Hospital elevator upgrade to start

The visitor elevator at West Gippsland Hospital will be closed from Monday March 16 for ten weeks to allow for a new replacement lift to be installed.Patients and visitors with mobility issues can use the hospital service elevator while the works take place. Mobile patients and visitors are encouraged to use the opportunity to exercise and take the stairs if able to do so.

The main front doors to the hospital will remain open during the works. A barrier in front of the lift and temporary walk through will be erected. However, people will still be able to move freely through the main entrance and along the corridor to access all areas of the hospital.

Chief Executive Officer, Dan Weeks, apologised for the inconvenience but said the lift replacement project was a priority.

“The current lift has reached an age where mechanical interruptions are becoming more frequent despite regular maintenance. The works will involve a complete replacement – removing the old lift and replacing it with a brand new unit. Recently, we replaced the motor in the staff elevator to improve its reliability and cope with the expected increase in usage while replacing the public lift. The staff lift is prominently located at the end of the main entrance passageway near the stairs. Our concierge volunteers are also available during the day to assist people with directions if needed.”

Dan Weeks said an emergency contingency plan had been put in place in the unlikely event that the second lift incurred a problem.

“We have set up a satellite emergency theatre on level 3 in one of our birthing suites so if an emergency caesarean section is required we can act quickly so we won’t need to transport the patient to another level.

The lift replacement project is expected to be completed in late May.

“When completed, it will increase the efficiency and reliability of the lifts as the hospital continues to experience increase in demand for services. Unfortunately it will only be marginally bigger in size due to the constraints of the existing brick lift well.” Dan Weeks said.

Media Inquiries: Karyn O’Brien Public Relations Manager 03 5623 0600