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A repatriation hospital for Sydney
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Our History

Recent history (2000 - 2010)Your Hospital by the River

The year 2000 marked the new millennium and a major transformation of the campus. Changes to the hospital’s physical appearance involved designs that would cohesively integrate the modern extensions with the existing structure, thereby maintaining the valued heritage status of the hospital’s original architecture.

The key objectives of the hospital’s new design included the streamlining of patient care by the expansion of inpatient space to accommodate modern services, co-located with extensive new ambulatory care and clinical administration facilities. A Resource Transition Plan for the new hospital incorporated the development ofambulatory care facilities throughout the main building, as well as a new structure over the Emergency Department adding an additional four storeys and the renovation of existing ramp wards adjacent to the main complex to house a new General Geriatric and Rehabilitation Precinct.

As the hospital’s transformation progressed, inpatient wards in the North and East Wings of the multi-building were extended by a spectacular glass walled extension with views of Parramatta River to the Harbour Bridge. Features of this extension included one, two and four-bed patient accommodation, all with en-suite bathrooms as well as a hot floor, including a 20-bed Critical Care Unit.

This transformation also included the opening of a state-wide Burns Service with a 17-bed treatment unit, dedicated theatre, research facilities and skin culture laboratory. The hospital also opened dedicated bronchoscopy suites, two cardiac catheter laboratories, neurosciences laboratories, Ambulatory Care Clinics, a 10-bed haemodialysis unit and Ambulatory Care Endoscopy Unit.

The opening in September 2003 of three wards of the Rehabilitation, Aged Care and Medicine Precinct (RAMP) provided a holistic environment for care of the elderly.

The Patient Escort Service also commenced in 2003, initially with 7 volunteers, and currently around 24. Patient escorts work closely with Patient Enquiries and the Admission Department to provide a hospitality service for arriving patients. This personalised service has enhanced the friendly culture of Concord Hospital and has been well received by both patients and staff. 

June 2005 saw the launch of the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine. The MRI is the most advanced of its kind, enabling the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of medical conditions with increased accuracy and success.

Also in 2005, Yaralla Child Care Centre relocated to its new purpose built premises. The new entre increased numbers in the under two-year old groups, bringing enrolments to 60 children per day with approximately 100 children attending each week. The outdoor areas have been professionally landscaped with children’s safety requirements and needs well accommodated for.

In December 2005 the NSW Minister for Health, John Hatzistergos officially opened the new Aged Care and Rehabilitation facilities, consisting of two acute aged care units, a general rehabilitation ward, which includes a stroke rehabilitation unit, an aged care rehabilitation ward and psychogeriatric unit. The area also features a day hospital and out-patients clinics and community nurses.

In 2006 a new “dual source” CT scanners was purchased for Concord Hospital,, technology that was particularly critical for Cardiac imaging.

In March 2007 Concord Hospital officially opened two fully-integrated digital operating rooms dedicated to endoscopic and minimally invasive surgery. The opening marked the completion of stage one of Concord Hospital’s 5-year Redevelopment Program, upgrading the 10-room operating theatre complex to support delivery of technologically advanced and innovative surgical procedures in a tertiary teaching environment.

As part of the NSW Health Smoke Free Environment Policy, Concord Hospital became a smoke free area for staff, patients and visitors from 2 July 2007.

In a major step forward Concord Hospital opened its Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) on 31 March 2008 to facilitate the care of patients requiring short admissions and improve the flow of patients from the Emergency Department. The establishment of a Medical Assessment Unit was part of a wider strategy to address the challenges of providing health care to a population which is ageing and getting sicker.

On 30 April 2008 Rozelle Hospital relocated to the hospital’s campus into a new purpose built 174 bed facility.  The new centre had separate female and male High Dependency Units to promote a safer environment and more specialised care for vulnerable patients.

NSW Premier Morris Iemma officially opened the new Concord Centre for Mental Health on 20 June 2008, remarking that the centre would “revolutionise mental health services” in NSW. By co-locating with a major general hospital such as Concord, the new mental health facility provided improved access to diagnostic equipment and treatment services, including access to the MRI.

