Community Open Houses to be Held at KEMH

Bermuda Hospitals Board announced today that three Community Open Houses would be held at King Edward VII Hospital (KEMH) to discuss the next steps following Government’s announcement about the new acute care hospital site.

Deputy CEO, Venetta Symonds and BHB staff will host the open house at KEMH’s First Floor Conference Room. Members of the community will have an opportunity to find out about next steps, ask questions and also hear from healthcare designers, CannonDesign, about their experiences designing hospitals in other jurisdictions.

“We recognise that people want as many details as possible in the wake of this decision,” notes Venetta Symonds, Deputy CEO. “We want to listen to concerns, share information and provide answers about how we expect to proceed. A detailed design is not available at this early stage and it will be something the community can be involved in. We want people to join us as we undertake detailed site surveys, look out how best we can harmonise our hospital into its unique setting and then return KEMH back to green space. It is an exciting prospect, as we can take the latest best practices on hospital design that have been proven to improve patient care, safety and clinical outcomes.”

Mrs. Symonds adds: “We are entering a new phase of consultation as we collect more information and feed this into the final designs. We look forward to developing a new hospital with the community that will improve patient care and technology, efficient operations and sustainable services that meet our long term healthcare needs.”

The Community Open Hospital Meetings will be held in the First Floor Conference Room at KEMH:
· Thursday 14 September 2006 6.30pm
· Friday 15 September 2006 5.30pm
· Saturday 16 September 2006 10.00am

Further community meetings will be held as BHB advances the design process. Ground breaking is expected to be about two years away.

Background:
In 2005, Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) presented its ‘vision for healthcare’ to the Bermuda community. Ten public forums were held, two for staff, two for physicians and six for the community. Over 130 interviews with people in Bermuda also took place. BHB’s vision is to provide a modern, sustainable healthcare service that meets the long term needs of the Bermuda Community within a natural, healing environment. The vision had been established as part of the BHB’s Estate Master Plan (EMP).

The EMP had been proactively initiated by BHB in 2003 to evaluate the long term healthcare needs of the Bermuda community, and how those needs could be met. As part of the process independent consultants advised that the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) was nearing the end of its useful life, which was estimated to be 2012. A new building was required for the acute care hospital as structurally the KEMH building could not support modern healthcare techniques and equipment. The BHB vision was therefore applied to three sites for a potential replacement:
· A portion (about 30%) of the Arboretum
· A portion (less than 30%) of the Botanical Gardens
· Same site as KEMH

Government announced that just under 30% of the Botanical Gardens would be the site for the new acute hospital in August 2006. More information about this decision and the BHB’s approach can be found at www.bermudahospitals.bm.

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