Gisborne Hospital development

18 April 2016

Hauora Tairāwhiti now has a high level plan that can be used to guide the development of Gisborne Hospital facilities in Ormond Road. Gisborne Hospital is now 30 years old, says Chief Executive Jim Green. “Before we spent any further money on facilities we needed to make sure the buildings were sound for that investment.”

A review found the buildings, apart from the earthquake prone Morris Adair Building which has been vacated, were sound and would be for at least another 20-30 years.

“This gives us the confidence to go ahead and start making some of the facility improvements that have been on the board for a while. Nearly two years ago we received government money to build a new Medical Day Unit. This is where people come for blood transfusions and chemotherapy treatments. The current facility is cramped and not fit for purpose. This money has not been spent because we wanted to be sure that we are not making un-planned decisions about what development to prioritise and where the unit should be located. We are now finalising the plans to move forward on this important enhancement for care.”

“All development of the facilities should maximise the useful life of the building and help us to better meet the needs of people who use health services. Ideally clinical services would be located next to other services that support them. The plan indicates where facilities should ideally be located and brings some services closer together. “

“For example the plan proposes that the Emergency Department is relocated into an enlarged area with the Intensive Care Unit right next door. Planet Sunshine, Maternity and the Neonatal Unit would also be located next to each other.”

“The review also identified that a ‘campus heart’, was part of the original design”, Mr Green added. “Unfortunately it has since been eroded by changes in use and foot traffic flow. This heart will be reinstated and there will be clear, and where possible separate, access routes for public, emergency services and support services. This will help provide a welcoming central space for all visitors and make it easier for people to get where they need to go.”

‘While there is funding available for the Medical Day Unit, any other facility development will need a sound business case to ensure the changes will benefit health service users and are affordable.”

The future of the Morris Adair Building (ex Maternity Building) is unresolved and was not included in the facility development plan. Some of the Hauora Tairāwhiti services that were housed in that building are now in Peel Street. At this stage it is not proposed to relocate staff and those services back onto the Gisborne Hospital site.

What facilities will be based at Gisborne Hospital in 20 years time?

The facilities development plan is primarily about the location of health services that will probably always be done in a hospital, says Mr Green.

“No one has a crystal ball but it is most likely that there will still be a hospital in Gisborne in 2036 doing surgery in an operating theatre, providing emergency medicine to people who have been in an accident and providing beds to people who are very unwell.”

“However when we changed our name last year to Hauora Tairāwhiti, we clearly signalled that the future of health services in Tairāwhiti rests with all community health providers working together. We need to make sure we are all providing health services that best meet the needs of the people who use our services. In many cases this is in the community, closer to where people live and in a way that is convenient to them. At the same time we will have a healthier population in Tairāwhiti, a population that will need less hospital and more community based health services.”

“Changes have already begun. Increasingly people are using the hospital complex for day stay treatments and outpatient appointments rather than being admitted to a ward for an overnight stay.”

“Allowing for new models of health care was certainly considered as part of the facility planning process."

View the whole plan here.