MEDIA RELEASES

Future proofing decision made

Planning for future expansion will cause a slight delay in the completion of Whangarei’s new maternity services building.

Two additional floors will be added to the Maternity Unit at a later stage as the new hospital is gradually built and the necessary foundation and infrastructure work have already been carried out.

The original building design incorporated strengthened flooring above the new unit to ensure that, when the time came to build additional levels, disruption would be minimised. However, Northland DHB chief executive Dr Nick Chamberlain says that the board made a decision last week to construct a shell above the maternity unit now to avoid any disturbances of maternity services going forward.

“Recent amendments to Health and Safety legislation are leading to safer, more conservative building practices and discussions with clinical leaders have confirmed that we would still need to move the maternity unit to another area of the hospital while building the floor above. With our space constraints and the specialised nature of maternity services, this would be extremely difficult.”

The new maternity unit replaces the current 40-year-old facility with a modern, family- friendly facility. The facility will co-locate antenatal clinics, assessment rooms, birthing rooms and post-natal beds that are currently spread over two floors in the hospital. The new facility includes a high dependency unit and central staff base. Each birthing room and bedroom will have full ensuite facilities.

The completion and occupation of the Maternity Unit will now be November 2015. 



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