What all Coast outpatients need to know about the new hospital
HEALTH SERIES: Our public health services are getting a facelift with the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital, and many services are changing location.
With the new hospital now a week away from holding its first appointments, the Daily continues its series bringing you everything you need to know.
In part five NICKY MOFFAT and JORGIA WHITE reveal outpatient services and bring you the details on facilities for older people at SCUH.
On track: Hospital ready for first appointments in 10 days
BEFORE you get excited about visiting the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital for your next medical appointment, know that it could be at any of five locations across the Coast and Gympie.
Caloundra, Nambour, Birtinya, Maleny and Gympie each have services for outpatients operated by the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service - the local Queensland Health agency.
A spokeswoman for SCHHS said if there's a change to the location of your appointment, you'll get a letter with details at least three weeks before your appointment.
Located at Birtinya, the new hospital is on track to see its first patients on March 21 as part of the staged opening of the new $1.8 billion facility, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Services confirmed.
From March 21, SCUH will run multidisciplinary outpatient clinics in 32 specialty areas.
Clinics will be at two main locations at SCUH - the Ambulatory Care Centre on Level 1 of the main hospital building, and the ground floor of the Adem Crosby Centre for cancer care.
The Ambulatory Care Centre is a huge facility, with 80 consultation rooms, 12 procedure rooms and seven reception areas, director of outpatient services Michelle Bruckner said.
It will be able to take 400,000 outpatient appointments every year - that's up from 250,000 across all Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service facilities in 2015-2016.
"The centre has been purpose built focusing on patient-centred care," Ms Bruckner said.
"Consultation and procedural rooms have been designed to accommodate patient needs now and into the future.
"We have innovative technology and equipment and in some cases will be the first public outpatient services to utilise such state-of-the-art tools."
Specialist consultation and treatment will also continue at Nambour General Hospital, Caloundra Health Service and Gympie Hospital, with some outpatient services also at Maleny Soldiers Memorial Hospital.
"This ensures patients receive the best possible care as close to home as possible," she said.
"This new approach to outpatient service delivery will ensure that patients receive the highest quality care in an appropriate environment."
Over the next 10 days, staff from the pathology, radiology and pharmacy teams are setting up their departments ready for patients, while kitchen, cleaning and logistics staff are also undertaking final preparations.
They join around 1,000 clinical students from The University of the Sunshine Coast and TAFE East Coast who are already on campus at SCUH's integrated education, training and research centre the Sunshine Coast Health Institute (SCHI).