A new research facility dedicated to improving the treatment, prevention and early diagnosis of asbestos related disease was opened in January 2009 by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, NSW Premier Nathan Rees and the Governor of NSW, Professor Marie Bashir. The Bernie Banton Centre – named in honour of the late asbestos campaigner – became a centre of excellence for Asbestos disease research.

The centre is the world’s largest standalone research facility dedicated to asbestos related disease specialising in education, prevention, mesothelioma tissue banking, clinical research, molecular biology and epidemiology as well as patient care.

After several years of planning, the Concord Hospital Pathology Department’s new Blood Collection facility was officially opened by General Manager Gary Miller on July 23, 2009. The three collection rooms were fitted with new blood collection recliners, an improved and bigger waiting area with television and patient-assist toilet,  and a vacuum tube station ensuring prompt pathology specimen delivery.

The Cancer Survivorship Gymnasium was officially launched by Professor Marie Bashir, Governor of NSW on 9 September 2009.The gymnasium performs an integral role in determining the effects of physical activity on quality of life, of primary importance to cancer survivors. The gym is equipped with a range of exercise machines to cover many training types such as cardio and resistance training, physical assessment and core stability training catering for patients with a range of fitness levels.

2010 - Present

On 30 April 2010 Julia Gillard MP, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, officially launched the new Australian Mesothelioma Registry at the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute. The Registry replaced the voluntary system previously in place, collecting all notifications of new mesothelioma cases from the state and territory cancer registries and detailed information on the past exposure to asbestos of mesothelioma patients. The registry is managed by a consortium led by the Cancer Institute of NSW.

Patients suffering from chronic kidney conditions in the inner west have benefitted from a new satellite renal dialysis unit based at Concord Hospital. Opened in October 2011, the modern Renal Dialysis Satellite Unit features 14 renal chairs and treats 56 outpatients each year, in addition to inpatients treated at the Hospital’s existing in-care renal dialysis unit.

Concord Repatriation General Hospital continued its tradition of excellence in cancer care with the launch of the Concord Cancer Centre on 3 September, 2012. The Concord Cancer Centre will evolve from the Hospital’s existing cancer services and continue to work closely with all areas of the hospital. It offers comprehensive and cutting-edge patient centred care, where individuals and their families are empowered to make informed choices about the best treatment options.

The Centre will also focus on research into more advanced treatment options thanks to its close relationships with the ANZAC Research Institute and the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute (ADRI), which are both on campus at Concord. In 2012, these Institutes shared $7 million in grants for cancer research.

Opened in December 2012 by the Governor of NSW, Professor Marie Bashir, the Medical Education Centre is the culmination of many years planning by the University of Sydney Academic Staff at Concord and the Concord Hospital. Included in the new building is a 140-seat auditorium, lecture theatres and multiple tutorial and examination rooms, conference and meeting rooms, a state of the art simulation centre and Cardiac resuscitation training laboratory as well as a modern library with adjacent café and meeting rooms. A video studio has been included to broadcast and record training sessions for regional NSW as well as the Sydney teaching hospitals.

The building is used by doctors, nurses and allied health services, all of which contribute to the running of the hospital. Importantly, continuing education of staff, including those from the new Mental Health precinct, is planned for the building.

The Education Centre, together with the ANZAC and Bernie Banton Research buildings, provides a central focus on education and research at Concord Hospital adding to its growth as a university teaching hospital. It puts a smile on our faces.

The 25th November 2013 saw the launch of the Hospital in The Home (HiTH) service, which provides an alternative to inpatient care in the patient’s own home and at the onsite clinic. The HITH service, in partnership with Sydney District Nursing provides acute treatment initially for patients with specific conditions such as cellulites, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Pulmonary Embolus (PE) and pyelonephritis.

