Children's Hospital Opens Upgraded Medical Ward | Western Cape Government

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Children's Hospital Opens Upgraded Medical Ward

18 June 2012

The B1 Medical Ward at Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital has received a much needed R13.6 million upgrade and will be officially opened on Tuesday, 19 June. For the upgrade, the Children's Hospital Trust raised R8.1 million and R5.5 million was provided by the Western Cape Government, which includes renovating the old ward and providing new equipment.

The extremely busy ward, which treats general medical patients, infectious patients and patients with chronic illnesses - most of whom are under a year old - was built in 1956 and has only had minor upgrades since then. Twenty-five percent of the children admitted are HIV positive and 15% have tuberculosis.

Prior to the upgrade, the 37-bed Ward B1 had insufficient space to accommodate and prevent cross-infection adequately. Despite the then-outdated facility, the ward continued to provide the best possible training and teaching of all categories of staff and families, with active involvement in research as well as rehabilitation.

The new modern Ward B1 will house the following areas:

  • 32 general ward beds and two 4-6 bedded high-care cubicles located opposite the nurses' station for close monitoring.
  • Five isolation cubicles to accommodate two cots or one bed, and fully equipped to manage high-care patients.
  • Two additional low-care cubicles capable of managing five to six patients.
  • Doctor and Operational Manager Offices.
  • Counselling room: this is essential for ensuring privacy as looking after the family is part of the hospital's holistic approach.
  • Communal areas: patients' waiting room, patients' day room, parents' room, physiotherapy and occupational therapy gym, staff tea and change room.
  • Bathrooms.
  • Working procedure areas: examination room and medicine room.
  • Storage areas.
  • Kitchen and sluice.

This upgrade will improve patient experience and outcomes, reduce the risk of cross-infection, increase emotional support and provide better conditions for both children and parents. Children are already highly traumatised and less overcrowding will result in a better hospital experience. Staff, patients and families will also have access to relaxation and rest space that is comfortable, child-friendly and attractive.

Minister of Health in the Western Cape, Theuns Botha, said: "Delivering quality health services and at the same time maintaining infrastructure is certainly a challenge, and the infrastructure maintenance and facelifts performed at the Red Cross Children's Hospital is a monument to a successful partnership between government and the private sector. It is also a demonstration of the motto of our government - we are better together. Red Cross Children's Hospital is so highly regarded in this country, on this continent and globally, that we can certainly not afford to neglect maintenance work. The Western Cape Government Health is committed to this hospital and its needs."

Louise Driver, CEO of the Children's Hospital Trust, said, "Seeing this ward upgraded and newly equipped to continue to serve the children of Africa is so rewarding, not only for the Children's Hospital Trust but also for the donors who have supported this project, and we wish to thank them for their support. In partnership with the Western Cape Government, the trust is currently fundraising to upgrade the B2 Medical Ward, which is the final ward in the hospital needing modernisation. The trust will then continue to fundraise for priority needs at the hospital and also for paediatric healthcare projects in the Western Cape, beyond the doors of the hospital."

The upgrade of the ward was made possible by the 18-year-old public-private partnership between the Western Cape Government and the Children's Hospital Trust. The Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital is a public tertiary and secondary level hospital, funded by the Western Cape Government, and has an operational budget of approximately R523 million a year. The upgraded ward will now be maintained by the Western Cape Government, as with all the other upgraded wards at the hospital.

Media Enquiries: 

Mark van der Heever
Deputy Director: Communications
Western Cape Government Health
Tel: 021 483 3716
Cell: 073 453 6823

Ronnis Daniels
Communications Coordinator: Publicity
The Children's Hospital Trust
Tel: 021 686 7860 / 021 659 1796