Building a better hospital

The Bendigo Advertiser is continuing to publish a series of profiles on some of the people helping to build the new Bendigo Hospital.

It's very much bigger and better than anything I ever expected we were going to get. - Ann Gallagher

ANN Gallagher wants to leave her mark on the new Bendigo Hospital.

Ms Gallagher is the nurse unit manager of the Central Sterilising Services department and Bendigo Health and has been involved in the new Bendigo Hospital project from the get-go.

Ms Gallagher is determined to deliver the best outcomes for Bendigo and said it was a privilege to be involved in such a big project 

"I've worked as a nurse for 38 years and I'm very much at the end of my carer and it really has been a huge bonus to me to be involved in such an important project," she said.

"I'd like to think that my legacy is going to be a really well designed and functional department which will serve the hospital well into the future."

The CSS department is responsible for the cleaning, disinfection and sterilisation for all medical and surgical equipment used at Bendigo Health.

"We also process for a number of smaller regional hospitals and we also have quite a large external customer base so we do work for general practitioners and podiatrists and all those sorts of people," Ms Gallagher said.

The department averages 1000 loads of equipment a month, making its co-location to the operating suites a priority.

Ms Gallagher's insider-knowledge and experience has played a key role in the new Bendigo Hospital project.

"I was really pleased to be asked right from the beginning because although CSD is an essential hospital department, because we don't actually have patients, we often get overlooked," she said.

"After the preferred tenderer was chosen we then went into what was called high-end design and I was the leader of the CSD focus group.

"We looked at the size footprint of the department.

"We looked at its location in comparison to other departments,-  it's essential that it's co-located with the operating suite - and then we dived the space up into rooms.

"We then looked at where the major pieces of equipment were going to go - that's the sterilisation and instrument washers.

"Once that was finished we've now moved on to what's called detailed design and that's looking at all the fixtures and fittings and the work flows of the department."

Ms Gallagher said she had been blown-away by the scale of the project.

"Even though I've been involved right from the very beginning I'm still amazed at how large the facility's going to be and the quality it's going to provide," she said.

"It's very much bigger and better than anything I ever expected we were going to get.

"There are a couple of things that really have impressed me about the new facility - one's the fact that the heritage buildings are going to be included.

"They're going to be restored and they're going to be used.

"I think that's very important to provide that permanent link to the past, especially with a hospital like Bendigo health because it's got such a huge history.

"And I'm a gardener and I was very interested in the greens spaces and landscaping as well and they all just look wonderful.

"Of course the main aim of everyone is to design the best facility we possibly can for our patients."

Keep an eye on the Bendigo Advertiser's Hospital HQ page for the next hospital profile. 

Ann is making sure the new Bendigo Hospital is up to scratch

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