The Sydney Survivorship Centre (Cottage) opened on the 1st of May 2014 in support of cancer survivors who now have access to a dedicated team of multidisciplinary professionals to support patients’ individual needs. The Cottage Centre runs public forums and provides educational resources, craft workshops and wellbeing activities for cancer survivors.

On the 26th of June 2014, NSW Minister for Health and Minister for Medical Research, Jillian Skinner was part of the opening of a new dedicated 20-bed palliative care unit on the Concord Hospital campus. This unit offers a comprehensive service for those within the local community diagnosed with a life threatening illness when relief from symptoms or pain management may be required. The service will provide physical, spiritual and emotional support, ongoing symptom control, education as well as support for the family during the final stages of illness and in the bereavement period.

The Electronic Medication Management program (eMM), was launched on 21st of May 2015 by NSW Minister for Health and Minister for Medical Research, Jillian Skinner. The Hospital is the first in the state to introduce an eMM system to improve medication safety from supply through to prescribing and administration. The continued use of new technologies in the hospital will result in sustainable improvements in delivering cutting edge patient-centred care.

October 2015 marked 10 years since Concord Hospital became the first hospital in Sydney to introduce a high field 3 Tesla MRI scanner. In keeping with a commitment to cutting edge technology, Concord replaced the scanner with a state-of-the-art 3 Tesla Siemens Skyra MRI scanner. The new scanner provides faster whole body scans and enables new approaches to managing haematology and cancer patients. The 64 channel head coil allows for brain imaging in extraordinary detail. Advances in cardiac 3T MRI imaging also enabled faster, more accurate assessment of the heart’s anatomy and its function. The new addition to the Concord Radiology Department continues to make improvement in the diagnosis and management of Concord Hospital patients.

The new state of the art Hybrid operating theatre opened in April 2016 allows vascular surgeons to combine both open surgeries with endovascular techniques. Concord’s vascular Hybrid operating theatre focuses upon operator and patient’s safety along with improvement in radiation safety, higher quality images, reduced intravenous contrast and an ergonomic design for safer open operations. The technology in the Hybrid operating room pro­vides the staff of Concord with great possibilities for teamwork, communication and education, which continues to translate into better patient outcomes.

Future Developments
In 2015, the State Government announced the allocation of the $150 million towards the
redevelopment of the Hospital. The $150 million will provide for Phase 1A of the Hospital’s staged redevelopment, including the construction of the Rusty Priest Centre for Rehabilitation and Aged Care.

The Rusty Priest Rehabilitation and Aged Care Precinct will comprise the following:
- Defence Force Centre of Excellence
- Acute Aged Care Inpatient Units
- Sub-acute Rehabilitation Inpatient Units
- Psychogeriatric Inpatient Unit
- General Rehabilitation Inpatient Units
- Rehabilitation facilities– gymnasiums, allied health treatment, Activities of Daily Living (ADL)
- Ageing and Alzheimer’s Institute
The construction of this building allows for the current Rehabilitation and Aged Care Services to be relocated to a purpose built state of the art facility to provide high quality clinical care. The Defence Force Centre of Excellence will provide urgently needed physical and mental health rehabilitation services for Australia’s returned veterans and their families. Their needs are not confined to treating their physical injuries; mental illness is now being increasingly identified in these younger men and women. Emergency personnel including federal and state police officers, paramedics and fire officers have related issues which require a similar model of supportive care and could also be treated within the Centre.

Planning for Phase 1B of the redevelopment which consists of the Concord Cancer Centre is also well advanced.

The Rusty Priest Rehabilitation and Aged Care Precinct, together with the Medical Education Centre, ANZAC and Bernie Banton Research buildings, will provide a central focus on education and research at Concord Hospital adding to its growth as a university teaching hospital. With the strategic organisation of similar services within a modern facility, Concord Hospital aims to build upon its reputation for excellence in clinical expertise, teaching and research. In conjunction with Sydney Local Health District, Concord Hospital continues “Building today, caring for tomorrow”.

Rusty Priest Centre for Rehabilitation and Aged Care
Schematic design of the new Rusty Priest Centre for Rehabilitation and Aged Care