Partnerships design better health outcomes at cumberland, Westmead

The new season has unveiled an extensive program of refurbishments at two mental health units across the Westmead precinct.

Sections of Redbank House on Dragonfly Drive and Cumberland Hospital’s adult inpatient unit at Paringa have been reinvigorated to enable best-practice care in a safe environment.

Part of the Therapeutic Environment Minor Capital Works Program (TEMCWP), the acute adolescent unit at Redbank now boasts two sensory rooms, audio-visual devices, climbing wall and carers’ facilities while a stylish Activities of Daily Living (ADL) kitchen has taken pride of place at Paringa. New courtyards at both units offer barbecue facilities, landscaped gardens and seating areas.

TEMCWP manager Michael Oliver said the program focused on partner co-operation to fully understand changing needs and work through challenges to provide the best health outcomes.

“Consumers, carers and staff all work together to co-design solutions,” Michael said.

“These partnerships at Redbank and Paringa should be proud of their achievements.”

Looking across the colourful courtyard at Redbank House, clinical nurse educator Versilen Zimmermann said a feeling of accomplishment had certainly spread throughout the unit.

“We’re so excited to work here because these co-designed surroundings will help accelerate young people’s recovery,” Versilen said.

She said the consumers and carers also welcomed the new space – and with good reason.

“Our young people were the voice of this refurbishment,” Versilen said.

“We did lots of consultation and put butcher’s paper up on the wall for consumers to brainstorm ideas. We encouraged everyone to get involved to co-design a unit that other people their age would enjoy and be helped in their health journey.”

Sensory elements now fill the courtyard with pastel colours, eclectic shapes, artworks, water features, trees and aromatic flowers.

Paringa’s remodelling is equally as impressive and sophisticated in terms of form, function and partnership planning.

Nursing unit manager Maryann Geelan said the new ADL kitchen provided a practical space to prepare meals so staff could assess consumers’ cooking abilities and teach new skills.

“It’s also a more welcoming environment to help provide better outcomes,” Maryann said.

The newly-refurbished kitchen features a servery window out to the verandah and acoustic vinyl floors to help minimise sound.

Refurbishments will also support further plans to grow classes in meditation, aromatherapy, yoga and staff wellbeing.

The TEMCWP is funded by the Ministry of Health. The project includes works in the courtyard and activity room at the Hainsworth unit at Cumberland Hospital and C4A and C4B units at Westmead Hospital. More information about these works in the winter edition of The Precinct Post at:

Pictured top: Proud participants … Clinical nurse educator Versilen Zimmermann, clinical nurse specialist Elissa Yoo, and registered nurses Mahboubeh Pirmardi and Sohana King share a laugh in the newly-refurbished.

Below: Clinical nurse specialist Elissa Yoo unveils one of the new carers' beds; Paringa nursing unit manager Maryann Geelan and registered nurse Gemma Guzman give a behind the scenes tour of the ADL kitchen; Paringa's acoustic vinyl floors help minimise sound; Redbank House's climbing wall is ready to go.



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