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  • Boost for spinal unit after concerns about patient care

    Author: AAP

Queensland's only dedicated spinal unit will stay put and receive a funding boost following concerns about patient care and a lack of resources.

The Palaszczuk government is promising $20 million towards "immediate" improvements to the unit at Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital, including more bathrooms, toilets and therapy spaces, and changes to food service.

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Extra nurses and allied health staff have also been employed to ensure spinal unit patients receive "timely and quality care".

The upgrades would provide better care while a new facility was built, the government said, with $5 million already put towards planning a "state of the art" building.

The boost means the troubled unit will not be moved from the Metro South health district to a surgical and rehabilitation building in Metro North, which had been flagged as a possibility.


Thursday's announcement came after former health minister Yvette D'Ath ordered a review in April following claims from former patients at the spinal unit.

Along with allegations of poor care, emergency doctor and former Queenslander of the year Dinesh Palipana called for change in a letter to Ms D'Ath.

He described patients facing delays for beds and staff struggling with a lack of resources.

The former health minister in April ordered an evaluation of Metro North and Metro South and their clinical models.

New Health Minister Shannon Fentiman said the $20 million in upgrades would provide safer and more dignified care as well as "vastly improved patient privacy".

"I know this process has been challenging for many people, particularly the unit's patients and staff, and I appreciate their feedback, patience and resilience," she said in a statement.


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