Middlemore adopt innovative approach to renovated ward

By Mānia Clarke

A newly renovated 30-bed General Medicine ward at Middlemore Hospital in South Auckland will soon be open to meet increased health demands.

Chief Operations Officer, Phillip Balmer says this will be the new place of care for many struck by winter ailments.

“If you've got cold houses you get sicker, it makes you more vulnerable so we see a big spike from Māori Pacific, particularly at this time, and particularly around respiratory illnesses,” he said.

“We're opening this winter something in the order of 54 beds and so this is 30 of those 54.”

In an innovative move, Ward 21 will adopt a 'home ward' model, where patients will be cared for by a team of doctors, nurses and allied staff based on the ward.

“If everything is compact and on one ward, you can manage everything here,” said Clinical Head of General Medicine, Fiona Horwood.

“The other members of the team who are involved in the patients care will all be in the same place as well. It will create much stronger team working.”

The former management suite has undergone renovations over the last three months at a cost of approximately $1Million to meet the 3.7 percent spike in treatment need.

“Last year we had a terrible time during the winter, we had a challenge in terms of having patients waiting in our ED, and we were determined this year, we've got the beds,” said Balmer.

Patients will be encouraged to be dressed, rather than wearing hospital gowns or pyjamas, to promote faster recovery. In time this will be replicated across other wards.

“What it encourages is not just getting dressed in their own and getting that sense of normalcy, and also encouraging them to mobilise,” said Charge Nurse Manager Emmanuel Pelayo, “so when you feel like you're being normal and you get back to doing normal things.”

Doors will open next week Monday for four months only with 48 staff on deck.