$3.7m Maclean rehab unit officially opened
IT MIGHT have been operating on a limited basis for more than a year, but the rehabilitation unit at Maclean District Hospital finally had its official opening this morning.
Clarence Health Service executive officer Dan Madden said while the facility is small, the functional improvement data has been positive.
"The unit has been operating for just over a year now on a limited basis, and that's allowed the remaining five beds opened up just a few months back, but the important thing for us is that it's a milestone, it's symbolic that it's got the green light, it's officially recognised as being here," he said.
"Because we haven't been going for very long our numbers have been quite small, but in the percentage improvement we're doing wonderful things in this tiny tin-pot regional unit, we've only got 10 beds, but the staff are absolutely committed.
"We started from scratch, so we were able to be very thoughtful on how we operated, put the right contemporary models of care in and we had great support from the district in building it, the Commonwealth funded it but the local community supporting the Auxiliary has really beefed it up with the latest and greatest equipment, so while it's only small it's really punching above its weight in the outcomes we're seeing and the improvements to the lives of the local community."
Mr Madden said the benefits of a local rehabilitation unit in Maclean means less travel time and waiting for patients.
"For those who do need rehab, in the past it's meant dislocation from their families, they would have had to have gone to Ballina, or down to Coffs Harbour, but there's often a long waiting list," he said.
"This unit means local rehabilitation services for locals closer to home, and that's our fundamental motto."
The new Unit, which has 10-new purpose-built beds, will provide co-ordinated care by a multidisciplinary team including medical, nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology and social work.
The new Unit offers single and double rooms, all with en-suite facilities. It also includes a fully equipped therapy gym, spacious dining room and kitchen for group activities and social interaction.
The Rehabilitation Unit is adjoined by a courtyard garden designed to provide patients with opportunities to practice regaining normal functions in a domestic setting.
Patients at the Unit receive individualised rehabilitation programs designed to provide them with tailored therapy to suit their particular needs.
Page MP Kevin Hogan said he was pleased to see the local community to benefit from the unit.
"This is great news for our community," he said.
"Previously, the nearest rehabilitation facilities were located in Coffs Harbour and Ballina, so this is a fantastic investment in the health of our growing population in the Clarence community."
The Member for Clarence, Chris Gulaptis, welcomed the facility which enables residents of the Clarence Valley to receive rehabilitation treatments without leaving the area.
"This fantastic facility allows patients in the Clarence Valley to access first class therapies right here on their doorstep," he said.