Parkes hospital being prepared for COVID patient care

Parkes hospital being prepared for COVID patient care

Parkes hospital is preparing to care for COVID patients who need hospitalisation, although not intensive care.

Parkes was one of two hospitals highlighted as centres to provide care for COVID patients from surrounding communities at Western NSW Local Health District's Wednesday update.

Chief Executive Scott McLachlan says they have identified parts of the hospital "well suited" to the purpose, and they're confident it can be safe for everyone.

"We've had to do a lot of work obviously on air conditioning and other safety measures to make sure that we can care for patients safely with all of the PPE (personal protective equipment) and the protections for patients, our staff and other patients in the hospital," he said.

"Those are steps that we've taken with Narromine, Dubbo, Orange and Bathurst and we'll need to take with other hospitals."

The health district's hospitals have always worked as a network, he added, and Parkes would be positioned to provide care for patients from surrounding districts if needed.

"That's the role that all of our hospitals play any day of the week, there's nothing new and our patients are used to needing admission to hospital maybe sometimes outside of their own town," Mr McLachlan said.

"We know that Parkes plays a really crucial role across Parkes, Forbes, Condobolin and surrounding communities."

Seriously ill patients, those needing intensive care or ventilation, will continue to be cared for in Dubbo, Orange and Bathurst.

"Those are the places we know we have all the skilled clinicians, the right supports, the ventilators for when people get really really crook and they need those support services," Mr McLachlan said.

Parkes - along with Cobar - will be equipped to care for patients whose needs may be for extra oxygen or heart, lung, or respiratory support.

"The vast majority of patients that have come into hospital haven't needed to stay in hospital for a long time but they also haven't needed intensive care," Mr McLachlan said.

"Today we've got four patients in intensive care, two on ventilators, out of 15 patients in hospital.

"Those are the roles that some of our smaller rural facilities can play."

This story Parkes hospital being prepared for COVID patient care first appeared on Forbes Advocate.