Central Health Alliance opens its doors to Port Stephens residents

Trainee Receptionist Gabby Verschelden, Head Nurse Bec Verschelden, Nurse Dot Poulter, Trainee Receptionist Sam Almond, Dr Paul Burford and Practice Manager Rachel Peake at the opening to the new building.
Trainee Receptionist Gabby Verschelden, Head Nurse Bec Verschelden, Nurse Dot Poulter, Trainee Receptionist Sam Almond, Dr Paul Burford and Practice Manager Rachel Peake at the opening to the new building.

 

AFTER nearly 18 months of working in a cramped demountable building, and four months prior to that of home visits, Central Health Alliance finally has a permanent place to call home.

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With such a big operation to complete to move everyone in seamlessly and without disruption to patients, the Central Health Alliance team had a well thought out plan.

During the last week of August, the team began moving the Allied Health facilities into the new Port Stephens Integral Health building.

From there, they slowly started moving non-essential items to the medical building, leaving just the items needed to operate, before the big move last Saturday could take place.

Practice Manager Rachel Peake told News Of The Area, “We had members of the community help in so many ways, it was wonderful to see.”

“We had people helping dismantle the wheelchair ramp, people brought trailers and trucks, and plenty of hands and man power to do the heavy lifting.”

“We even had patients dropping food and nibbles for us all and the people who helped out,” she said.

With all the help from the community, the team were able to make the move in just a few hours.

They then had the task of setting the entire surgery up in time to reopen in the new premises, ready for operation on Monday morning.

Rachel said, “We had more amazing people helping on the Sunday getting everything organised and all the fixtures up on the walls.”

“It was such a massive ordeal and we could not have done it without the amazing friends and patients that helped make it happen.”

The surgery is still a work in progress, but the team are glad they are able to still offer all the services they had in the previous building such as Physio, Psychology, Speech Therapy, Dietician, and Occupational Therapy.

They are also still in talks to acquire even more services and specialists.

There will soon also be a café open in the centre, as well as talks with Imaging companies Lakes Mobile Ultrasound and Compass Mobile Xray.

Dr Paul Burford told News Of The Area, “I am really looking forward to what the future holds for Central Health Alliance.”

“It has been a lot of hard work, but the community response has affirmed that we are headed in the right direction.”

“All along our goal has been to bring quality healthcare to our community,” he said.

 

By Rachael VAUGHAN

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