By Mick Jensen
Some 430 people checked out Ashburton Hospital’s new acute admission unit and day theatre at an open day on Sunday.
The public was asked to wear surgical booties for tours of the new facility, which is still classed as a building site.
They were taken on a guided tour and different hospital staff spoke to them about the new facilities.
From the reception area, where patient details are taken and triage assessments made, they moved on to the day surgery areas where the likes of gastroscopies and colonoscopies will be completed.
They were told that the design and layout of the new unit would make the patient experience more efficient and seamless.
An eight-bed facility in the new unit would offer more privacy and also an ensuite room.
Two of those beds were set up for patients that required high monitoring.
The unit also features a secure medication room, accessed by authorised swipe cards, and a resuscitation room.
A computerised medication system displays patient medicines on screens rather than on white boards.
The Acute Assessment Unit is part of a $8.7m upgrade and refurbishment of hospital facilities and $1.5m of that total has been raised by community funders.
The unit opens on December 7 and the day procedure unit will be operating from the end of January next year.
For increased security reasons, the main hospital entrance will be locked each evening from 8pm from December 7.
The public will only be able to access the hospital via a new entrance next to the ambulance bay.
Once inside the corridor, they will initially speak to hospital staff via an intercom, while their needs are assessed.
Ashburton Hospital is Canterbury’s largest rural health facility and one of only four Level 3 hospitals in the South Island.
A level 3 hospital provides on site 24-hour medical cover and 24-hour access to radiology and laboratory services.