Shelter in green spaces, clear signage that can be understood when you’re stressed or struggle reading English, and portable charging stations for mobile devices were among the many suggestions from community members at a planning workshop for the central acute services building last week.
Participants heard a presentation from the architects and staff from Westmead Redevelopment then participated in three rounds of activities. Attendees were asked to share their ideas on what could improve the experience of patients, carers, families, students and visitors including navigation. Sticky notes were placed on boards with artist’s impressions and the new virtual reality goggles helped to bring discussions alive.
The event included a detailed discussion around future parent rooms in the new hospital building — rooms that exist in many hospitals and shopping centres. These rooms are an important space to change, dress and calm children with and without special needs. Community members emphasised the importance of designing these spaces so that the weight and size of adults could also be supported into these rooms and onto change tables.
Workshop attendee Christine Fam said, “I’ve spent a lot of time in Westmead recently with my grandmother. Coming to hospital is not a fun experience for most people. The spaces need to help us find where we need to go, whether we are a patient, support person, loved one or general visitor. We also need places to sit, reflect and even grieve. There’s clearly lots going on in the project and it’s a great time to have my say and share my thoughts.”
Andrew Newton, General Manager of Westmead and Auburn Hospitals, reflected on the insights that community members brought to the event.
“There was so much energy in the room. We are so thankful to this group who gave up their precious time to help our planning team. Community input is integral to both the Westmead Redevelopment planning process and wider work that’s underway looking into how we provide health services across the Westmead precinct.”
“Once the new hospital building opens, and refurbished areas are complete, I will be able to walk the corridors and literally see the impact of community input through the spaces and impact on our services.”
We're looking for consumer representatives. Contact us if you'd like to find out more about becoming involved in the planning phase of the acute services building. Our community participation page also has more information.