Doctors say new clinical plan is vital for Tweed Hospital

HEALTHY DISCUSSION: Dr Robert Davies, Dr Sarah Limbourn, Dr Mike Lindley-Jones and Dr Alasdair Arthur outside the Tweed Hospital earlier this year.
HEALTHY DISCUSSION: Dr Robert Davies, Dr Sarah Limbourn, Dr Mike Lindley-Jones and Dr Alasdair Arthur outside the Tweed Hospital earlier this year. Scott Powick

MEDICAL staff are calling for an urgent update to the Tweed Hospital's Clinical Services Plan.

While the new greenfield hospital planned for the Tweed is welcome, staff at the existing Tweed Heads facility fear the region's growing population will be short-changed on services if the plan isn't updated.

Dr Mike Lindley-Jones, co-chair of the Tweed Hospital Medical Staff Council, said while clinical staff would not weigh in on where the new hospital should be located, they insisted having the right services would be vital.

Tenders for the prospective location of the new site were due to close yesterday and more than 30 interested landowners are believed to have sought inquiries.

As the logistics of the new facility take shape, Dr Lindley-Jones urged the Northern NSW Local Health District to work with staff to establish an updated version of the current plan, which was based on discussions that began in 2010 and was implemented in 2012.

"From a Medical Staff Council perspective, we want the right services for the people of Tweed, Murwillumbah and Byron,” Dr Lindley-Jones said.

He said the Clinical Services Plan should be replaced to better cater to the Tweed before the new hospital is built.

"The clinical staff here in the hospital have been asking our managers... for this to be updated as soon as possible,” he said.

"That's our key area of concern.”

He said the CSP laid out the range of services the region required to meet the Tweed's growing demand into the future.

Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Wayne Jones said the current CSP, which was signed off in 2012, was informed by clinicians and "covers a broad suite of services to support the care of our communities”.

"A process for reviewing and updating the current CSP will commence later in 2017 in conjunction with developing plans for our new $534million state-of-the-art hospital.”

He said clinicians would have "significant input” into the new hospital's facilities.

"Patients, their families and carers are also key stakeholders and will be involved in developing the vision for the future.

"In early 2018, Northern NSW Local Health District will progress the business plan for the new Tweed Valley Hospital, which will outline the infrastructure scope and funding allocations for the project,” he said.

Topics:  heal our hospital the tweed hospital tweed hospital

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