QH hires commissioning expert to avoid problems in Sunshine

Sunshine Public

Queensland Health has hired a hospital commissioning expert to provide strategic advice during the commissioning of the Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital to try to avoid the problems that have beset the new Lady Cilento Children's Hospital in Brisbane.

The Sunshine Coast hospital is due to open in November 2016, initially with 450 beds but with the ability to grow to over 738. It will be co-located on the Kawana health campus with the Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital, which opened in 2013.

Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick said the appointment of a commissioning expert, Capital Insight's Michael Allsopp, was one of the recommendations of the commissioning review into the opening of Lady Cilento.

The review, which led to the resignation of the chair of the board of Children's Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service, found that significant delays in building and commissioning the hospital led to an IT budget blow-out and reduced scope.

An earlier clinical review found that there was a great deal of confusion when the hospital opened due to unfamiliarity with the electronic medical records system and outpatients booking systems, problems with the age and functionality of some Queensland Health clinical systems and even a lack of video storage capability within the PACS system.

Mr Allsopp will provide strategic advice to the project in respect to commissioning and will be employed until December 2016, a month after the scheduled opening of the hospital.

“This role is about making sure that all of the individual pieces of the project come together and are ready to deliver the best possible health care from day one,” Mr Dick said.

“We do not want to see a repeat of last year’s bungled commissioning process at Lady Cilento which had a significant impact on staff, patients and their families. It was the hard work of a highly committed staff at LCCH which allowed the hospital to open safely.

“Mr Allsopp’s role will be to provide independent oversight and advice regarding commissioning of the new buildings and the operational and clinical services.”

Mr Allsopp was previously the executive director of strategic development for the Gold Coast University Hospital (GCUH) project, which had a successful operational start-up, and he is currently involved in preparing the new Royal Adelaide Hospital prior to its opening.

Mr Dick also outlined the future for Nambour General Hospital, which will hand over the role of the Sunshine Coast's major referral hospital to the new facility.

Nambour will be reconfigured to deliver sub-acute rehabilitation services but will continue to have a major emergency department, elective surgery and medical inpatient capacity. It will also maintain its current level of 45 mental health beds.

Mr Dick said Nambour had not been able to provide rehab services since 2002.

“This service will start in 2017 and provide the necessary support to people recovering from strokes, major orthopaedic surgery, and a range of other conditions that require specialist rehabilitation services,” he said.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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