New Whakatāne Hospital Procedures Room completed | Te Whatu Ora | Health New Zealand | Hauora a Toi Bay of Plenty

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New Whakatāne Hospital Procedures Room completed

21 December 2022

A new Procedures Room which will increase capacity for endoscopy and minor surgical procedures has been completed at Whakatāne Hospital.

New Whakatāne Hospital Procedures Room completed
Above, from left: Acting Clinical Nurse Manager Caroline Ririnui-McComb, Dr Jagdish Prasad, Dr Ruwan Paranawidana and Endoscopy Nurse Lead Clifford Fullick in the new Whakatāne Hospital Procedures Room

A ceremony was held this morning (Wednesday 21 December) marking the completion of construction of the new clinical space, which has been a year in the making. Clinical equipment will be installed over the coming days and systems will be commissioned before the room is cleaned to theatre standard. It will open to its first patients in mid-January.

“The perioperative team at Whakatāne Hospital is excited that the 12-month project has been completed just before Christmas, which will increase capacity for endoscopy and minor surgical procedures,” said Hauora a Toi Bay of Plenty Perioperative Nurse Manager Sharon Turner.

“The new clinical space has been established by rearranging storage and staff room areas within the department, enabling the development of a large procedure room. This has been a big project which has been facilitated and supported by Caroline Ririnui-McComb, Christopher Rymill and Clifford Fullick along with the whole Whakatāne perioperative team.

“This outstanding team has had to accommodate all stages of the development, whilst ensuring that perioperative services were still fully functional, safe, and delivered,” added Sharon.

Key drivers behind the project have been the roll out of the National Bowel Screening programme and additional resourcing to deliver on surgical planned care. The room has been developed to help ensure Eastern Bay residents can access diagnostics and treatment in Whakatāne, rather than having to travel. The application of an equity lens, which reflects and reinforces familiar faces and familiar places for the local community, has also underpinned the project.

When the room opens for patients in mid-January, it is anticipated to have a number of positive impacts, including strengthening the Bay’s colonoscopy programme in the fight against bowel cancer by enabling more colonoscopy, endoscopy and other light surgical procedures. The Bay’s colonoscopy programme has seen patient waiting times for surveillance colonoscopies drop significantly over the past 12 months.

The national target for surveillance colonoscopies is for patients to be seen in 84 days or less. The average number of days patients are waiting in the Bay of Plenty has fallen to 58 days due to improvements over the past 12 months.