West Moreton Health transforming its services to respond to COVID-19

West Moreton Hospital and Health Service has transformed its services and redeployed staff where they are needed most in readiness for the increase in seriously ill COVID-19 patients over coming weeks.

West Moreton Health Chief Executive Dr Kerrie Freeman said the entire HHS was now focused on acute and emergency care.

“I am tremendously proud of our staff who are taking the upheaval of COVID-19 in their stride and staying true to their professional calling,” Dr Freeman said.

“Our staff are extremely dedicated individuals who now find themselves in the hardest of circumstances but continue to treat their patients with compassion.”

In recent weeks, staff have transformed West Moreton Health hospitals by:

  • dedicating Ipswich Hospital wards 6C, 4F, 4G, 5F and 7B to the safe treatment of COVID-19 patients
  • turning the endoscopy unit into a second Intensive Care Unit to separate critically ill COVID patients from non-COVID patients
  • expanding the Hospital in the Home program for the remote monitoring of COVID-19 patients who require an additional level of support
  • postponing non-urgent elective surgeries and outpatient appointments (except cardiology and paediatrics)
  • creating a dedicated COVID-19 area in our 5 emergency departments to manage suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients.

“Each of these changes is a huge body of work for our staff,” Dr Freeman said. “It involves the sourcing and movement of specialist equipment, extensive construction work, transfer of patients, rescheduling of appointments, changes to rostering, staff redeployments and the creation of new processes.

“All of our staff know that, over coming weeks, every one of them will be called upon to respond to the COVID-19 escalation in some way.”

Remaining wards will continue to serve the non-COVID health needs of the community as West Moreton Health balances the COVID-19 response with the business-as-usual care that helps to keep people well and out of hospital.

“The past 2 years have been about planning for the Alpha and Delta strains of COVID-19 in an unvaccinated community,” Dr Freeman said.

“Now that we are dealing with Omicron and the majority of the community has some level of vaccine protection, our response to this outbreak is different to the ways we have responded in the past.

“I would encourage everyone who is yet to be vaccinated or eligible for their booster shot to make a booking for that vaccination now.”

The Ipswich CBD Community Vaccination Clinic is open 11.30am-7pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 8am-4pm every other day. Bookings are preferred for children aged 5 to 11. To make a booking, visit www.health.qld.gov.au/vaccinelocations

For information on what to do if you are diagnosed with COVID, visit: www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/stay-informed/i-have-covid/what-to-do-if-i-have-covid

For isolation and quarantine information, visit www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/public-health-directions/confirmed-cases-and-close-contacts