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New Nepean lab construction underway

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27th September, 2022

Enhanced pathology services to meet the hospital’s growing needs

Work on Nepean Hospital’s new, expand­ed NSW Health Pathol­o­gy lab has started.

The new lab will pro­vide enhanced ser­vices to meet the grow­ing needs of the new hos­pi­tal, which will include an expand­ed emer­gency depart­ment, new neona­tal and adult inten­sive care units, in-cen­tre renal dial­y­sis unit, car­di­ol­o­gy ser­vices and more than 200 inpa­tient beds.

Work start­ed in July fol­low­ing an Abo­rig­i­nal smok­ing cer­e­mo­ny con­duct­ed by Wad­ja Elder Uncle Dal­las Dodd, accom­pa­nied by Nepean Hospital’s Abo­rig­i­nal Health Department.

Set for com­ple­tion in mid-2023, the new lab will be pur­pose-built with an addi­tion­al 1000 m2 space, com­plete with new pathol­o­gy test­ing spaces, recep­tion area, staff ameni­ties and administration.

All clin­i­cal and sup­port ser­vices will be housed togeth­er on the ground floor of Build­ing E (East Block), inte­grat­ed with hos­pi­tal ser­vices and locat­ed adja­cent to the new emer­gency depart­ment, oper­at­ing the­atres and birthing unit.

Nepean Lab Oper­a­tions Man­ag­er Stephen Park­er said the new lab will rev­o­lu­tionise every­day oper­a­tions, and mod­ernise the ser­vices the lab and its ded­i­cat­ed staff pro­vide to hos­pi­tal clin­i­cians and patients.

“This move will pro­vide a num­ber of ben­e­fits for our ser­vice, staff, the hos­pi­tal and the patients we care for,” Stephen explained.

“It means we’ll be able to great­ly expand anatom­i­cal pathol­o­gy, the study of body tis­sue and cells to diag­nose dis­eases includ­ing can­cer, and micro­bi­ol­o­gy, which involves pathol­o­gists look­ing for signs of infec­tious dis­eases caused by micro­scop­ic organ­isms includ­ing virus­es, such as COVID-19, and bac­te­ria. We expect an increase in test requests once the redevelopment’s com­plete, so expand­ing both dis­ci­plines is essential.”

Stephen said the new lab would be a vast improve­ment on the cur­rent pathol­o­gy facilities.

“Our cur­rent lab is in an old, stand­alone build­ing from the 1970s,” Stephen explained. “I’m told by some of my long-serv­ing col­leagues that pathol­o­gy ser­vices moved in in 1994 and have been out­grow­ing the build­ing ever since.

“Our ser­vices are split over two floors and we have no room for growth, so a 30 per­cent increase in floor space will cer­tain­ly help. Being all togeth­er on one floor will gen­er­al­ly improve how we work and com­mu­ni­ca­tion through­out the lab.

“We’ll also have improved shared areas for col­lab­o­ra­tion, teach­ing and mul­ti-dis­ci­pli­nary team meet­ings – a vast improve­ment from what’s cur­rent­ly avail­able,” Stephen said.

The new lab also will pro­vide improved facil­i­ties to sup­port ongo­ing research at NSW Health Pathology.

“Our team’s real­ly excit­ed to see work hap­pen and look­ing for­ward to work­ing in pur­pose-built facil­i­ties,” Stephen said. “We won’t know our­selves, really.”


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