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New Transit Lounge now open
Health Waikato's new Transit Lounge opened today (Monday) to provide a peaceful place for discharged patients who need somewhere to wait before going home.
The facility at Waikato Hospital is staffed by registered nurses who will provide care for any patient being transferred to another hospital, waiting on a prescription or simply waiting for a ride home by a family member, or by taxi or bus.
Day procedure patients who need minding before being picked up can also use the Transit Lounge.
Building Programme project facilitator Jenni Yeates said the Transit Lounge staff are excited about the opening.
"It's not very often that staff get to work in a brand new and purpose built facility so they are all very excited about getting it up and running successfully.
"The lounge will free up beds in the wards, speed up the discharge process and provide a pleasant waiting area with basic nursing skills," she said.
The Transit Lounge can hold up to 29 patients at one time. They will be offered tea or coffee while they wait and there is a separate room with two beds for more unwell patients to wait in.
Ms Yeates said the lounge will be particularly valuable for patients who live rurally and have to travel long distances to get home.
"They'll be able to come to the Transit Lounge after they have been discharged and relax for a while before they are picked up by friends or family," she said.
The facility also has access to its own ambulance bay, where all non-urgent hospital patient transfers will arrive and depart from taking them away from the busy emergency department.
The Transit Lounge is located along side the new multilevel carparking building and directly above the new main entrance to the hospital. Elevators also link patients and visitors through to the well known red corridor of the hospital.
A drop off zone is located outside the buildings and later in the year, buses will drive through the hospital's campus and stop outside the new entrance too.
Currently the carparking building is open for limited use, mainly by hospital staff, but it is expected to be fully operational and available for use by the public in early February along with the new main entrance.
A short ceremony was held this morning by the hospital chaplains to bless the new buildings for use.
Construction on the new buildings began in 2006 and an official opening for the new buildings will be held later in the year.
Waikato Hospital is holding a Summer Celebration on 9 February (10am-1pm) to showcase the new buildings. A fun filled day with entertainment and hospital innovations has been planned to celebrate the completion of the new buildings and thank the public for their cooperation and understanding during construction.