have 75 per cent single rooms and overnight facilities for parents.

Prof Silva claimed services would be as good as, or better, than those at the new Perth Children’s Hospital in Nedlands.

JHC would be caring for the biggest number of children outside of the tertiary campus, with Fiona Stanley Hospital catering for a smaller number in Perth’s south.

‘There’s a lot more work that we will do here rather than having to send them down to the Perth Children’s Hospital,’ she said.

‘It’s something we’ve pushed for a long time because we could see the ward that we had was not adequate for the community.

‘The beds fill up quite quickly’