The opening of Stage One of the new Intensive Care Unit at Dunedin Hospital represents a great leap forward for critical care for the Southern district.

Key advances include vastly improved patient privacy, noise reduction and control of light levels, including ready access to natural light.

The bed spaces are a lot bigger – an increase from eight square metres per bed in the current unit to 20 square metres. The four isolation rooms are 25 square metres.

Whereas the old ICU has no ceiling hoists and limited dialysis capacity, in this unit every bed has a ceiling hoist, dialysis capacity and modern pendants with data, oxygen and suction.

ICU staff have been involved in every aspect of the design. 

The result is a unit with excellent sightlines, state-of-the-art central monitoring, a streamlined flow of equipment and more efficient use of space. 

Importantly, staff now have dedicated space off the patient-floor areas for handovers, education, confidential clinical discussions and staff breaks. Previously many of these functions were undertaken concurrently in a single, small room.

Stage One opens with 12 bed spaces and Stage Two, with a further 10 bed spaces is scheduled to open in mid-2019. 

The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) will be combined with the 4th Floor High Dependency Unit (HDU) to create a co-located ICU/HDU Service on the 5th floor of the Ward Block.

The new facility will have 22 bed spaces and will enhance service delivery for critical care patients and their family/whanau.

The combined ICU/HDU will mean patients can transition from levels of care, in either direction as necessary, without moving their physical location.

Introducing Te Puna Wai Ora – Southern Critical Care

A new name is accompanying the new beginning for critical care in the Southern district. To mark the opening of Stage One of the ICU, a new name has been chosen to better describe the new direction of this important service: Te Puna Wai Ora - Southern Critical Care.

The transition from Intensive Care to Critical Care will be more fully realised with the work of the unit when Stage Two opens in mid-2019. 

At that point the hospital’s six-bed High Dependency Unit will relocate from the fourth floor to the fifth creating a co-located ICU/HDU Service.

Key facts

Noise reduction: Ceilings are thick acoustic tiles. We also have bulkheads that stop the sound bouncing across the ceiling tiles. 

Privacy: Half the 12 bed spaces, including four isolation rooms, can be shut off completely from the rest of the unit.

Lighting: There is dimmable lighting in the patient bed-space and down-lighting so staff can get around safely when the patient lights are off.

Access to natural light: The beds on the northern side of the hospital have great access to natural light. These will be used for longer stay patients. The beds can be turned around so they can face out the window.

Technology: State-of-the-art central monitoring. Modern pendants containing all services that can be moved away from patients’ sightlines.