Commissioning of the New Perth Children’s Hospital – The Plan

Catherine Jones1

1Women’s and Newborn Health Service, King Edward Memorial Hospital, 374 Bagot Road Subiaco Western Australia 6008


In October 2015, a designated Infection Prevention and Management Senior Project Officer was employed, as part of the Operational Readiness Team, to assist with the Commissioning and Transition of Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) to the new Perth Children’s Hospital (PCH).

PCH is a 298 bed tertiary healthcare facility with 75% single rooms, 31 isolation rooms, a 10 bed high dependency unit, and 12 operating theatres including an intraoperative MRI and 2 interventional operating theatres.

The planning objective initially was to focus on review of the design floor plans, including an on-site visit, to ensure compliance with the Australasian Healthcare Facility guidelines and Australian Standards.

A commissioning and transition plan for Infection Prevention was developed and implemented which included securing a suitable vendor for the clinical clean of PCH, microbiological air sampling of HEPA filters in high risk areas, transfer and commissioning of existing and new equipment, service and functional unit readiness prior to opening.

The initial commissioning period was to be implemented over 20 weeks commencing at Practical Completion (PC). During this time there were many Infection Prevention and Management challenges to overcome when commissioning clinical areas within a building site.

A phased opening of clinical areas commenced with outpatients, followed by day surgery, with final move day in June 2018. Overall the project had many challenges, however the most difficult challenge was that the project had commenced and already into its 5th year of development. My take home message is that it is crucial that a designated Infection Prevention and Management Project officer be included from conception of ideas for a new build of a healthcare facility.

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