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New theatres a healthy boost for Geelong patients

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

TWO additional operating theatres at Barwon Health’s University Hospital Geelong Building B has created additional capacity for elective surgery in a huge boost for the region.Building B Surgery Web 1098757

Completed last month, the project was made possible with funding from the Victorian Department of Health and the combined efforts of Barwon Health’s Operating Services and Building Services.

With Geelong experiencing strong population growth, operating services manager Elyse MacDonald said the additional theatres would help address demand for elective surgery, particularly those deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We expect to perform around 3300 surgeries per annum initially, growing that number in the future,” she said.

“The project involved refurbishing theatres previously used at the old Geelong Private Hospital and reconfiguring the space to include first and second stage recovery, reception, change rooms, staff rooms, equipment stores, offices and an education space.

“Our initial focus will be on elective gynaecological surgery, along with urology and general surgery.”

A significant recruitment campaign for the refurbished theatres netted 30 new staff, including several who have relocated to the region from Melbourne and more still being recruited for.

Newly appointed Building B admission and discharge nurse Melissa O’Connor is excited to start her new position at Barwon Health next month, after finishing her current role at Alfred Health.

“I did my graduate year at Barwon Health in 2005 and I’m looking forward to returning to my roots in this new and exciting role,” Melissa said.

“Working in the public health system is important to me so I’m thrilled to join my husband who also works at Barwon Health, and return to Geelong and improve my work-life balance.”

The new theatres will be operational between 7am and 8pm, four days per week.

Photo caption: L-R: Katrina Sinfield (nurse), Shania (patient) and Dr Tony Ma (surgeon) in the newly refurbished space at University Hospital Geelong’s Building B.