$12.1 million paediatric unit opens ahead of time and within budget
Expansion from 24 to 37 beds with aquarium and interactive play areas
More than 500 people employed during construction
The new $12.1 million, 37-bed Telethon Children's Ward at Joondalup Health Campus will provide 13 extra paediatric beds, improving and expanding health care facilities for families in the northern suburbs.
Opening the ward today, Health Minister John Day said the Liberal National Government was meeting the need for extended services in the rapidly growing region, where the population was expected to exceed 500,000 by 2020.
"The completion of this project means more children will be able to access medical treatment sooner and closer to home," Mr Day said.
"One of the most important features of the ward is the inclusion of a 10-bed Day Procedure Unit. Previously, children needing a day procedure such as allergy desensitisation, removal of adenoids, correcting squints and other general surgery would be cared for in an overnight bed.
"Having dedicated beds for day procedures means more overnight beds will be available for children needing longer-stay care, which will help reduce waiting lists.
"The other significant change is that 20 of the rooms on the new ward are single rooms, compared with only two on the former paediatric ward."
The Minister said more than 23,000 children presented to the Joondalup Health Campus emergency department in 2015 - representing 20 per cent of all metropolitan paediatric attendances and a 60 per cent jump on five years ago - and more than 3,000 children were admitted to the hospital's paediatric ward.
"This impressive new ward is world-class and has been built with features and capacity that will help future-proof the hospital as the population continues to grow," he said.
"The ward includes a treatment area for blood to be taken and other procedures to be carried out, away from the bed the child occupies which is reserved as a 'safe and pain-free' space where they can feel relaxed.
"We are mindful of the fact that being in hospital can be an overwhelming experience, so a lot of thought and careful planning has gone into making this ward a friendly place designed to enhance the comfort of children and their parents."
Other special features of the new ward include:
- day beds in each room for parents with under-bed storage for personal items
- improved facilities for children with a physical disability, including an assisted bathroom enabling access to a full bath
- new 3D pain distractors that will be used when a child undergoes a potentially painful procedure
- a giant aquarium filled with more than 200 tropical fish
- interactive play floors in a dedicated, bright and attractive play area
- an outdoor play space for children and their families, to be completed in the near future.
Construction of the new paediatric unit was jointly funded by the State Government ($3.1 million), Telethon ($6 million) and Ramsay Health Care ($3 million) and employed more than 500 people during construction.
The number of under 16-year-olds being treated at this campus has grown at an average of 10% a year since 2007-08
The paediatric unit will support the Perth Children's Hospital, which will treat complex cases
Joondalup Health Campus currently provides treatment for about 46% of local paediatric admissions
Minister's office - 6552 6200