Cardiac Catheter Laboratory & Dialysis Unit

Middlemore Hospital
  • CMDHB / Te Whatu Ora
  • Auckland – Northland

RCP helped to deliver an upgraded high-dependency dialysis unit and a new cardiac catheter laboratory for Middlemore Hospital. It is having a significant impact on the lives of more than 100 seriously unwell people each week. 

The project features a two-level addition to the existing Scott building and includes a reinforced concrete slab-on-grade steel structure with precast concrete panels. The building footprint has also been extended to provide additional space to the existing dialysis unit. 

It was an ambitious project, not least because construction was rolled out inside a live hospital and required integration with the existing facilities. RCP provided a ‘bridge’ between the contractor’s programme and the hospital’s clinical requirements. It also provided significant input to staging and sequencing the works – more than 20 stages were coordinated within the hospital environment. 

Then the pandemic hit. The team had to maintain the programme amid COVID restrictions. It meant that the sequencing and staging had to be recalibrated daily to meet the demands of isolation rooms and COVID-positive patients. 

A scheduled shutdown of the catheter lab over the quiet summer months was thwarted by COVID. The plan was to outsource patient care to other Auckland hospitals using the ambulance service. That became impossible when demand at other hospitals soared and ambulance crews’ capacity took a dive with staff having to isolate. 

Just four weeks out from the scheduled shutdown, RCP devised a new strategy. It created a temporary nurses’ station in the atrium outside the ward and punched a hole directly into the catheter theatre. Hospital staff were able to continue performing the list operations, despite having no access to their pre- and post-ward areas or their staff bay. RCP’s out-of-the-box thinking meant the Hospital only lost three weeks instead of three months. Its thinking prevented substantial time delays and cost overruns. 

The cardiac catheter theatre and dialysis unit extension was a great success. It opened on time and on budget, and provides a beautiful, spacious treatment area for the community.