News

MOH - COVID-19 Response - Oxygen Supply and Related Environmental Systems Upgrade begins in Bay of Plenty’s two public hospitals

11 October 2021

The Ministry of Health’s – COVID-19 Response – Oxygen Supply and Related Environmental Systems project has begun in Tauranga Hospital and continues in Whakatāne Hospital in various phases from 4 October to mid-February 2022.

MOH - COVID-19 Response - Oxygen Supply and Related Environmental Systems Upgrade begins in Bay of Plenty’s two public hospitals
One of the temporary wards creating empty space for work to commence on 8 October which will take 6-8 weeks to complete

The work is part of the national pandemic response planning being led by the Ministry of Health and will re-purpose a section of Tauranga Hospital’s Orthopaedic Ward to provide additional oxygen supply and improved air management for environments in the ward, and areas in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

The upgrades will result in the BOPDHB having areas for treatment of COVID-19 patients where high volumes of oxygen, and improved air management systems can be made available. These changes will enhance the care of patients and improve safety for staff, should the need arise.

This work is an essential part of the Pandemic Response for the Bay of Plenty region.

The indicative time frames provided by the Ministry team who are managing the build are:

• Fourth Floor Inpatient Ward – Some patients were moved on 7 October from Ward 4C to the new temporary Ward 1D, creating empty space for work to commence on 8 October which will take 6-8 weeks to complete.
• ICU: a 3-phased approach commencing mid-October through to mid-February.

Twenty patients can be accommodated temporarily in the new Ward 1D (the former the Transit Lounge), and Transit Lounge patients will be housed temporarily in the Conference Centre. Six patients or more who meet specific criteria, will transition to an Aged Residential Care facility supported by Allied Health Professionals, GPs, and specialist nurses.

Additional work is also identified for the Emergency Departments at both Tauranga and Whakatāne Hospitals. The specific details and proposed timelines for this work are yet to be finalised.

Some planned care will be deferred from 27 September to 15 October.

These improvements are urgent because a significant COVID-19 surge may arise at anytime and anywhere.

The short timeframe around enabling these works presented the DHB with a significant challenge in an environment where current occupancy of capacity averages 90%.

These projects are about ensuring our hospitals in Tauranga and Whakatāne, will be hospitals that will enhance the care of patients and improve safety for staff, should the need arise.