Hervey Bay Hospital reached a major milestone last week on Stage 1 of the Emergency Redevelopment project, with the handover of the new helipad and carpark from Wiley to Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service.
The project commenced in early January 2017 with Wiley, who design and build facilities, being named as the head contractor.
The rooftop helipad will provide direct and timely patient transfer to the operating theatres, Intensive Care Unit and the future Emergency Department.
The first emergency helicopter landed last Thursday evening at approx. 5pm on the new 1,000m2 helipad with a critical patient onboard.
Wiley’s Business Operations Director, Simon Spittle, who leads Wiley’s contracting team said “I am extremely proud of what our team has achieved and we are honoured to have been involved with the creation of this critical new infrastructure to better service the local community.”
Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board Chair Peta Jamieson said it was wonderful to see the first milestones of the crucial infrastructure project become a reality.
“This redevelopment is one of the Board’s biggest current priorities, because it resolves capacity issues at the current emergency department, and it builds for the future of the Fraser Coast,” Ms Jamieson said.
“I’m particularly pleased to see the completion of the new car park, which is more than double the original 48 spaces planned.
“Our Infrastructure and Assets team has worked with the contractors to ensure we’ve maximised our car parking capacity, which is a great win for our patients and visitors.”
While hospital employees gradually filled up the new 120-bay parking area on Thursday morning, onlookers watched as the decommissioned helipad was bulldozed, allowing Wiley to begin construction of a new ambulance bay structure and roadway, and continue major rock excavation to allow future construction for the new emergency department.
Health and Ambulance Services Minister Cameron Dick said “The next phase of the redevelopment project, which is already underway, includes the building of six new ambulance bays – an increase from the current two – and excavation and site preparation work for the construction of the main building.”
By mid-2018, the Stage 2 upgrade will see the hospital’s emergency service double in bed capacity to meet the future needs of the fast-growing Fraser Coast region, with the new carpark, helipad and ambulance bay allowing a smooth transition to meet the extra service demand.