The opening of Melbourne’s newest emergency department at Epworth Richmond means more Victorians than ever can access 24-hour emergency care.
After four years of planning and redevelopment, the state-of-the-art emergency department began operating today (1 February) out of the hospital’s new Lee Wing.
It features 35 treatment spaces –13 more than the 22 beds previously available – with cardiac monitoring, resuscitation bays with video-assisted intubation equipment and isolation rooms for infectious diseases.
The increase in bed capacity is justified. With over 26,000 cases annually, Epworth’s emergency department treats more patients than any other private hospital emergency department in the state.
Epworth’s director of emergency medicine, Dr Ron Sultana, estimates that the additional capacity will cater for up to 12,000 more emergency patients each year.
“We are currently treating around 26,000 emergency patients each year and of these approximately 10,000 are admitted – mostly for cardiac, stroke or orthopaedic incidents, and sports-related injuries, particularly on weekends,” Dr Sultana said.
The transfer of patients from the old emergency department to the Lee Wing, located on Erin Street, commenced at 7am this morning.
Also located in the Lee Wing and unveiled today is a new hybrid biplane theatre – the first of its kind in Australia.
The biplane technology means Epworth Richmond will be the first private hospital in Victoria to offer open and endovascular capabilities for neurosurgery, cardiac and vascular procedures.
The Lee Wing is also home to a 26-bed intensive care unit, a 39-bed acute cardiac inpatient and high dependency unit, 111 private rooms, six new operating theatres and 250 car parks.
The Lee Wing is the latest stage of Epworth Richmond’s major redevelopment project.