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30th September 2022

Noarlunga patients to benefit from ward upgrade

SALHN CEO and THRFG representatives

Older patients at the Noarlunga Hospital will soon have a space more adapted to their needs, with upgrades on the Whittaker Ward now underway.

The Southern Adelaide Local Health Network (SALHN) has invested $400,000 and The Hospital Research Foundation Group has contributed $580,000 into the redevelopment, which will include a new purpose-built therapy gym, activity room, Occupational Therapy kitchen, landscaped courtyard and staff area.

Whittaker Ward has 25-beds at the Noarlunga Hospital and provides hospital-based specialist rehabilitation services to people aged over 65, including patients with dementia or cognitive impairment. Staff support patients with daily activities to help them retain these functions and safely return to community living.

The redevelopment includes the introduction of an activity room which will also be used as a dining room. It will help to promote increased social interactions during mealtimes and will provide a space for sensory resources and games for patients to enjoy.

Staff, patients and families will all benefit from the introduction of a meeting room which will also have video conference capabilities, allowing staff to link up with teams at the Flinders Medical Centre. Staff will also welcome a new staff lounge and dining area which will provide a more comfortable space for meal breaks.

The relocation and creation of a new Occupational Therapy kitchen will also allow the ward to introduce a corridor which will create a new pathway for patients to be able to walk a circular loop of the ward, which will help to promote increased mobility and exercise.

Whittaker Ward will remain operational while work is underway, with plans in place to ensure minimal disruption to patients and service delivery.

SALHN CEO Dr Kerrie Freeman said “I would like to thank our partners at The Hospital Research Foundation Group for making this development possible. The new spaces will make a tremendous difference to the experience of both staff and the people they care for,” Dr Freeman said.

“This new space will be welcoming and a more home-like environment which we know will make the experience of being in hospital so much better for the people we care for.

“The construction team will be working hard to minimise noise and other disruptions from the building works, and I would like to thank our patients, families and staff, in advance, for their patience during the construction.”

The Hospital Research Foundation Group COO, Briony Marshall, was thrilled to be supporting the upgrade of the Whittaker Ward at Noarlunga Hospital.

“The upgrade will help it become a more adaptable space that caters for the specific needs of people with dementia or cognitive impairment,” Briony said.

“The redevelopment will provide a safer environment and reduce the triggers for older people experiencing behavioural and psychological symptoms from their dementia, as well as support the wonderful staff who are caring for them and their families.”