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Expansion of Palmerston North Hospital’s surgical facilities begins

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Workers, construction gear and site fencing has arrived at Palmerston North Hospital as the expansion of surgical facilities get underway.

The construction work is expected to take 15 months to complete and will be undertaken in two stages with some occurring over the Christmas/New Year period when planned theatre services are reduced. 
Stage 1 is planned to be completed by June 2022, and then work to create the new operating theatres and an interventional cardiac catheterisation laboratory (cath lab) will get underway for completion by December 2022.
“This project is an important investment for our district.  Not only will we be able to undertake more surgical operations and endoscopy procedures, we will for the first time, be able to provide interventional cardiac procedures, like the insertion of stents.  This is good news for the people of our district and beyond, and we are all so pleased that construction has now begun,” says Lyn Horgan, Operations Executive, Acute and Elective Specialist Services.
Local construction firm, Maycroft Construction, is doing the work, which includes creating two additional operating theatres, the establishment of a cath lab and a much larger area for surgical admissions and recovery, and the creation of two additional procedure rooms.
Working in a live hospital environment will present challenges and Maycroft Construction has experience in this area.  The firm, which has offices in both Palmerston North and Wellington, will have a team of up to 50 people working on the job at any one time.
“This is a large, complex project and being awarded the contract is particularly exciting for us as it will be the first time we will be working with MidCentral DHB.  We have completed other hospital developments and are delighted to be part of this project which will benefit the communities of Manawatū, Palmerston North, Tararua, Horowhenua and Ōtaki”, says Andrew Rout, Maycroft Construction Commercial Manager.
The project, which received Government funding of $27.5 million, is one of several major capital works planned for Palmerston North Hospital.
General Manager, Finance and Corporate Services Neil Wanden said the hospital’s facilities and supporting infrastructure was stretched, and the project would provide additional surgical capacity while plans for a new acute services block (ASB) are progressed.
“The future block will accommodate critical services, such as the Emergency Department, operating theatres, intensive care and high dependency unit, and some inpatient wards.”
In the meantime construction of a new temporary building adjacent to the Emergency Department will also get underway over coming weeks and this will accommodate the ED observation area and the Medical Assessment and Planning Unit (MAPU).
“Currently, MAPU is located within a ward so having a new unit not only provides more MAPU bed space, but it will also free up inpatient beds for the additional surgery we will be able to do with the new theatres while the ASB is established.”
Background information
Project Name: SPIRE
·         Surgical services capacity – increasing from seven to nine theatres
·         Procedural services capacity – increasing from two to four procedure rooms (the two new rooms will be General Anaesthetic capable)
·         Interventional capacity – establishing an interventional cardiac catheterisation laboratory
·         Recovery facility – improving the perioperative suite to support all patient streams and increasing this by a further 17 beds
·         Expansion of other supporting clinical and non-clinical resources.
Construction Timeframe:  October 2021 – December 2022
Budget: $27.5m
Endoscopy:  includes gastroscopes, colonoscopies, Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatogrpahy (ERCP) procedures, endoscopes.

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