Two-year old Thomas was one of the first patients to be treated in the new children's area at the Sunshine Hospital Emergency Department.
Officially opened by the Acting Premier, the Hon. James Merlino and the Minister for Health, the Hon. Martin Foley, on March 17, the new children's area is part of the expanded Sunshine Hospital Emergency Department that includes a new entrance, adult and children's triage zones and waiting rooms and a Short Stay Unit.
Currently 24,000 children, on average, present to Sunshine Emergency each year. With the population of Melbourne's west expected to increase by 48 percent by 2031, the need to expand the emergency department to meet future capacity was of critical importance.
"The new children's area will allow us to treat a greater number of children in a more modern and up-to-date facility," says Associate Professor David Krieser, Director of Paediatric Emergency Medicine at Sunshine Hospital.
"Our project team have done an excellent job to deliver a child and family friendly design that will support the next generation of families in Melbourne's west."
The purpose-built children's area has been designed to minimise the stress and anxiety of children presenting to emergency, with ambient lighting, colourful wall decals and child-friendly furnishings.
Thanks to donor support, additional features will be added in the coming months to further enhance care and provide a welcoming and calming environment. This includes a ceiling projector for the emergency treatment room and virtual reality headsets to distract children undergoing minor medical procedures. Sensory items such as earphones and weighted blankets to support children who are sensitive to light and noise will also be explored.
Take a look inside the new Sunshine Hospital Emergency Department