Blacktown Hospital’s “people-centred” approach to its redevelopment process was recognised last week.
Blacktown and Mount Druitt Hospital Expansion Project was given the prestigious Ko Awatea International Excellence in Health Improvement Award for Assuring Quality of Healthcare Standards at the 2016 APAC Forum.
The project was awarded for its extensive community consultation, which helped to shape stage one of the redevelopment process.
Project director Peter Rophail said the consultation phase had a direct impact on the finished product.
“We wanted the engagement to be genuine, ongoing and meaningful so we decided on a comprehensive program of community and consumer consultation for the early stages of planning right through to the post occupancy period,” he said.
“As a result, the facilities we built are materially different from what would have otherwise have been delivered.
“They are very people-centred, welcoming and intuitive, and they really reflect the values of the local community.”
Stage one of the redevelopment, a seven-storey clinical services building, cost $312 million and included nine wards and a cancer centre.
Consumer engagement led to the introduction of the Australian-first carer zones, which allow loved ones to stay with patients throughout the treatment process.
“Carers told us they found it especially distressing to have to leave their adult relative at night, or sleep on chairs or on the floor in the patient’s room so we worked with our architects to create lounges which convert to overnight beds,” Mr Rophail said.
Greg Long, who underwent treatment for cancer at Blacktown Hospital in 2007, has acted as a consumer representative since 2009.
At the official unveiling of stage one of the redevelopment in May, Mr Long told the Sun there was a great deal of community involvement in the construction phase.
“We now have here a new benchmark of future hospital development in Australia,” he said.
“The benefactors will be the patients and the staff and ultimately the health system itself.”
Other community led innovations at Blacktown Hospital include a chemotherapy lounge and six-language digital kiosks in reception.