FUTURE PROOF: The new operating theatres at Lismore Base Hospital are among the top four in Australia. L-R NNSWHD chair Brian Pezzutti, Health Infrastructure Project Director Justin Barrett, NNSWHD chied executive Wayne Jones, Member for Lismore Thomas George, Theatre nurse manager Leanne Seiffert, Health Minister Brad Hazzard, theatre nurses Brooke Kennedy and Jane Duffy and Parliamentary Secretary Ben Franklin get a sneak preview of the ultra-modern complex.
FUTURE PROOF: The new operating theatres at Lismore Base Hospital are among the top four in Australia. L-R NNSWHD chair Brian Pezzutti, Health Infrastructure Project Director Justin Barrett, NNSWHD chied executive Wayne Jones, Member for Lismore Thomas George, Theatre nurse manager Leanne Seiffert, Health Minister Brad Hazzard, theatre nurses Brooke Kennedy and Jane Duffy and Parliamentary Secretary Ben Franklin get a sneak preview of the ultra-modern complex. Alison Paterson

SNEAK PEEK: State-of-the-art operating theatre

A LARGE operating theatre capable of allowing two surgical teams working on one patient simultaneously is part of the new "future-proofed” complex at Lismore Base Hospital.

On Monday The Northern Star was given a sneak preview of the new South Tower which comprises the Central Sterilisation Services Department and Theatre Complex and contains state-of-the-art equipment and facilities.

The tour comprised senior Northern New South Wales health officials, LBH staff, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard, member for Lismore Thomas George and Parliamentary Secretary Ben Franklin.

LBH acting general manager and director of nursing and midwifery, Narelle Gleeson said the $320 million redevelopment is progressing on schedule, with the sterilisation department and Theatre Complex opening soon, which will mark the completion of South Tower.

Ms Gleeson said it was wonderful how medical staff had been involved in order to create the facility.

"They had a great deal of say in how the new theatres were designed,” Ms Gleeson said.

Mr Hazzard said he was astounded by the high-tech equipment in the sterisation department.

"I am gobsmacked,” said Mr Hazzard said.

"The last time I was in a hospital cleaning area was 40 years ago when I was an orderly at Manly Hospital and it was nothing like this.”

Manager Ruth Strickland-Ross said they would now easily manage their current workload of a quarter of a million surgical instruments sterilised per month.

"We built this for the future and out capacity is huge,” she said.

"We currently do all our own plus handle some for Ballina Hospital, Casino, mainly orthopaedics and McLean, as well as some local doctor's surgeries.”

Ms Strickland-Ross said the sterilisation department will officially commence work on March 24.

In the operating complex, theatre manager Leanne Seiffert said the spacious and well-designed spaces meant the best possible outcome for patients, the hospital and the community.

In one of the large new operating theatres, Ms Seiffert pointed out a new feature which allows for sterilised prosthetics to be held securely then passed through a sterile air-lock until needed during an operation.

"The big trauma theatre means we can have two teams of surgeons, surgical nurses and other medical staff working on a severe trauma case,” she said.

"There's plenty of room for everyone to move around freely.”

Pelvis, head and spinal patients will continue to go Gold Coast University Hospital but all other surgery can be handled at LBH.

Ms Seiffert said the theatre complex will expand from the current four to nine new theatres - additional surgical services to meet future demand.

"We have nine theatres, each one had an anaesthetics bay attached,” she said.

"We also have a sterile stockroom so when we do out joint replacements we can have prosthetics passed through (a sterile hatch) into in the theatre so they are not risking contamination.”

Another feature is ceiling mounted equipment to avoid trip-hazards.

In the new hybrid theatre, which also contains it's own x-ray theatre, can be brought up to 40C to help patients avoid shock.

The equipment in the hybrid operating theatre has the country's newest equipment, Ms Seiffert said.

NNSW Health District chief executive Wayne Jones, said the upgrade was needed as there was more surgery undertaken in the region than in two Sydney metropolitan areas.

Earlier The NSW Government is delivering on the additional $52.5 million announced in last year's budget for Stage 3C for an extra four levels for the eight-level North Tower, with demolition works now underway to make way for its construction.



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