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Rehab unit slow off the mark

Friday, 22nd March, 2013

By Erica Visser

The Health Service has not given an opening date for its planned Sub-Acute Rehabilitation Unit, however it said delays were not the result of funding problems.

The 10-bed unit, which is being built next to the Broken Hill Hospital, was expected to open last month but the building is still under construction.

A spokesman for the Health Service could not say when the unit would be opened, but apologised to newly-hired staff who had start dates pushed back indefinitely.

The spokesman said that the development, which would help rehabilitate people who had suffered from a major illness or injury, was in its "final stages".

"The result of some earlier delays has required the Health Service to shift employment start dates back to ensure staff are employed at a time that corresponds to the building availability," he said.

"The Health Service regrets any inconvenience this delay may have caused.

"Some positions have been filled early in order to provide a rehabilitation service in the community prior to the unit opening.

"Some positions for employment in the unit have been advertised and have been interviewed, including the Patient Services Assistants and the Speech
Pathologist.

"These positions are going through normal HR (Human Resources) processes of background and health checks and letters of offer will be issued once these have been completed.

"There have been no employment offers withdrawn."

While some people have received offers of employment, the spokesman said that there were still a number of positions yet to be advertised.

"A number of positions still need to be filled, including nursing and clerical staff," he said.

"This is expected to begin in April once the building has been completed and accepted by the Health Service.

"The Health Service is eager to open the new service. This will be a specialty rehabilitation service.

"Patients will be treated for conditions such as stroke and recovery or joint replacement in the unit."

The construction of the multi-million unit began at the same time as work on the Broken Hill Mental Health Unit, which was opened over a month ago.

Both ventures were funded by the NSW Health and the Commonwealth Government under the COAG (Council of Australian Governments) Sub-Acute Beds Program.

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