Reports of Warwick hospital ward closures cleared up
RUMOURS have been rife around Warwick, with reports of delays and closures at the Warwick Hospital due to electrical work.
Talk included reports the maternity unit was closed or not taking first-time mums, increased transfers of patients to Toowoomba due to bed shortages and delays in treatment of ambulance patients and public patients alike.
Warwick Daily News contacted the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service for a response to these rumours.
Warwick Hospital director of nursing Anita Bolton said no wards were closed although the hospital was running on a reduced number of beds.
"The emergency department was temporarily moved to Phillips Ward on level one to allow for upgrades to the hospital's electrical wiring," Ms Bolton said.
"Access to some parts of the hospital's outpatient clinics is also limited to allow for the installation of new vinyl flooring."
Ms Bolton said despite the reduced number of beds, the hospital was not occupied to capacity.
"The number of beds available at the hospital has been reduced to accommodate the electrical work," she said.
"The Warwick Hospital is a 55-bed hospital. To accommodate the temporary relocation of the emergency department, the hospital has reduced its beds by 21.
"The hospital's maternity ward, high dependency unit and day case chairs (for transfusion services) continue to operate as normal, with no bed reductions.
"Despite the reduction in bed numbers, the hospital is not at 100% occupancy."
Warwick ambulance officer-in-charge Greg Hardy said there had been "no real issues" affecting the ambulance.
"Our workload has decreased since the installation of the CT scanner at the hospital," Mr Hardy said.
"We used to transport a lot of patients to Queensland XRay or Toowoomba for CT scans."
Ms Bolton said there were no changes to the maternity ward services.
"The maternity ward is operating as normal, and is accommodating first-time mothers," she said.
"Some women with high-risk pregnancies have been transferred to other facilities, as per normal practice."
Ms Bolton said the works were scheduled to occur in December and January to take advantage of the traditionally quieter period.
"These works are on track to be completed at the end of the month," she said.
"At completion, the hospital will have a high-quality electrical infrastructure network that will service its needs into the future."
Ms Bolton said there had not been any adverse effects on patient waiting times in the hospital's emergency department.
"In December 2015, 92% of patients who presented to the emergency department were treated, discharged or admitted within four hours of presentation," she said.
"This figure is above the statewide target set at 90%.
"Our first priority is the safety of our patients, visitors and staff during these important works.
"We have taken steps to minimise inconvenience and we thank patients and visitors for their understanding."