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Patients at the heart of Hornsby’s design

Patients are at the heart of Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital’s newly completed Clinical Services Building with special design features to aide their treatment and recovery evident throughout.

Staff and patients have moved from their old departments in the George Lumby Building, Mary Giles and Geraghty wards into modern-purpose built departments housed in the six-storey building.

To care for patients with dementia and delirium, 14 beds in one of the new medical wards have been made into safe spaces, where there is a “homely” feel given to the area to make patients feel more comfortable in their surroundings.

Aged care experts, Professors Sue Kurrle and Professor Richard Fleming, Director of the NSW/ACT Dementia Training Study Centre, consulted in the design of the ward for dementia and delirium patients.

Transition Manager Adrienne Stern said: “There’s a mixture of single or double rooms in an area they can safely walk around. Special features include calming wall colours, such as light green.

“To make the area feel homely, there are also dining chairs and table, sofas and a lounge room.”

For the first time, patients with dementia and delirium will be able to access an outdoor space as part of their recovery where there is a figure eight palm and succulent garden they can walk around, and a sensory herb garden.

With research showing that art can be therapeutic for patients, calming art work is displayed in wards. Finalists from the hospital’s photography competition have been produced on vinyl and decorate the corridors.

Adrienne said the hospital engaged Sydney artist, Thomas Jackson, to produce large murals on the walls in the outpatients department, as well outdoor murals in patients’ gardens.

The paintings in outpatients not only look decorative and brighten the walls, but they act as way finding tools so people can say ‘turn left when you see the koala, for example.
Transition Manager Adrienne Stern


And visitors to Hornsby will now see a Smart car from the outside of the building, which may prompt some to ask how it got there and why?

The car’s placement is not by accident, but was painstakingly driven through the hospital to be parked in the rehabilitation outdoor therapy area.

Adrienne said the car can be used as part of a patient’s rehabilitation learning daily life skills, such as packing shopping into the car’s boot, and getting in and out of a car.

The expansion of the emergency department (ED) and construction of the main entrance is still underway, with the official opening planned later in the year.

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