Western Cape Government Health commissioned three new wards at Worcester Hospital on Tuesday, 11 December. The renovation and refurbishing of the wards form an integral part of Phase 4 of the Worcester Hospital Revitalisation Project, which started in 2005 with the building of a state-of the-art emergency unit.
The R300-million building project has been an enormous undertaking, complicated by the necessity of decanting wards to other sites in order to use the resultant emptied space as temporary service venues. In the case of the old general and maternity wards, the decanting process required that they move completely off site to a ward in the Brewelskloof TB Hospital, which, although also in Worcester, is situated on different premises to Worcester Hospital. The old wards were then put to use as a temporary location for medical records, the outpatients’ department and theatres, thus enabling the demolition and rebuilding of a new outpatients’ department, state-of-the-art theatres and medical-records areas. These areas were completed and handed over in late 2009, after which building of the new wards could start.
The old areas have been replaced by state-of-the-art wards, each boasting 29 beds, en suite bathrooms, modern electronic radiology equipment, and in the case of the Family Medicine ward, specialised areas for the early diagnosis of especially infectious illnesses such as TB.
The staff complement of 45 staff members, which include nurses and support staff, moved into their new wards on 11 December 2012, a full nine years after decanting.
Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, commented, “The improvement of infrastructure forms a vital part of service delivery. Both patients and staff benefit from clean, well-maintained and equipped facilities. It is with pleasure that we celebrate the pioneering spirit of our staff and patients. The manner in which our staff continued to deliver health care to their patients despite the challenges which a building project presents is commendable. Furthermore, the patience with which they have waited to move into their new wards, their ability to adapt to changes, the fact that they have risen to the challenges and persevered, assures me that we have an excellent team of nurses, doctors and support staff taking care of our patients. What an excellent example of loyalty and commitment you are. I extend our gratitude to the very many patients who may have been inconvenienced during the time that these wards were elsewhere, and thank you for your patience and understanding. I am sure that everyone will enjoy these new and improved wards. Welcome home!”
The wards will be inaugurated officially in 2013.
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