Building works will start this week in the Wimmera Health Care Group emergency department to increase the number of treatment bays and include a behavioural assessment room.

Emergency department acting nurse unit manager Verity Drysdale said the works, expected to commence on March 15, would also include improvements to the triage area, where patients are assessed on the urgency of their condition.

“The inclusion of the behavioural assessment room will improve safety within the department immensely for staff and patients,” Ms Drysdale said.

“The room will be used for patients that present a safety risk to themselves, staff or other patients.

“Unfortunately, in these times, with the rise of presentations in mental health and drug and alcohol affected people, a room like this has become a necessity.”

The State Government has provided funding for the emergency department works which are expected to last between eight and 10 weeks.

Ms Drysdale said staff acknowledged the works would be an inconvenience to patients but assures the community the end result would be worth it.

“We are expecting there will be some delays and there will also be noise from power tools and other equipment,” she said.

“We do apologise for any inconvenience but we are confident these works will greatly improve the department.”

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