Tents to keep old hospital in good health
The new Adelaide hospital is officially open, and the SA Government has some interesting ideas for the old site.
The emergency department at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital opened its doors on the second day of a three-day move of patients and staff from the old site.
Hundreds of patients have been shifted in a rolling convoy of ambulances; a mammoth logistical task resulting from untold months of planning.
The Ambulance Employees Association SA union says the move came on one of the worst days ambulance crews have experienced, with ramping issues at nearly all public hospitals as well as in the private system on Wednesday.
“It was a day of pain and suffering from South Australians and for our members as well, so it was a day from hell if you like, and I don't see it getting any better in the short term,” union president Phil Palmer told the ABC.
“[The system] needs some whole of hospital changes, patient flow changes and that's not an easy thing to do it seems.”
He said design issues made the situation worse at the new hospital.
“The design of the new Royal Adelaide ED, if they don't get their patient flow right it will cause ramping and we've told them that because it's very small, especially the entrance area there,” he said.
“So if they don't keep the patients moving through the ED to treatment areas, out of treatment areas and into the hospital itself then there will be a backup, a bottleneck, logjam if you like and then there will be ramping.”
RAH management says things should improve as staff settle in to the new site, and downplayed the extent of the ramping.
“We've moved through well overnight, so that's a real credit to the staff and we're back down to some normal numbers in our emergency department this morning,” Mr Lambert said.
“It's one of those spikes that we do have in the emergency department, particularly at this time of year, exacerbated for us a little bit with just some slow issues that we've been speaking about over the past couple of weeks.
“To be realistic it will take us a few weeks to address all of these flow issues that we do have at the new hospital.”
In an effort to keep the old hospital site alive and drum up some money, Urban Development Minister Stephen Mullighan has announced 14 canvas tents will be placed on the old hospital rooftop and helipad later in coming weeks.
The tent hotel will be run by a Victorian group that offers the same experience on high-rises in Melbourne for over $400 a night.
“It's been extremely successful in the high-rise buildings of the Melbourne CBD and it's something we're bringing to Adelaide,” Mr Mullighan said.
“We want people experiencing particularly some of the old beautiful heritage buildings, and also keeping people around that part of the city to continue providing a boost to the East End.”
More details are expected in the coming days about the overall plan to redevelop the site.
The Government has previously announced that a large portion of the old hospital site will be given to the Botanic Gardens, while remaining heritage buildings are set to be developed into a research and cultural precinct.
Multi-storey apartment buildings are planned for the site too.
Government plans indicated several other buildings will be demolished over the next four years at a cost of about $150 million.