Rapid Relief Team delivers $1.5 million for Taranaki hospital ICU upgrade

22 May 2024

A major upgrade of Taranaki Base Hospital will be supported by a $1.5 million donation from the Rapid Relief Team (RRT), which sourced the money through local fundraising.

The donation is a significant contribution towards  the fit out of the Intensive Care Unit in the new East Wing Building currently under construction, which will be officially named the ‘Rapid Relief Team ICU’.

RRT New Zealand Director Cameron Prestidge said the donation to the Taranaki Health Foundation (THF) will help complete the state-of-the-art ICU, which is due to be opened in the third quarter next year.

“This is about helping the Taranaki Health Foundation deliver a cutting-edge hospital that meets the needs of the growing Taranaki region,” Cameron said.

“The support from locals has been incredible, and we are glad we can make a combined, significant contribution to this new ICU.

“When people have an emergency or need help after an operation, this new facility will provide them with the very best care.”

Taranaki Health Foundation’s General Manager, Adrian Sole thanked RRT and local businesses for their support.

“This donation is going to go a long way to making sure we have a hospital that is equipped to meet the community’s current and future care needs,” Adrian said.

“Taranaki needs a state-of-the-art hospital, and it is fitting that the community has rallied together to help make it possible.

“We are very grateful to the Rapid Relief Team and local individuals and businesses who’ve made this substantial donation to improve the future health of our region.”

Health New Zealand / Te Whatu Ora Group Director of Operations in Taranaki, Gillian Campbell, said the upgrade helps us add to our new build giving our staff and communities an outstanding ICU facility for a community the size of Taranaki.

“This funding means we can have an ICU that has separate rooms for each patient, providing the care that everyone in our community deserves,” Gillian said.

“In addition to the ICU, when complete the six-storey building will house a new emergency department, maternity, primary birthing, neonatal unit, radiology, laboratory and a roof-top helipad. It’s also being built to an Importance Level 4 building meaning it will withstand natural disasters like a volcano eruption or major earthquake.”

The announcement comes as RRT volunteers recognise International Nurses Day with lunch provided to Taranaki Base Hospital nurses.

“Nurses are the backbone of our health service, and this lunch is a small way we can show our appreciation for their selfless efforts,” said RRT New Plymouth Local Team Leader Ashley Lawry.

The Rapid Relief Team is the charitable arm of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church.

Established in 2013, the RRT has more than 14,500 volunteers around the world who provide support to the community through charitable donations and events, as well as assisting emergency services in times of disaster and crisis by providing meals and other support.

L-R: Project Maunga Project Director, Jesse Jardine, Health New Zealand Group Director of Operations in Taranaki, Gill Campbell, RRT New Zealand Director Cameron Prestidge, and Taranaki Health Foundation’s General Manager, Adrian Sole.

Last updated: Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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