UPGRADE: Peta Jamieson and Sue Coward discuss the new plans for Gayndah Hospital.
UPGRADE: Peta Jamieson and Sue Coward discuss the new plans for Gayndah Hospital. Felicity Ripper

Facade to stay as hospital goes in for $5.4m facelift

WITH Gayndah Hospital approaching 100 years in 2021, last week's announcement that it would undergo a $5.4million refurbishment had the public speculating about the future of Gayndah's healthcare facilities.

But the healthcare professionals watching the refurbishment unfold said the $5.4million upgrade was welcomed.

"It's a significant investment that will ultimately improve patient safety and modernise a wonderful historic building so that, long term, it can meet the needs of our patients,” Chair of the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board Peta Jamieson said.

"We know that the community has an attachment to this beautiful building so we did want to make sure we maintained the facade as much as possible; but you have to do that within the constraint of ensuring it's a modern facility.”

Ms Jamieson said the possibility of Gayndah ever getting a completely new hospital was not ruled out.

"Who knows what could happen in the future, but the priority was bringing the existing facility up to standard because this building is what we're working with here and now,” Ms Jamieson said.

She said prioritisation from the government's point of view was always what was first and paramount.

"The Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board had advocated that they be able to provide a high-quality of care for patients in Gayndah and the North Burnett now, and that's what we have been able to do.”

Gayndah Hospital director of nursing Sue Coward said members of the community were worried that the hospital would lose its charm, but that there was no cause for concern.

"They've watched other facilities being upgraded around the North Burnett and I think they were particularly worried about Gayndah Hospital losing the large verandah,” she said.

"That was the most important thing for us to maintain because the patients love the openness.

"They're out here first thing in the morning getting some sunshine and it makes them feel good.”

Ms Coward said she was most excited for patients to be getting ensuites in their rooms.

"Improving the patients' comfort was the number one priority,” she said.

"Until now patients have had to go from their rooms, across the corridor and into a shared bathroom which can be quite cold in winter.

"Security for patients and staff, a disability ramp, and emergency access were also priorities.”

The upgrades, carried out by FKG Group, are expected to take seven months.

"Like any good renovations, if we need a bit more time to make sure it's perfect then that time will be taken and we will make sure the community is well informed,” Ms Jamieson said.


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