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Eye and Earís Emergency Department providing reduced services on weekend

October 2, 2014

As part of planned engineering works included in the major redevelopment of The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital (Eye and Ear), the hospital’s steam boiler will be turned off, affecting the hospital’s heating and sterilisers.

From 10pm Friday 3 October until 6am Monday 6 October, the Eye and Ear Emergency Department (ED) will be placed on Ambulance Bypass for ENT admissions. Ophthalmology patients will be reviewed and clinically assessed at the Eye and Ear ED.

The Eye and Ear ED will remain open during the bypass period. Patients who self-present to the Eye and Ear ED will be treated and transferred to St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne if necessary.

Patients are urged only to attend the Eye and Ear’s ED if it is an absolute emergency.

All urgent surgery for Eye and Ear patients will be managed with a full on-call Eye and Ear team at St Vincent’s Hospital in a dedicated Operating Suite. The Eye and Ear staff have been provided with orientation, equipment and resources to support the specialist surgery at St Vincent’s.

St Vincent’s has agreed to provide dedicated inpatient beds for patients who require an admission and Eye and Ear staff will provide all necessary care.

The Eye and Ear is well prepared and has in place detailed plans and agreements with St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne to manage the shutdown in a smooth and efficient manner, so there is minimal impact on patients.

CEO Ann Clark says the hospital’s redevelopment will provide major improvements in emergency, operating theatre and specialist clinics, and the steam shutdown is one of the milestones that must be completed to progress works.

“The steam boiler shutdown will allow the builders to decommission, divert and recommission the hospital’s steam pipes,” she said.

“The hospital is well prepared for the steam shutdown; we have been working closely with St Vincent’s Hospital to ensure our patients receive the highest quality of care.”