Singapore, 24 January 2022 – Minister for Health, Mr Ong Ye Kung, officially opened the SingHealth Tower and Outram Community Hospital (OCH) today. Located on the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) Campus with SGH and SingHealth’s national specialty centres, the building houses the Campus’ first community hospital, as well as administrative offices, and key operational and support facilities that facilitate the delivery of care. It has been progressively operational since the last quarter of 2019.
OCH, which is managed by SingHealth Community Hospitals, enables patients who require rehabilitative, sub-acute or palliative care to be seamlessly transferred from an acute care setting to the next step of their recovery journey.
The building houses a Campus Logistics Hub which supports the day-to-day operations of all SingHealth institutions on SGH Campus, as well as other supporting facilities and services such as a central kitchen, Environmental Services, and a Sterile Supplies Unit. Several outpatient clinics are also located there, such as the SGH Rehabilitation Centre, Orthopaedic Sports & Joint Centre and Sleep Centre. Part of the SingHealth HQ sits in the administrative wing of the building along with SGH and OCH staff, bringing the SingHealth family closer together under one roof.
The SingHealth Tower and OCH building is part of the Phase 1 redevelopment of the 20-year SGH Campus Masterplan, and a key pillar in SingHealth’s commitment to delivering a seamless continuum of care to patients and meeting our population’s healthcare needs.
"At SingHealth, we have the capabilities to look after the most complex conditions, integrate care for patients as they move from one setting to the next, and journey with them every step of the way. Our community hospitals play a crucial role in this, as they help patients transit from an acute care setting to rehabilitate and recover so that they can return home and back to the community. The opening of the SingHealth Tower and Outram Community Hospital heralds the start of a new chapter where we evolve in terms of healthcare infrastructure, keep pace with the way we provide care across the entire continuum, and establish the processes and physical support framework that will enable this transformation," said Prof Ivy Ng, Group CEO, SingHealth.
The building is also one of two winners of the Building and Construction Authority’s (BCA) Universal Design Mark Awards 2021, under the highest-tiered Platinum category which recognises the building’s remarkable development to incorporate user-friendly features. (Refer to Annex A for details of the building.)
Dedicated, seamless and holistic care
OCH, one of three Community Hospitals managed by SingHealth Community Hospitals (SCH), provides continuing inpatient medical care for patients who require a longer period of recovery after receiving treatment at the acute hospital, and inpatient rehabilitation care to help patients reintegrate back home and in the community, as well as palliative care. This continuation of care offers patients an environment well-suited to their needs and focuses on their wellbeing and health goals.
"Since opening our doors in end 2019, our teams have been collaborating closely with the institutions on SGH Campus to ensure a seamless transfer of patients to our community hospital. This has resulted in shorter waiting times for patient transfers, patients being able to start their rehabilitation journey earlier in a less clinical environment and an overall shorter length of hospital stay for patients. We have also formed new partnerships with institutions on SGH campus to expand the pool of patients who can receive care at our hospital, and to free up bed capacity at SGH for patients who require more intensive care. I am proud of the team’s undeterred efforts to continuously strive for better outcomes for our patients even in the midst of coping with and adapting to the evolving pandemic situation," said Ms Margaret Lee, CEO of SCH.
OCH also provides dedicated care for palliative and dementia patients to ensure that they receive quality and dignified care. By housing patients of similar conditions together in the same ward, the healthcare teams can focus on the care for these specific groups of patients and cater to their needs.
As part of its continuing efforts to bridge care into the community, SCH works closely with community partners to bring new initiatives and programmes into OCH to enhance patients’ psychosocial wellbeing as part of the Hospital’s holistic care approach. Being part of the SCH umbrella also means that the Hospital gets to leverage on existing partnerships and pilot programmes in the other two community hospitals, such as Social Prescribing, and the Reminiscence Therapy programme with the National Heritage Board to benefit patients. (Refer to Annex B for more details of these initiatives and partnerships.)
The SCH Social Prescribing programme, which won the Social Prescribing Network Awards in March 2021, allows patients to live well, be more independent and socially connected. Social prescribing enables healthcare professionals to refer patients to a Wellbeing Coordinator (WBC), who will co-design a non-clinical social prescription to improve their health and wellbeing. This involves having close conversations with patients to understand them as individuals before coming up with feasible suggestions that meet their needs and preferences. WBCs also link patients to community resources to meet patients’ healthcare and social needs.
With these initiatives and partnerships in place, SCH provides a holistic patient journey that starts from a patient’s transfer from an acute setting, and continues through a comprehensive and person-based rehabilitation, before patients return home with a solid community-aided discharge home.