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New hospital wing ready to fly

It has been some time in the waiting, but the new 10-bed wing at the Maclean District Hospital is ready to go – all that’s needed is an occupational therapist.
Located on the eastern side of the Level 1 ward, the wing was purpose built “with the intention to utilise these beds as a sub-acute and rehabilitation ward”, said Annette Symes, the acting chief executive for the Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSW LHD).
However, the wing hasn’t sat idle since its construction.
“During 2014 and much of 2015, the space was used as a general ward in order to allow the older parts of the hospital to be progressively upgraded,” Ms Symes said.
Ms Symes said that the NNSW LHD had failed to attract an occupational therapist, “which is a key position required to support the rehabilitation service, despite multiple attempts” when it initiated the recruitment of specialised allied health positions in mid 2015.
“The NNSW LHD re-evaluated the recruitment strategy and has re-advertised for a full-time occupational therapist, with a view to having a staged opening of the new rehabilitation service as soon as the position has been recruited and filled,” Ms Symes said.
“The service is anticipated to provide rehabilitation for a range of patients from the Clarence Valley, such as total joint replacements, stroke, major fractures and other illnesses.”

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