RIPLEY Satellite Hospital opened its doors this week to patients with minor injuries and illnesses, saving them a trip to the busy Ipswich Hospital Emergency Department.
In addition to the Minor Injuries and Illness Clinic the new facility will open more services for patients who are receiving specialist care with West Moreton Health.
Specialist paediatric, antenatal, diabetes, rheumatology, palliative care and allied health clinics will be the first to see patients at the Ripley facility.
Over the following months, geriatric, gynaecology, obstetrics and respiratory clinics will be added.
About 800 people a week are expected to benefit from these outpatient services closer to home once the satellite hospital is fully operational.
West Moreton Health Chief Executive Hannah Bloch said the Minor Injury and Illness Clinic would reduce pressure on the Ipswich Hospital Emergency Department.
“This is where the community can seek treatment for unexpected injuries like broken bones, minor cuts and burns, strains and sprains,” Ms Bloch said.
“We will also treat anyone over 3 months of age for minor illnesses such as infections, rashes and fevers.”
The Minor Injury and Illness Clinic provides urgent care to people without an appointment between 8am and 10pm, seven days a week.
The service is free to Medicare cardholders.
Yarning about better health outcomes benefits the individual and the whole community.
That is the philosophy the project team at Ripley Satellite Hospital applied to the project from the earliest stages of planning
They consulted with First Nations Custodians, Elders and staff to find out how to make the building a more welcoming space.
From a design perspective, that led to Aboriginal-inspired motifs throughout the satellite hospital.
Frosted window designs provide a stylised map of ancient sacred sites and a sunshade at the entrance throws an artistic shadow leading to the front entrance, much like a red carpet.
Several West Moreton Health staff made personal contributions to this effort.
The artistic sunshade is based on a design by Health Equity principal project officer Maurice Woodley that is used throughout the health service.
And Infrastructure and Assets project manager Justin Bowman donated the sandstone and granite rocks from his own property for the yarning circles where clinicians can speak confidentially with patients and their families.
Mr Bowman, an Anaiwan man from the NSW highlands, wanted to contribute to the care of the local First Nations community and Traditional Custodians, the Jagera, Yuggerah and Ugarapul Peoples.
A smoking ceremony and traditional dance were held at a Community Open Day earlier this month to cleanse the facility of bad spirits before it received its first patients yesterday.
The Ripley Hospital project team was recently awarded the Health Equity award at a staff ceremony on in recognition of the consultation that had gone into the project.