New children’s wing makes profound difference

Delighted and thankful ... Parent Tracie Ewan with son Matthew.

While the under-construction Central Acute Services Building dominates the skyline at Westmead, some lower-profile changes are happening within the walls of The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

And they’re changes that are having a profound impact on the parent and carer experience at the hospital.

The hospital’s new parent and carer wing was opened recently. The refurbished 29-room accommodation unit is located on level 2 at the eastern end of the facility, just past the orthopaedic clinic.

The wing was previously used as on-call doctor accommodation but has been given a facelift as part of wider upgrades within the hospital, spurred on by the Westmead Redevelopment Project.

Property company Mirvac donated time and manpower to complete the work as part of its company-wide community engagement program, with representatives on hand at a special opening morning tea last week.

“We are extremely grateful for the time and energy Mirvac put into doing up these rooms,” said CHW’s Manager of Housekeeping Services Maryanne Tizzone.

“The project got bigger and bigger as time went on, but Mirvac stuck with it and saw it out. The feedback we’ve had from parents has been overwhelmingly positive and they have commented on the improvement in facilities.”

The old parent and carer wing, also located on level 2, has been decommissioned with the future use of the space to be decided.

Parent Tracie Ewan - whose son Matthew suffered a stroke in a backyard accident in October and is a patient at CHW - was delighted to move into the refurbished wing.

“We live six-and-a-half hours from Sydney so to be able to have somewhere affordable to stay and be so close to Matthew during this difficult time means the world to us,” she said.

Work done to get the parent and carer wing up to scratch included a new coat of paint, the purchase and installation in every room of bar fridges, new lighting fixtures and blinds.

On top of the 29 rooms, the accommodation block features a spacious lounge/kitchen area plus two smaller kitchenettes for parents to use.