Commissioning built to succeed

The countdown is on as the Central Acute Services Building (CASB) moves into its next crucial phase. Building commissioning has begun - and you’re urged to play your important role in its success.

“It’s extremely important staff get exposure to information, sessions and discussions about work spaces they’ve never seen before,” Director of Commissioning for the Westmead Redevelopment Sacha Mott says.

“This is their building and it’s time to be engaged and take ownership of what we’re all achieving.

“Commissioning helps ready the building for occupancy, making sure all the key kits - mechanical, air, electrical, nurse call, clinical interfaces - are operational and witness-tested.

“This runs hand in hand with change management before operational readiness and training help staff through to moving in, turning on the lights and sustaining the change.”

The commissioning process is currently focused on machinery and equipment, key drivers in a building’s success. It’s also a pivotal time to access feedback from the vast depth of expertise across the precinct.

“We’ll benefit greatly from expert opinion to guide what we need to do,” Sacha says. “That expert opinion comes from the staff. We urge everyone to ask questions and challenge them to offer us their input.”

The upcoming installation of nurse calls is typical of a commissioning component that requires consultation to ensure best-practice.

“Our clinicians will need to be involved when we put together the nurse call cascades.

“Ultimately, a group of people will help decide what the nurse call should look like, how we want the bed numbers and way-finding to be reflected in the switchboard and where each of those calls should go.

“We need to articulate to the builder what we require so the nurse call meets facility guidelines and is functional.

“And when you see the clinicians smile, once all the dust has settled, you move from the angst to thinking `look what we’ve done’.”

Other key elements for building commissioning include the MME (major medical equipment), scheduling for all the modalities, security, mechanical and electrical kits, and implementation of the RIS PACs (image capture system for x-rays and ultrasound etc).

“We look at everything from lights, medical gases, nurse call, security, the intercom system, and how the FFE (furniture, fixtures and equipment) sits within that particular unit. Is it fit for purpose and is it safe?

“We’re making sure duress buttons feed back to security, look at the swipe cards and the types of access needed. We also look at the commissioning around fire safety, to make sure we’re compliant with building code.”

Sacha says a critical part of commissioning is to ensure compliance with each standard so that on handover day the builders provide a set of documents to meet all the agreed requirements from a building and heath facility perspective. “That’s where our expertise lies.”

One recent success is the Behavioural Management Unit. The specialised nine-bed unit in Westmead Hospital will provide a safe clinical zone for the care of patients with severe behavioural disturbances and dementia.

“That particular ward was built by the clinicians using their ideas, and what they felt the community needed to support their family members with challenging behaviours. It’s such a success to deliver a product so tailored and fit for purpose of what the clinicians wanted.

“They’ve had input into the type of finishes on the floor, on the windows, everything. They’ve basically designed the unit down to the last details. That’s been really important.”

Project co-ordinator Jessica El Gawly says this type of proactivity is all-important to the success of the CASB “regardless of whether you’re moving into the redevelopment or staying in situ”.

“You’re helping us grow so every contribution counts,” Jessica says.

“Why not drive change? Be a part of it and leave your mark. Let’s do it now when we have the opportunity.”

Pictured top: Planning to succeed ... Westmead Hospital’s inpatient unit (IPU B6) is typical of the collaboration needed for successful commissioning.

How to play your part

If you have questions or suggestions, raise them with your Project User Group (PUG) via your supervisor or talk to the Westmead Redevelopment team.

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