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New Hervey Bay CDU crucial to helping ED

Hervey Bay Hospital’s new Clinical Decisions Unit (CDU) will open in the new emergency department building tomorrow, in a crucial next step to expand the facility’s short-stay bed capacity and improve patient outcomes.

The CDU will be located on Level 1 of the new building and have a capacity of up to 24 beds, providing an alternative to an emergency bed for patients awaiting tests or for those with conditions that require only a short stay before discharge.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said the opening of the state-of-the-art new unit would provide more flexibility for short-stay inpatients and relieve pressure on the emergency department, which opened from the ground floor of the $44.66 million new facility on January 31.

“The CDU and the new emergency department building are significant investments in the future care of a growing Fraser Coast community,” Minister Miles said.

“Emergency departments across the state are experiencing increasing demand, so when this world-class new facility was designed it was important that it provided a flexible model of care and helped to relieve pressure on the emergency department.

“I congratulate everyone involved in the new unit, from planning through to opening – it will make a significant difference to patient outcomes for the Fraser Coast community.”

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board Chair Peta Jamieson said the opening of the CDU marked another important step in WBHHS’s most significant infrastructure development since it was established in 2012.

“The opening of a new and expanded CDU is an important milestone for Hervey Bay Hospital as it will improve the facility’s capability to manage the flow of inpatients from the emergency department,” Ms Jamieson said.

“Building capacity is a key part of our strategic plan, Care Comes First … Through Patients’ Eyes, and this unit will ensure will can deliver the right care, at the right time, in the right place to Fraser Coast patients.

“While we now have a new and expanded emergency department in operation, it’s important that we can support the ED by providing further capacity and patient flow options, and freeing up emergency beds for other patients who need urgent acute care.”

WBHHS Chief Executive Adrian Pennington said a key aspect of the CDU was the involvement of emergency department staff and experts in its design.

“The involvement of our own clinicians in the planning and design of the CDU ensures it is a state-of-the-art facility built for purpose, and will provide a better space for our patients,” Mr Pennington said.

“That involvement was crucial to building a facility that didn’t just meet current demand for care, but a facility that would meet ever-increasing needs at Hervey Bay.

“The new CDU will improve the flexibility, efficiency and overall experience for patients and staff who use it, and is the cornerstone of improving patient flow through Hervey Bay Hospital’s emergency department.

“This forward-thinking facility will mean that clinicians will be able to take the appropriate time to review patients and consider their pathway for ongoing care – whether that’s back in the community or as an inpatient – without taking up an emergency bed.

“Our hope is that the ED and CDU will be at the forefront of an ongoing evolution in models of emergency care, and will help rewrite the curriculum for emergency medicine training across Australia.”

Last updated: 28 June 2019