New stroke and rehabilitation unit to improve patient outcomes, increase hospital capacity

Auckland District Health Board (DHB) has warmly welcomed today’s Government announcement of $30 million to build an integrated stroke and rehabilitation unit at Auckland City Hospital.

The new unit will mean stroke patients can have all their care delivered in a single, specially designed facility, from hyperacute (including clot retrieval) and acute care to rehabilitation.

Around 9,000 New Zealanders suffer a stroke each year and Auckland DHB is seeing a steady increase in stroke admissions, as a result of population growth and the availability of new stroke treatments. Research shows stroke patients cared for in an integrated unit have notably better outcomes.

Auckland DHB is ambitious to improve equity in stroke outcomes, particularly for Māori and Pacific groups. Nationally, Māori and Pacific people suffer strokes 10 years younger than NZ Europeans do, and have worse outcomes.

Auckland DHB’s Chief Tikanga Officer, Dame Rangimarie Naida Glavish, has provided guidance in how to incorporate elements that support tikanga best practice.

The unit will be built in existing space at Auckland City Hospital, boosting the overall capacity of the hospital by 41 much-needed inpatient beds.

It is the first project in Building for the Future, the DHB’s programme of work to create sufficient hospital capacity to continue to provide safe, high quality care for our rapidly growing and aging population. By 2026 it is estimated that Auckland DHB will cater to an additional local population equivalent to Palmerston North, as well as providing regional and national services.

Auckland DHB Chair Pat Snedden says: “This is an important investment in the health of our community.

“Auckland DHB, along with our fellow Northern Region DHBs, faces significant future challenges. However there are also opportunities to make tangible, positive differences to health outcomes.

“This unit will add important capacity while improving patient outcomes, and addressing inequity.”

Auckland DHB Chief Executive Ailsa Claire said the unit will not only improve outcomes and experiences for patients and whānau, but will provide a better working environment for our staff.

“I want to thank our stroke and rehabilitation teams for the exceptional care they provide for patients, working across three different areas of Auckland City Hospital.

“I also want to thank all those who have contributed to the design of the new unit. It has involved collaboration from across the DHB, drawing from expertise in clinical care, facilities, and tikanga.”

The design of the unit is being clinically led with input from patients and whānau and draws on international best practice. The overall environment is being designed to encourage activity throughout the 24 hour day. This will include a central dining area and gym, as well as a number of shared spaces for patients and whānau.

Building will begin in spring 2019 with the new unit opening in winter 2020.

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