St John Narrogin champions new transfer base for the flying doctor

Emma TaylorNarrogin Observer
Vice Chair of the Narrogin sub-centre Trish Moulton, Project Manager Grant Hansen, Tanya Hansen and Andrea Waters at the old transfer facility
Camera IconVice Chair of the Narrogin sub-centre Trish Moulton, Project Manager Grant Hansen, Tanya Hansen and Andrea Waters at the old transfer facility Credit: Picture: Emma Taylor

St John’s Narrogin sub-centre has received planning approval from the Shire of Narrogin to go ahead with the construction of a new patient transfer facility for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Over many years, St John has used a section of the Narrogin Flying Club building for RFDS transfers so patients can be flown to Perth for specialist treatment.

The project will be fully funded and managed by St John Narrogin.

Project manager and St John volunteer Grant Hansen said it was well overdue.

“The existing building is too small to ft the ambulance in and unload the stretcher properly,” he said.

“It’s open to the weather — which in Narrogin goes from one extreme to the other — and there's a lack of privacy.

Vice Chair of the Narrogin sub-centre Trish Moulton, Project Manager Grant Hansen, Tanya Hansen and Andrea Waters at the site of the new transfer facility
Camera IconVice Chair of the Narrogin sub-centre Trish Moulton, Project Manager Grant Hansen, Tanya Hansen and Andrea Waters at the site of the new transfer facility

“We also can’t fit a stretcher with an IV drip under the doorway, so we have to take it off while getting the patient in and out which is certainly not ideal.”

Poor lighting is also an issue, with Mr Hansen describing instances when volunteers have held torches for doctors as they work on patients.

“The new building will have an air-conditioned room where we can help stabilise the patient, as well as provide cover for two ambulances instead of one, to accommodate for double fly-outs which happen regularly,” he said.

Mr Hansen said the transfer facility was a busy building, transferring about 280 seriously ill patients every year.

“It’s done its job for a long time but times have changed and we have a lot more people to deal with now who need a new facility to allow us to improve our services,” he said.

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