The executives of Counties Manukau Health recently held a meeting to discuss the fate of Middlemore Hospital’s maternity unit.

Vui Mark Gosche, who took over as a Board Chair only short while ago, had toured the facilities, including the neglected Galbraith building, and examined the plans for the future development. He also held a meeting with some members of the executive and facilities teams in preparation for the board meeting.

The dreadful conditions of the Middlemore Hospital recently came to light, including toxic mould and raw sewage leaks, and Galbraith building, which houses the hospital’s maternity, birthing, gynaecology, radiology, day procedures and infusion service units – was highlighted as being the highest concern.

Counties Manukau Health’s 2017 Facilities Remediation Programme Strategic Assessment outlined a range of issues across Middlemore Hospital, including the Galbraith building’s seismic vulnerability that could potentially impact the fate of the service.

“The Galbraith building has known seismic, asbestos, weather tightness, and critical site infrastructure issues requiring remediation to enable such use,” the report stated.  However, there are “insufficient physical relocation options” available, hence the remediation would cause major disruption to the hospital’s day to day operations and services.  Galbraith was one of seven buildings “known or highly suspected” to have seismic compliance issues. It should be noted however that the risk of a catastrophic seismic event affecting the area where Middlemore is situated is very low.

The board would be advised in a couple of weeks as to which extent Galbraith should continue to be occupied in the short and medium term and what are the possible alternative buildings for the hospital.