Parramatta Hospitals - Westmead Centre

From Faculty of Medicine Online Museum and Archive

Jump to: navigation, search

J. Dowsett

The Westmead Centre of the Parramatta Hospitals is the most recent addition to the teaching hospitals of the University of Sydney. It is the first hospital to be built as a teaching hospital in New South Wales since Prince Alfred Hospital almost a century ago. The University has been closely associated with the planning and development of the hospital, with the late Professors John Read and Sir John Loewenthal playing important roles, and is well represented on the Hospital Board.

The Hospital, which opened in November 1978, is one of the largest medical centres in Australia. It provides clinical schools for both medical and dental students. The West Metropolitan Group School of Nursing is also based at Westmead and, in addition, the Centre provides clinical training for students from the Cumberland College of Health Sciences.

The Westmead Centre complex serves the Western Metropolitan Health Region of Sydney, which has a population of 1.3 million. The Centre provides a comprehensive health care service to this large and fast-growing area: general medicine and surgery and related specialties; obstetrics and gynaecology; paediatrics; special baby care; intensive care; acute psychiatry. It also has a unit for emotionally disturbed children and adolescents. Westmead functions not only as a district hospital, but also as a major referral centre for the region, with a full range of diagnostic and therapeutic services, including a large radiotherapy department. In addition there are accident and emergency services, full outpatient facilities, and a geriatric unit providing both inpatient and day care. The Dental clinical school — a large dental unit providing general and specialist dental health care — takes both undergraduate and postgraduate students from the Faculty of Dentistry. The Parramatta Centre (formerly the Parramatta Hospital), which is situated nearby, provides facilities for rehabilitation and for patients requiring longer periods of care.

Professors of Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Paediatrics, and Geriatric and Community Medicine based at the Westmead Centre have been appointed, together with Senior Lecturers in each of these disciplines. The Director of Dental Services of the Hospital is also Professor of Dentistry. In addition, there is a large number of part-time clinical Lecturers based at the Centre. The Senate has conferred the title of Clinical Professor on the Directors of Radiotherapy, of the Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research, and of Psychiatry at the Hospital.

The New South Wales Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research was relocated from its former site at Lidcombe Hospital and has been re-established as part of the Westmead Centre complex providing pathology services to the Hospital as well as continuing its services to New South Wales and beyond. The transfer of the library of the N.S.W. Branch of the Australian Medical Association to become the nucleus for the Westmead Centre-A.M.A. Library has formed the basis for a comprehensive library in the health sciences.

A wide range of clinically based research projects is in progress, embracing laboratory research, experimental surgery and community-based problems. A modern audio-visual department provides a back-up for extensive undergraduate and postgraduate teaching programmes as well as for the education of patients and for health promotion. By the end of 1983 the full complement of 1,100 beds will have been commissioned.