Page 1446 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 10 April 2013
work progress as soon as possible and we are currently discussing with the commonwealth opportunities to access the $5 million funding ahead of the time that was previously agreed.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.
MS PORTER: Minister, have you had the opportunity to view how any other paediatric EDs are operating in other jurisdictions?
MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms Porter for the supplementary. Yes, I attended the Royal North Shore Hospital, which opened their new emergency department, I think, in November last year. It was an opportunity to have a look at how a brand new emergency department constructed from scratch, not built around the existing emergency department, looks in terms of patient flow. They are a very similar hospital, in a sense, to Canberra Hospital in that they see about 65,000 to 70,000 presentations through their emergency department every year, with about 25 per cent of those presentations being children.
They have a dedicated paediatric area that operates within their emergency department but is quite separate to the rest of the emergency department. An important thing I learnt on my visit is that they are very quick to remove children from the waiting area. They do not expect children to wait in the waiting area. Most of their patients are removed from the waiting area within 10 minutes of presenting to the hospital.
They also had some good advice around looking at how you manage issues like paediatric resuscitation and whether or not those services should be separated. In that case, they do not. They do not encourage that. They think that the resusc area should remain for adults and children. But they also had some very good—and they have done this through the design and the construction of the building—procedure rooms to make sure that children are not having procedures done at their bedside but the bed remains a safe place for them in the emergency department.
There was some very interesting, I think, information that I was able to take from that visit, and we will feed that into the design and ultimately the construction of the emergency department paediatric area at Canberra Hospital.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Jones.
MRS JONES: Will the new paediatrics unit have chairs with arms on them for parents who are falling asleep in ED while waiting with sick toddlers?
MS GALLAGHER: I think, Mrs Jones, we have all had experience spending more time than we would like in the emergency department, perhaps Madam Speaker more than most of us. I cannot assure you there will be chairs with arms on them. One thing we will be doing, though, is what was in the Royal North Shore Hospital where there were chairs for some children who did not require beds, comfortable armchairs, and I noticed parents sitting with their children in those armchairs. But the whole