15/09/2021 | Steven Marshall MP | Stephen Wade MLC | Better Services

Residents in Adelaide’s northern suburbs are gaining more access to high quality health care, closer to home, as construction of Lyell McEwin Hospital’s expanded emergency department (ED) and new Mental Health Short Stay Unit approaches its halfway mark.

It comes as a further 16 inpatient beds the Gawler Hospital has been opened up to patients from other metropolitan and regional hospitals without needing admission from a GP, easing pressure on the hospitals in the north.

Premier Steven Marshall said the $58 million investment at the Lyell McEwin will almost double the hospital’s current ED capacity, with the project creating hundreds of jobs whilst being a huge boost for South Australian suppliers and tradespeople.

“We are building what matters to South Australians by investing in a $3 billion hospital building program that will ease pressure on our emergency departments and deliver patient care closer to home,” said Premier Marshall.

“We are committed to stamping out ramping and we are rolling out a range of initiatives to expand hospital capacity and improve patient flow.

“The expanded ED at the Lyell McEwin will have an additional 1900 square metres of emergency clinical floor space, almost doubling the number of treatment spaces to 72, increased resuscitation and triage capabilities, as well as dedicated paediatric assessment and treatment spaces.

“As we undo the damage of Transforming Health and confront the COVID pandemic, we are delivering the extra capacity our Emergency Departments need - than 140 treatment spaces across our metropolitan and peri-urban EDs.

The building works have resulted in 85,000 hours worked to date, with an average of 80 workers on site per day. That number will increase as the project progresses and local supply companies are engaged to deliver what is needed, including 3000 cubic metres of concrete and 200 tonnes of structural steel.

The ED in the new three-storey building is scheduled to open in the first half of next year, with internal refurbishments of the existing ED to follow. The entire redevelopment, which will increase the capacity to 72 treatment spaces is anticipated to be operational by the end of 2022.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said that with the northern suburbs growing faster than anywhere else in the state, the Government is delivering the foundations for health services to support the health and wellbeing of those in the north for years to come.

“Mental health is a key priority for the Marshall Government. The new eight-bed Mental Health Short Stay Unit will provide a purpose-built facility for mental health patients requiring short stay assessment after presenting to the ED, ensuring that these patients will receive the care they need in an appropriate, modern facility,” said Minister Wade.

“Alert to the fact that demand for health services is increasing right across the northern region, as we are expanding the Lyell McEwin ED, we are today announcing that the Gawler Health Service has recently extended service model so that a further 16 inpatient beds can be made available.

“This means patients in the region, including those in the northern suburbs, can be admitted to one of the 32 beds at Gawler Hospital, providing greater flexibility for patients requiring treatment and care without the need for an admission from a local GP.

“We are getting on with the job of increasing capacity in our hospitals to help fix ramping and deliver better health care for all South Australians, closer to home.”

Northern Adelaide Local Health Network (NALHN) Chief Executive Officer, Maree Geraghty, said the redevelopment is critical in meeting future increasing demand.

“Following completion of the LMH multi-deck car park extension in June 2020, construction of a new private car park opposite the hospital is also progressing well, ensuring more spaces are available for staff and consumers,” said Ms Geraghty.

“NALHN will lease 250 spaces in NorthWest Healthcare’s new multi-deck car park, set to open in mid-November, with the remaining spaces available to the public.

“With all concrete being poured, all structural steel to the main building complete, and the level one and level three roof currently being installed means internal works can now commence, and we look forward to seeing how building works continue to steadily progress.”