New hospital will transform health care on the Coast
THE face of our region's newest hospital has been revealed to the Daily, with a massive transition set to deliver the Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital by late next year.
From November 2016 the mammoth task of transitioning the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service begins, with huge changes to be introduced when the Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital comes online.
Set to open with about 450 beds, SCHHS chief executive Kevin Hegarty will have to channel his inner juggler as he oversees the shifting of services to the SCPUH as well as adjustments to the remaining facilities throughout the region.
Nambour General Hospital will shift from a 425-bed regional hospital to a Level Three facility, with 246 beds.
The Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital contract will also end in June 2018, meaning a further 80 beds will shift to the neighbouring SCPUH.
By 2021, the remaining 290-odd beds at the SCPUH are expected to have been commissioned, taking the Coast's leading facility to its 738-bed capacity, with a target of having 602 beds active by 2018.
The new hospital will be groundbreaking in design and capability, providing emergency services, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, specialised surgical services including maxillofacial surgery, renal service and the Coast's first inpatient child and adolescent mental health service.
The delivery of the enormous new facility has seen a wide scope of resources drawn on to plan and roll out the intricate transition and, ultimately, new service.
"All aspects of the transition to the opening of the new hospital are being planned and developed in a deliberate, informed way, with the input and leadership of local clinical specialists," Mr Hegarty said.
"The expertise of staff from large, tertiary hospitals (for example Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital) has also been received.
"We have also looked at the processes used in the commissioning of other major hospitals."
SCCHS staff are eager to begin the changeover.
With the expanded range of services to be offered, the chance for current staff to explore different career paths, as well as the introduction of medical experts from far and wide, looms as a massive boost for the Coast's health care system.
"The SCHHS is in the enviable position of conducting organisational change where the numbers of employees we currently have is significantly less than the number of employees we will need by the end of 2016," Mr Hegarty said.
"As an organisation we are committed to providing the maximum opportunities for our existing staff- the expanded range of services will see career opportunities that previously were not available on the Sunshine Coast.
"Staff will be able to consider personal preferences in the context of organisational opportunity and need - this is an exciting, unprecedented period of employ
ment growth and service expansion."
And while local nursing students and graduates will be well positioned to take advantage of the new employment opportunities quickly approaching, there's also a need to attract experienced nurses, doctors and allied health professionals to ensure the SCPUH is at the cutting edge of health delivery.
"The SCPUH has attracted interest from clinicians currently located elsewhere in Queensland and across the country," Mr Hegarty said. "We have already recruited staff, for example, from the United Kingdom- the opportunity to be part of the development of a new hospital is not a frequent option and is attractive to high calibre clinicians that want to lead the development of health services."
Once fully commissioned, the SCPUH is expected to treat up to 10,000 patients per year that would normally have had to travel to Brisbane for treatment.
Mr Hegarty said as the transition period drew nearer, targeted information campaigns would be ramped up to ensure the public was aware of what services were located at which facilities, while local GPs would also be closely communicated with throughout the shift.
"We will never see any single development that will fundamentally change health care delivery on the Sunshine Coast like the opening of SCPUH," Mr Hegarty said.
How the transition will unfold:
Nambour General Hospital: 425-bed facility. From November 2016: transfer out new services to SCPUH; refurbishment begins. Refurbishment completed during 2017/18; rehab transferred from Caloundra Health Service at end of 2017/18; rehab and sub-acute grow from 2018/19. 2018: 246-bed facility
Caloundra Health Service: 83-bed facility. From November 2016: transfer services to SCPUH (ED and Acute); transition to integrated community hub with GP walk-in clinic; refurbishment commences. Late 2017/18: transfer 29 rehab beds to Nambour General Hospital; refurbishment complete during 2017/18. 2018: 38-bed facility with walk-in GP clinic
Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital: From November 2016: transfer in services from NGH and CHS. 2018: 602-bed facility. 2021: remaining beds to have been commissioned, taking facility up to its 738-bed capacity
All other hospitals: 2018 - Maleny: 24 beds. Gympie: 90 beds. Noosa: 20 beds. June 2018 - Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital contract ends, 110 beds transfer to SCPUH