Covid-19: Hundreds of beds converted, dozens of new beds in nationwide hospital upgrade next year

Dozens of new beds, hundreds of bed conversions, ventilation upgrades, and intensive care and emergency room improvements are planned across the country as the government plans to spend $ 644 million to prepare hospitals for Covid-19.

In 36 projects, up to 24 hospitals will be upgraded to better cope with more Covid patients and to ensure that other care can still be carried out. The government has already allocated $ 100 million to improve services and $ 544 million to staff, and is managing them from its Response and Recovery Fund.

Improvements for the North Shore, Tauranga and Christchurch hospitals were announced as the first beneficiaries earlier this month.

Health Secretary Andrew Little says staff issues are being investigated.  (File photo)


Health Secretary Andrew Little says staff issues are being investigated. (File photo)

“We asked the District Health Board regions to prioritize projects that would empower local hospitals to provide planned and routine care in the age of Covid-19 and begin as soon as possible in 2022, with some projects already could be completed in March, “said Minister of Health Andrew Little said.

* New intensive care beds approved for the fight against Covid will be ready in mid-2022
* Covid-19: The Ministry of Health is still responding to requests for additional funds to increase the capacity of the intensive care unit
* Health authorities apply for funding of additional beds in the intensive care unit as Covid-19 looms

Over the next year, 75 new standard inpatient beds will be added to hospitals, while 355 existing inpatient beds will be converted to isolation or negative pressure environments and eight beds will be temporarily converted to ICU beds. A number of hospitals will improve ventilation.

“This is about ensuring that when hospitals are caring for Covid-positive patients, the rest of the hospital can work and not have to slow things down like scheduled care or people coming for non-Covid reasons,” Little said.

Hospitals are also grappling with a chronic lack of care, exacerbated by the pandemic and huge demand for the Managed Isolation and Quarantine System (MIQ). Clinicians have also repeatedly warned that nations’ intensive care units are unprepared for the pandemic.

Nurses who had quit their jobs several times this year and negotiated pay for 15 months described insecure workforce relationships that put patients at risk.

Major modernizations are planned for the country's hospital.  (File photo)

Christel Yardley / stuff

Major modernizations are planned for the country’s hospital. (File photo)

The government announced in October that it would allocate 300 MIQ rooms per month to critical health workers, and Little said it would start an international recruiting campaign next year and work through the issues.

“We’ve been looking at a number of issues over the past few months, including compensation. We signed the collective agreement and we worked on the issues of equal pay. “

A staff review at the hospital is due to take place early next week.

Little said most Covid cases do not go to hospital.

“There were never more than 11 Covid-19 patients in the intensive care unit at the same time,” he said.

“The vast majority of people who get Covid do not have to go to the hospital, let alone a hospital bed.”

The government has already announced $ 65.1 million for a six-bed intensive care unit, two negative pressure rooms and a new 30-bed ward at Waitakere Hospital in Henderson, Auckland.

Rapid Hospital Improvement Program

Northland DHB

  • Bay of Islands: 20 bed pandemic response ward, ED isolation room, ED air treatment upgrade and improved subdivision and oxygen system support for $ 1.009 million and a special inpatient clinic with 6 beds and an upgrade of the oxygen system $ 340,000
  • Whangarei: remodeling and air management upgrades for birthing rooms, mental health and kidneys, remodeling administrative rooms into a pandemic overflow ward, 24 new beds. $ 362,000

Waitematā DHB

  • North Shore: Expansion of the isolation room in the intensive care unit / HDU from two to four, conversion of eight optional beds to the capacity of the intensive care unit for $ 5,582 million and creation of two isolation rooms in the maternity ward, conversion of the 22-bed ward for Covid-19 treatment, separation of the emergency room and improvement of the patient flow for $ 1.75 million
  • Waitakere: New negative pressure isolation capacity rooms in the maternity ward, nine emergency rooms and an assessment diagnostic unit, improved low and segregation initiatives for key public access points. $ 3.1 million
  • Waitakere and Mason Clinic: Four new negative pressure isolation rooms and changes to ventilation and patient flow initiatives for Waiaturau’s acute mental health, two new negative pressure and isolation rooms for forensic mental health. $ 500,000

Auckland DHB

  • Auckland City: Convert two existing resuscitation bays in the children’s emergency room into negative pressure isolation rooms, convert open bays into negative pressure rooms and convert 8-bed rooms into 6 single rooms. The beds were converted into two negative pressure rooms in the adult emergency room, three rooms in the maternity ward and two in the coronary ward. Creation of red zone workflows in ED. $ 6.341 million

