Bidwill Trust Hospital undergoing $820,000 worth of construction

Bidwill Trust Hospital manager Val Flynn believed construction at the hospital would be completed by June 2018. An $820,000 revamp of Bidwill Trust Hospital will see its two surgical teams brought on site for patient consultations. The private Timaru hospital will double the size of its lower level area by the time developments in its basement, and an extension out from the basement, are complete. Hospital manager Val Flynn said the construction was funded partially by a donation from the EG and DM Kerr Charitable Trust, and by money the hospital had set aside for the construction.

Last updated 16:42, October 19 2017

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A digital image of what the Bidwill Trust Hospital will look like once construction is completed. SUPPLIED


"It will be great to have the consultants on site," Flynn said. Currently, patients were visiting surgeons for the pre-surgery consultations at different sites. The three surgeons from the South Canterbury Surgeons practice were based in a house on the hospital grounds, while the six surgeons from Aorangi Surgical were based on Dee St.

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Henderson Building foreman Simon Bartlett carrying out construction at the Bidwill Trust Hospital.


The hospital had been wanting to redevelop the basement area for a number of years, but had to wait for the tenants to leave, which they did about a year ago, Flynn said. "It's just come about because it's a natural extension for the hospital services to have consulting rooms on site," she said. "We're re-developing the basement, which was previously tenanted but is now vacant, and we're extending out to the north." The existing basement was about 250 square metres, and by the time construction was complete, there would be about an additional 230 square metres to the building. 

The house South Canterbury Surgeons was using would be demolished, Flynn said. Once construction was finished, there will be three consulting rooms for South Canterbury Surgeons to work from, six consulting rooms for Aorangi Surgical, a procedure room for each practice for minor procedures to be carried out in, as well as staff rooms and amenities. Flynn said construction began in September, and was expected to be completed by June 2018. Flynn said the last time the hospital underwent any re-developments was in 2011 when a new theatre for day surgery was built.

Hospital chair of the board of trustees Mark Hervey said it was an exciting development for Bidwill Hospital. "It will be an investment of over $820,000 in new purpose built professional rooms. The new rooms will be constructed by re-developing existing ground floor space in the hospital and extending the hospital to the north on existing land." The development meant the hospital would be a "one stop shop" for patients, he said.

Hervey said he was delighted and grateful the Trust had made such a substantial donation to the hospital in support of the project. "They have a history of supporting charitable organisation in South Canterbury, and they have a historical relationship with Bidwill, and were very keen to do this." He said the development would have gone ahead at the hospital even if it had not been given the donation, but it had "certainly assisted us in doing what we want to do".

The hospital had been working at plans for the development for three years, Hervey said. "And finally got the consents through and an acceptable build cost." The development was an endorsement for the hospital, which had progressed over the years and was a significant regional private hospital, he said. South Canterbury District Health Board chairman Ron Luxton a health service building should reflect the needs of its patients. "Although the changes at Bidwill Trust Hospital are within the private sector and don't affect public service delivery, we welcome any improvements which ensure a smoother journey for patients in our community."

Tim Austin, from the Kerr Trust, said the Trust was established in 1992. It was the wish of Mrs DM Kerr - known as Peggy - to assist the people of South Canterbury, specifically in relation to poverty, medical assistance, research, and education, Austin said. Peggy's husband EG Kerr and her father Dr WH Unwin, an inaugural surgeon at Bidwill, were both involved with the hospital in different capacities during its early years. "It is with great pleasure that the Kerr Trust is able to contribute to the development of the new consulting rooms at Bidwill Hospital," Austin said.

The Trust had helped many other organisations in South Canterbury with financial support over the past 25 years, he said.

- Stuff