REVEALED: the date Caloundra Emergency will close
IT HAS been confirmed the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital Emergency Department will begin operating from 28 March at 7am.
The opening of the facility will also trigger the closure of the Caloundra Emergency Department, which will begin operating as the Minor Injury and Illness Clinic.
Director of Emergency Medicine Dr Ben Close said upon opening up to 90,000 people were expected to be treated annually by the Emergency Department by 2021
"Like many of our clinical services across SCHHS, we take a holistic team approach to patient care, to ensure that people across the Sunshine Coast and Gympie regions have access to the high quality care that they need," he said.
"The new Emergency Department has been designed by our clinicians to ensure all patients are assessed and treated in a safe and timely manner."
The state-of-the-art features of the Department include a one stop shop range of services, including but not limited to geriatric patient emergency diagnosis and intervention and mental health assessment and referral.
Dr Close wants to ensure these services are reserved for patients with severe injuries and illnesses in the hope of minimising minor complaints.
"We ask that our emergency departments are kept for emergencies, to allow us to treat the patients who need us most," he said.
"Non-life threatening conditions such as coughs and colds, strains and sprains, earache and toothache can and should be treated by your G.P."
The Minor Injury and Illness Clinic which will open in Caloundra will be well-equipped to deal with these non-life threatening conditions.
Chief Executive of Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, Kevin Hegarty said the majority (55 per cent) of those who presented to the Caloundra Emergency Department in 2015/16 had the least serious clinical categories of four and five.
"The combination of the SCUH ED and the Minor Injury and Illness Clinic at Caloundra, means the Caloundra community will have a more comprehensive and effective model than is currently the case", he said.
Acting Clinical Director of the Minor Injury and Illness Clinic, Dr Sandra Peters said the facility which will be fully staffed by GP's was the product of extensive discussion and advice of specialist emergency department doctors and clinical planners.
"The service has been developed in consultation with local GP's," she said.
"This model have been trialled extensively in other places and it's very well received in terms of patient experience.
"As we work towards a more integrated health system for the sunshine coast and as we mature we can start looking how we integrate other elements of care to support patient journey."
Outpatient appointments at SCHU will commence from 21 March with inpatient services, operating theatres and maternity services are scheduled to commence progressively in the week beginning 27 March.