Districts of Manukau DHB

  • Middlemore: Conversion of 39 beds throughout the hospital to minimize the spread of Covid-19, mixture of isolation rooms, subdivisions, negative and positive pressure rooms. $ 5.27 million

Waikato DHB

  • Hamilton: Reconfiguration of the ED front-of-house to reduce the risk of transmission, subdivision and fencing of 4 existing open intensive care rooms, including equipment and conversion into negative pressure rooms. $ 4.1 million

Bay of Plenty DHB

  • Tauranga: Two intensive care beds and four HDU beds. $ 3 million
  • The coronary ward moves to floor L3, where it is expanded by five beds in the intensive care unit. $ 12.416 million
  • Conversion of a ward into a pandemic response station with 16 beds and upgrades of the air management in the emergency room for the safety of staff and patients. $ 2.5 million

Lakes DHB

  • Rotorua: Recommissioning of the unused ward with 20 beds, negative pressure room with four beds in the maternity and children’s wards, conversion of an office area for three beds, single-bed negative pressure room in the psychiatry. $ 1.756 million

East coast DHB

  • Gisborne: To develop an intensive care unit, ward and emergency room for the assessment and treatment of Covid-19, including air management and improving patient flows. Oxygen system repairs and upgrades to support Covid-19 treatment. $ 5.96 million

Taranaki DHB

  • Hawera: Pandemic ward conversion of existing 24- and 29-bed wards for Covid-19 treatment. Negative pressure conversions for 2 delivery rooms and 2 safe psychiatric rooms. $ 825,000
  • Subdivision into ED, improvements in air management and toilet and shower for patients in the “orange” zone. $ 350,000

Hawke’s Bay DHB

  • Hastings: Intensive care unit upgrades to two isolation rooms in the intensive care unit, maternity suite upgrade to isolation rooms, and upgrades in the emergency room. $ 2.05 million
  • Renal and acute mental health upgrades for pandemic air management; including the upgrade of 2 acute care hospitals. $ 550,000

Whanganui DHB

  • Whanganui: A work program that includes improving ventilation, creating more negative pressure spaces, and smaller works to create vestibules. $ 500,000

MidCentral DHB

  • Palmerston North: Work on upgrading air management systems, converting beds into isolation rooms / units, and delimiting open areas (with an emphasis on emergency rooms, intensive care units, wards, theaters and temporary delivery rooms). Includes the conversion of Ward 26 into a 32-bed pandemic ward. $ 4 million
  • Upgrade air management systems, convert nine beds into isolation rooms / units in childbirth, pediatrics, puerperium, radiology, dentistry and adult mental health. $ 4 million

Wairarapa DHB

  • Masterton: Separation of ED front-of-house, portable ED assessment areas, anteroom in the acute assessment unit, mobile filter and clinical equipment, intercoms and IT for isolation areas. $ 736,000

Capital & coast DHB

  • Wellington: Conversion of the outpatient area for 12 ED beds. $ 500,000
  • Add portacom to the ED space to provide a triage hold zone for ED segregation of patient flow. $ 2 million
  • Various improvements to air management systems to reduce risk. $ 500,000
  • Add a Portacom to the Kenepuru Renal Unit to allow separation of kidney treatment for Covid-19 positive patients. $ 1 million

Nelson Marlborough DHB

  • Nelson: Creation of additional rooms in the emergency room by reconfiguring the outpatient services (paediatrics and orthopedics). Create negative airflow units. $ 1 million
  • Separation of the intensive care unit by floor-to-ceiling partitions, negative air flow in a number of rooms. $ 100,000
  • Use the clarification, treatment and rehabilitation ward as a Covid-19 ward and move 10 patients to the ward. $ 50,000

Canterbury DHB

  • Expansion of an existing shell to expand the Christchurch intensive care unit by 12 beds. $ 12 million

South Canterbury DHB

  • Timaru: Conversion of two ED triage bays into special negative pressure pandemic rooms, conversion of the evaluation and treatment unit for an 18-bed Covid-19 treatment station – addition of eight beds – and modifications of the birthing suite for three negative pressure rooms. $ 800,000

South DHB

  • Dunedin: Upgrades to ED, addition of permanent negative pressure to the Covid-19 ward, 30 beds. $ 3.43 million
  • Invercargill: creation of four antechambers for isolation rooms, improvement of ventilation, two isolation rooms in the surgical department. Upgrades in the coronary ward including a second negative pressure room $ 1.8 million

West coast DHB

  • Greymouth: Improvements to air management systems to reduce risk $ 300,000

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