Prime Minister John Key has today unveiled a plaque to commemorate the official opening of Burwood Hospital's new facilities for Older Persons' Health and Rehabilitation.
The official opening was the final step in the journey from project concept to completion. Planning for the new hospital buildings began back in 2009, in line with population projections that predicted rapidly increasing numbers of older people in Canterbury by 2020, and was fast tracked after the quakes.
Work began on the new buildings in 2013. The hospital opened its new main entrance doors to patients and visitors in mid-June 2016, including 88 elderly patients transferred from The Princess Margaret Hospital.
The new buildings include a large reception area leading to three three-storey ward blocks, taking the total number of beds at Burwood to 230. There is a separate wing for Older Persons' Mental Health, a large state-of-the-art Radiology department, a new Outpatients department capable of handling up to 80,000 patients per year, an administration area, new kitchens and delivery docks, and an innovative new boiler house that runs on eco-friendly wood waste.
Many hundreds of people were involved throughout the project, including key clinical and other CDHB staff, patients, user groups, health planners, engineers and skilled tradespeople. The project was a joint venture between Leighs Construction and the Cockram Corporation.
At the ceremony, the Prime Minister listened to a waiata by the Rockers of Ages choir, cut a celebratory cake with volunteer worker Michael Turner and patient, Geoff Dacombe, and toured one of the new wards for Older Persons' Health.
David Meates, Canterbury DHB chief executive, says he is proud to have led the organisation through this complex and demanding project.
"I would like to acknowledge the huge contributions of everyone involved in the Burwood Hospital redevelopment. It has been a remarkable journey and we can all be thrilled with the results," he says.
"The new facilities are patient and family/whanau-centred, support teaching and learning, are clinically effective and most importantly, are aligned with the transformation of Canterbury's Health System to deliver the right care, at the right time, in the right place, by the right person."
Murray Cleverley, Canterbury DHB chair, agreed the new facilities are an enormous boost to Burwood's existing capacity in specialist older persons' health care and rehabilitation.
"The design teams adopted the key principles of 'long life, loose fit' that allow spaces to be used for different functions as clinical practice and patient needs change over time," Murray says. "As a result, this facility will meet the needs of our community, especially our ageing population, for many years to come."
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