TWEED Hospital patients waiting to be discharged or awaiting test results will soon be able to do so while seated in a comfortable lounge chair rather than a lying prostrate in bed.
NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner visited the hospital today and announced the creation of a $350,000 combined Awaiting Results and Discharge Lounge facility near the hospital's front entrance.
Minister Skinner said "as a result of this facility, patients will no longer have to wait for their results in an emergency department bed.
"The new lounge will be staffed by two registered nurses and medical supervision is provided by the emergency department and the inpatient medical teams.
"It's great to visit the Tweed Hospital today to announce funding for this important facility," Mrs Skinner said.
Emergency department director Robert Davies said the new lounge was all about the flow of patients in the hospital.
"The lounge is a different way of looking at removing blockages within the emergency department.
"The lounge will free up beds and give staff new and different options," Dr Davies said.
Although the lounge won't be fully operational until May, the department is already using six lounge chairs.
The total capacity will consist of 12 awaiting results chairs and a combination of 12 discharge lounge chairs and beds.
Chief executive Northern NSW local health district Chris Crawford said he believed the facility was a one of a kind solution, developed through the cooperation of clinicians and management.
"This is a unique way of getting better usage of in-patient and emergency department beds," Mr Crawford said.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest said "this new facility will go a long way to ensuring local patients are comfortable and assisting their journey through the hospital."