12 Nov 2018

New unit to transform critical care at Dunedin Hospital

3:30 pm on 12 November 2018

A new intensive care unit unveiled at Dunedin Hospital is expected to improve patient privacy and critical care in the region.

Dunedin Hospital.

Dunedin Hospital. Photo: RNZ

Stage one of the hospital's ICU upgrade was officially opened this morning.

The unit includes 12 more beds, thick tiles to reduce noise, more space and better lighting.

Southern District Health Board chief executive Chris Fleming said the new ICU will transform the way critical care is delivered in the hospital.

"Our present ICU is clearly not up to scratch," Mr Fleming said.

"Our clinical staff, who have been doing an incredible job in challenging conditions, will now have a unit that optimises their ability to care for critically ill patients."

The unit has been named Te Puna Wai Ora - Southern Critical Care.

ICU director Dr Craig Carr said it reflects the hospital's vision to improve patient's experiences and journeys.

The new unit could help speed up patient recovery through improved peace and tranquility, Dr Carr said.

"There's also greatly improved privacy with the ability to shelter patients from adjacent bays so they sleep better and are less exposed to what's happening elsewhere in the unit.

"As well as improving recovery, it will also allow them more time and privacy with their family and whanau."

Ten more beds will be opened when stage two of the upgrade is completed mid next year.