Hospital marks a new chapter in its history
Sydney Local Health District has marked an important milestone, with Concord Hospital's new eight-storey clinical services building opening its doors to patients.
Wards have been opened to provide care exclusively for COVID-19 patients, after the hospital's $341.2 million redevelopment project was fast-tracked.
Diane, who been in hospital for several days after testing positive for COVID-19, is among the patients now being cared for in the new building.
"I got transferred to the brand new hospital. It's much more comfortable. I have my own room. Everything is modern, clean and spacious. I am getting better thanks to these great doctors and medication and I feel very lucky to be here," she said.
Dr Genevieve Wallace, the hospital's General Manager, said it's a significant milestone.
"As we open the doors of our new clinical services building and welcome our first patients, we reflect on the enormous effort made by so many over the years.
"I would like to thank the redevelopment team, all our clinicians and Health Infrastructure for steering this project over the past four years.
"Our staff, patients, consumers and volunteers all contributed to the design of the building with our aged health, rehabilitation, cancer patients and veterans in mind.
"Their combined efforts will now not only serve those patients in the future, but many more colleagues and members of the community who need our support right now.
"To those who have worked hard in recent weeks to ensure this transition was planned and precise, thank you for your incredible efforts," Dr Wallace said.
Professor Matthew Peters, COVID-19 lead at the hospital, said meticulous planning had been undertaken ahead of the move.
"The process of moving patients from one ward to another was planned in extraordinary detail. We planned a preparation from leaving the ward and an arrival process so there is no interruption to clinical care," he said.
Respiratory specialist Associate Professor Lucy Morgan, one of the doctors caring for COVID-19 patients, said clinicians, nurses and allied health professionals would be able to deliver best practice care in a spacious environment.
"Amongst the awfulness of being in hospital with COVID, this new facility is giving us the opportunity to care for our patients in a much more beautiful environment," she said.
Two-thirds of inpatient beds in the new building are in single rooms, providing more space to isolate and care for patients with COVID-19.
Concord Hospital has a proud history of caring for the community. Dame Eadith Walker established a place to care for Australian soldiers returning from World War One at Yaralla in the hospital's grounds.
And, it has continued in the 80 years since the World War Two returned servicemen and women were cared for at the 113th Australian General Hospital.
"This week marks the start of a new chapter in that history. Our response to COVID-19 has required us all to do things differently," Dr Teresa Anderson, the District's Chief Executive, said.
"But what hasn't changed, is our commitment to provide the very best for our patients and community."
The comprehensive cancer centre, aged health care and rehabilitation services along with a dedicated veterans' health service scheduled to move in to the new building will continue to operate from the existing facilities while the COVID-19 response arrangements are in place.