Western Australia Minister for Health Kim Hames
New ICU For Armadale Kelmscott Memorial Hospital
Victor P Taffa
Up to 500 patients a year will benefit from a new Intensive Care Unit officially opened today at Armadale Kelmscott Memorial Hospital (AKMH).
Health Minister Kim Hames said the new facility would increase the hospital’s capability to treat patients with potentially life-threatening conditions. It would also relieve pressure on the State’s tertiary hospitals.
“The Level 1 unit is the first non-tertiary ICU in the South Metropolitan Area Health Service, which is a major boost for the local community.” Dr. Hames said.
“This purpose-built facility is equipped with the latest healthcare technology and specialised medical and nursing staff to give patients the highest level of care.”
“For some patients undergoing elective surgery, this will mean they can now receive the same care closer to home without travelling to the nearest tertiary hospital 40 minutes away.”
“Critically ill patients who no longer require tertiary level care may also be able to return to AKMH to continue receiving critical care.” Dr. Hames said.
Patients requiring highly specialised levels of care, such as neurosurgery, burns, heart surgery or long-term ventilation, will continue to be transferred to tertiary facilities.”
“The ICU will help to reduce pressure on the AKMH Emergency Department (ED), which has seen a 7.9 % increase in attendances in the past financial year.” the Minister said.
“Previously, seriously ill patients received care in the ED until an ICU bed became available at another site, or the patient no longer required critical care. Now, these types of patients may be transferred to an on-site ICU, freeing up ED beds to create better flow and reduced wait times.”
Dr. Hames said the new six-bed unit would take its first patient early next month and came just weeks after a new Level 2A nursery for newborn babies opened at the hospital.
AKMH’s A/Executive Director, Chris Bone, said the opening of the ICU was another positive step forward in the expansion of services at Armadale Health Service.
“The facility provides an excellent opportunity for our staff to advance their professional development by caring for patients with higher care needs.” Mr. Bone said.
“It also provides an extra area for students, graduate nurses and junior doctors to learn, contributing to our increasing role as a teaching hospital.”
The ICU will be known as Walbraaninj Ward, which means ‘healing place’ in the language of the local Aboriginal Nyoongah People.