Local communities and critical care services at Werribee Mercy Hospital (WMH) are about to reap the benefits of a new CT scanner, now installed after recently arriving on the Melbourne docks from Germany.
Patients attending the WMH Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit and acute medical and surgical services will be some of the initial patients to receive access to the upgraded equipment.
Overviewing the installation, Mercy Health – Health Services Chief Executive Adjunct Professor Jason Payne said all high-functioning hospitals were reliant on the diagnostic capability of a CT scanner to provide timely assessment and management of patients.
The upgraded scanner is larger and heavier than the hospital’s older model scanner and has required redevelopment of a new and upgraded space on the ground floor at WMH.
“As the major public hospital in one of Australia’s fastest growing urban corridors, demand for our services has continued to escalate. We need the best equipment and facilities to be able to provide communities in Melbourne’s west with the best possible care.”
“We are in regular contact with the Victorian Government and continue to highlight the need for investment and expansion,” he said.
Following the delivery of last November’s Victorian Budget, Mercy Health welcomed the State Government’s allocation of $4.8 million to commence planning for the third stage of WMH.
Mercy Health Group Chief Executive Adjunct Professor Stephen Cornelissen said at the time that the funding was a clear sign the voices of the people of the City of Wyndham were being heard.
“Our current and future patients can now look forward to the establishment of a city hospital, as well as a capacity to retain and attract some of Australia’s most skilled doctors and nurses.
“The next stage of Werribee construction requires a huge injection of funding but it is absolutely critical to ensure the people of Wyndham receive the level and quality of health services they deserve and need.” Adj Prof Payne says the installation of a most up to date CT scanner is critical but it is only one step.
“The installation of this scanner does not take us to the next stage of WMH redevelopment, which is Mercy Health’s goal, but it provides our patients with an assurance that serious health issues can be quickly identified, enabling a treatment plan to be initiated,” Adj Prof Payne said.
WMH’s current scanner will continue to operate but will gradually be decommissioned and will cease to operate by mid-2022. While WMH does not provide long-term treatment of stroke patients, the new infrastructure will deliver high-level and appropriate brain perfusion imaging which is used to diagnose acute strokes.
“If a stroke patient is brought to us by ambulance in an emergency, we will be able to quickly identify the issues in order to stabilise the person before having them transferred to a metropolitan hospital for longer term care,” Adj Prof Payne said.
Besides strokes, the new scanner will provide improved precision imaging for identification of cancers and it will also be a critical tool for the identification and treatment of acute chest pain.
The CT scanner will also assist with earlier identification of internal bleeds and trauma injuries, and will provide faster scans for better imaging for children, enhancing WMH’s Paediatrics services.
“Newer equipment results in faster, more efficient and improved image quality with an expectation of stronger outcomes for both patients and clinicians,” said Adj Prof Payne.
Now that the scanner has been installed, it is in its final stages of testing and will come on line for patient use over the next few weeks.