New Orthopaedic Elective Unit launched

The Orthopaedics Department is celebrating the launch of a new Orthopaedic Elective Unit. The newly refurbished 10-bed ward is primarily for patients on the ‘Enhanced Recovery After Surgery’ (ERAS) Pathway and is restricted to elective patients.

Under the evidence-based ERAS programme, patients are prepared for their surgery using ‘pre-habilitation’. This means they are advised to get as fit as their mobility allows before surgery. They have equipment, such as crutches, delivered to their home and are taught how to use them. They’re also given useful tips, such as having plenty of frozen meals ready for when they return home.

After surgery, patients are mobilised as soon as possible – at Ward 62, patients enjoy the use of group therapy and exercise bikes in their very own gym! All this supports a reduced stay in hospital and happier, healthier patients.

Auckland DHB has to deliver an increased volume of elective discharges this financial year and there is considerable growth in orthopaedic acute volumes. These factors combined led to the need for more inpatient beds.

Clinical Director and orthopaedic surgeon Mark Wright says that while the DHB has been well served by Wards 75 and 77, there is considerable growth in orthopaedic acute volumes and a very apparent need for further services.

“The product we have for the patient is now far superior. I’m delighted we have this new ward. It’s the result of a lot of hard work. Not only will it make a difference to our patients, but it will ease pressure in our other wards,” Wright says.

The new Ward 62 had its first patients earlier this month and staff celebrated with a dawn blessing and a launch function in late February.

“I’m delighted we have this new ward. It’s the result of a lot of hard work. Not only will it make a difference to our patients, but it will ease pressure in our other wards.” Jacob Munro, Auckland DHB orthopaedic surgeon.

- Story from NOVA magazine

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