Beds will be temporarily closed as work to improve cooling systems in the Launceston General Hospital gets underway.
Surgical ward 5A will be the first to have a new hydrostatic cooling tile system installed, as part of $1.4 million in state government funding.
Executive director of operations for the North and North-West Eric Daniels said the work was being timed to coincide with an expected reduction in surgical activity, due to normal staff leave arrangements.
“Beds in the ward will need to be temporarily closed to allow the necessary work to be done,” he said.
“The net impact on beds across the hospital will be minimal, with additional bed capacity being used in the short stay surgical unit and day procedure unit.”
The project comes almost a year on from heatwave conditions in January 2018, when temperatures reportedly exceeded 30 degrees in ward 6D.
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Mr Daniels said dedicated cooling systems were not installed in some areas of the hospital when it was built 30 years ago, and that during extended periods of warm weather temperatures could become uncomfortable.
“Patient and staff comfort is obviously extremely important which is why this project to increase cooling at the LGH is getting underway,” he said.
Mr Daniels said a related project would also see new window tinting material installed on the hospital’s north-facing windows in D block.
“The new tinting has a higher cooling rating, able to reduce radiant heat by as much as 80 per cent and will be installed on wards 4D, 5D and 6D,” he said.
“Existing tinting will need to be removed before the new material can be applied.
“Testing will begin next week to determine how long it takes to remove and replace the tinting, and this will guide the timing of the project.
“This work will be staged and can be disrupted if beds are urgently needed.”