Above: WSLHD Chief Executive Danny O'Connor, project leader Peter Rophail and NSW Secretary of Health Elizabeth Koff with the APAC Award
The forum showcases excellence in health improvement and celebrates best practice in delivering improved, high quality patient care locally, nationally and internationally.
BMDH Project was recognised for the consultation undertaken with patients, carers and community as part of the expansion of healthcare facilities at Blacktown Hospital and Mount Druitt Hospital.
"Stage 1 of the project included a new clinical service building at Blacktown with nine new wards and a new comprehensive cancer centre, and further expansion at both hospitals, so we decided to make the most of this opportunity by reaching out to our community,” said Stage 1 transition manager Peter Rophail.
"We wanted the engagement to be genuine, ongoing and meaningful so we decided on a systematic and comprehensive program of community and consumer consultation from the early stages of planning right through to the post occupancy period.
“As a result, the facilities we built are materially different from what would otherwise have been delivered. They are very people-centred, welcoming and intuitive, and they really reflect the values of our local community,” he said.
Consumers offer valuable insights into their experience of care that can profoundly influence decision-making if they have the opportunity to do soPeter Rophail, BMDH Project
Consumer engagement in architectural design contributed directly to innovations including the carer zones, chemo lounge and digital kiosks.
"Carers told us they found it especially distressing to have to leave their adult relative at night, or sleep on chairs or on the floor in the patient's room so we worked with our architects to create lounges which convert to overnight beds so a carer stay with an adult patient,” Peter said.
The bed curtain creates a discrete area for the carer to sleep without impeding nursing access to the patient at night.
Carers and patients report they are less stressed and feel more supported. Clinicians report that the increased opportunity for communication with carers supports better discharge planning, education opportunities and the exchange of relevant information.
In the new cancer centre, patients asked for a more informal area for chemotherapy treatment where they could spend time with family and friends, so the project worked with architects and planners to create the 'chemo lounge' for infusion therapy. The lounge has a rooftop outlook, coffee bar, casual seating, magazines and a knitting basket to provide a more casual and less institutional environment for treatment.
The project’s successful arts and culture program was also a key part of the consumer engagement program, providing a creative and non-traditional way to engage hard-to-reach communities. More than 500 patients, carers, community members were involved in art projects which make the hospital more welcoming, reflect local culture and encourage well-being and recovery.
"Consumers offer valuable insights into their experience of care that can profoundly influence decision-making if they have the opportunity to do so. Engagement helps create a more patient focused culture amongst clinicians and hospital staff,” Peter said.
"We’re thrilled to have won this prestigious award. We strongly believe that this approach can be adopted by any health capital works project in any jurisdiction and this nomination is proof that it can be done, and done very well. We’re proud that Western Sydney Local Health Distrct and Health Infrastructure are at the forefront of that change.”