Theatre small

Construction of a $20.8 million upgrade to Hawke’s Bay Hospital’s theatre is on track to start in early 2021.

The upgrade will boost the number of operating theatres at the hospital from seven to eight and increase the number of public surgical procedures the DHB undertakes each year.

Chief operating officer Chris Ash said, all going to plan, the new theatre will ready to perform its first operation in the first half of 2023 (assuming no significant delays due to unforeseen circumstances).

“As well as allowing us to undertake more surgery each year, the upgrade will create a more pleasant environment for our patients and staff, improve the quality of care we provide and support patient privacy and safety,” says Mr Ash.

The $20.8 million upgrade includes: 

  • An additional theatre, taking the total number of operating theatres on-site from seven to eight.
  • An upgraded reception area with a new whānau room.
  • The renovations will help improve flow through theatre and efficiency of operations through the layout of pre and post-operative areas and improve patient and whānau privacy.
  • Dedicated pharmacy and specimen handling rooms.
  • The building will be refurbished in accordance with the requirements of an ‘importance level 4’ building as defined in the NZ Building Code, which means it will continue to be operational immediately after an earthquake or other disaster. 

Between now and the start of construction, contractor Hawkins will be on-site establishing the site before the building work begins next year.

This is an exciting project but it will also mean some noise and disruption as we work,” says Mr Ash.

“We will need to change the routes staff and patients take around the hospital from time to time. We’ll be working to minimise this as much as possible and will keep our teams and patients informed, as we go, with signage and other communications.”

Hoardings (temporary walls and fences) will start to go up around the site shortly, which will include some temporary walls between the main reception and Zacs café. When this happens, access to Zacs will be through the Hospital outpatient villa courtyard.

A high-level timetable and outline of the project, once confirmed, will be available on the DHB website before building begins.

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