OUTRAM COMMUNITY HOSPITAL OPENS ITS DOORS ON SGH CAMPUS
Patients in need of inpatient rehabilitation and continuing inpatient medical care following the acute phase of illness will now have an alternative closer to home, especially for those living around the Bukit Merah area and Central Region of Singapore.
Opening progressively since 18 November 2019, the new Outram Community Hospital (OCH) focuses on supporting patients who require an extended period of inpatient care, such as rehabilitation, typically after treatment at an acute hospital. With our nation's rapidly ageing population and prevalence of chronic diseases, the number of such patients is expected to rise in the next decade.
To mark the Hospital's start of operations, a Community Health Day event was held on 7 December 2019 with Mr Edwin Tong, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Law as the Guest-of-Honour.
The new Hospital will ramp up its capacity progressively based on demand in the coming years. OCH will add a total of over 540 beds to the healthcare system when fully opened.
OCH is located next to an acute hospital – Singapore General Hospital (SGH) – to better support patients' care transition. Being sited within the SGH Campus will allow clinical teams from OCH to work closely with SGH and the National Specialty Centres for a smoother transition for patients from one care setting to another. A link bridge connecting SGH to OCH helps with the physical transition, making it more convenient to carry out inpatient transfers.
Although a majority of the patients will come from SGH, OCH will also accept patients from other acute hospitals. Moving less-acute patients and patients requiring longer period of rehab to the community hospital will allow patients to be cared for in a conducive environment best suited for their recovery.
"With the close proximity to SGH, our care team has the advantage of meeting with incoming patients first at the SGH wards and familiarise with their conditions. This lets us plan their care plans early for a seamless transition and a quicker recovery. Once they are at OCH, patients will undergo therapy at our rehab facilities and take part in a variety of activities, all of which have been designed to help patients adapt back to life in the community faster. If required, doctors from SGH can also review their patients admitted in OCH to ensure seamless care. We also want to ensure that support is available for our patients after discharge. To do this, we work with partners in the community care setting, some of which are given space within OCH so that their assistance can come in even earlier," shared Ms Margaret Lee, Chief Executive Officer of SingHealth Community Hospitals (SCH).
OCH is the third addition to SCH and its care model focuses on optimising patients' recovery to help them re-integrate back home and into the community.
Rehabilitation In Every Space
Spaces within OCH are designed with rehabilitation in mind, to prepare patients to return to community.
Each ward in OCH has an activity room and a patient lounge to encourage patients to be out of their beds and move about as they would back at home. Patients and caregivers can use these spaces to engage in activities organised by the hospital, take part in communal dining or enjoy their own quiet time.
A rooftop garden with built-in rehabilitation facilities teaches patients how to manoeuvre in and out of public transport on a wheelchair, as well as navigate different terrains like stairs, slopes, sand and rocky paths.
For indoor activities, patients can access the Hospital's Activities of Daily Living Rooms, which simulate the physical setting of a typical HDB studio apartment. Under the guidance of a therapist, patients can practise performing daily activities such as getting out of bed, cooking or hanging laundry.
To allow more patients to benefit from its services, SCH will continue its outreach to more community providers while engaging the SingHealth's network of care partners.
Connectivity and Convenience
OCH is easily accessible via public transport, given its proximity to Outram Park MRT station and the Kampong Bahru Bus Terminal. Over the past few years, SGH has worked on revising shuttle bus routes and road networks on the SGH Campus, improving pedestrian accessibility and increasing connectivity between facilities for the convenience of patients and visitors. Additional car parking lots are also available at the new building.