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K-Block opens to help ease hospital pressure

THE Royal Hobart Hospital’s (RHH) K-Block has opened its doors to patients, easing pressure on Tasmania’s health system.

Late April, the RHH reception opened on K-Block’s ground floor followed by the patient admissions and the transit lounge.

Patients with a planned admission will go to K-Block for an initial interview where their personal details will be confirmed and medical record prepared for admission.

The transit lounge has opened with 10 recliners, four bed spaces, a consulting room and treatment room.

“This will help reduce the pressure on the Emergency Department by providing a safe clinical area for patients no longer in need of acute emergency services until their inpatient bed is prepared for them or they are collected or moved to a residential care facility,” Minister for Health Sarah Courtney said.

“Staff are working tirelessly to open inpatient wards and services in K-Block over coming weeks that will provide an additional 44 beds in the Royal Hobart Hospital.

“The safety of patients and staff is our priority and K-Block has been designed using best practice control infection prevention and control measures.

“The capacity to provide treatment and care of infectious patients will significantly expand as more wards open with K-Block providing a total of 22 dedicated negative pressure rooms.

“Hand hygiene stations are located at the entrance/exit of each ward, personal protective equipment bays are located throughout wards, furnishings, fittings and surfaces are designed to be easily cleaned and even lift buttons have modern anti-bacterial surfaces.”

Construction work has also commenced on the RHH’s Liverpool Street entrance, with new corridors being opened between the hospital building and K-Block to support patient and staff movements.

“The former kiosk and offices will be demolished to make way for a new entrance and build the permanent corridor between C-Block and K-Block on the ground floor,” RHH redevelopment project director Ben Moloney said.

“There will be some temporary changes to pathways in and around the hospital over coming months while works are completed.

“We will keep the community up-to-date during this time,” Mr Moloney said.

The $689 million RHH redevelopment is Tasmania’s largest ever health infrastructure project, allowing health professionals and patients access to a state-of-the-art facility during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Caption: The Royal Hobart Hospital’s K-Block waiting area and patient admissions.