Design Engine Architects Ltd.

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Tokoroa Hospital



To breath "New Life" into a 1970's Ward Block in Tokoroa Hospital. A New Medical Centre bringing together 3 GP Practices from Tokoroa under 1 roof with 16 Consulting Rooms, Treatment Room "Mini Emergency Department" in Tokoroa Hospital, integrating the Pinnacle/Midlands New Primary Healthcare Model of Care with Generic Consulting Rooms, Offstage Areas, Patient Portal, Standardisation and Lean Thinking.
The Concept will be seen by the Landlord WDHB Waikato District Health Board, as a Pioneering Project or Testcase for future similar Regional Hospitals. We are also currently working on a similar concept for Te Kuiti Hospital to re-design Te Kuiti Medical Centre for WDHB.


The Design maximizes the use of natural light integrating the old 1970's clerestory windows for the Offstage Offices. The existing roof trusses have been accentuated and articulated with the strong use of colour. A New Entry Canopy with a battered steel structure announces the New Entrance providing a visual accent and utilitarian pedestrian covered Entry. The New Medical Centre combines with an existing Dental Care Childrens Unit as well as a New Pharmacy and 4th GP Practice in Ward 4 Conversion including Phlebotomy, District Nursing, Ante-Natal and Physiotherapy.
The Architect has worked closely with a local Maori Artist for the Cultural Tribal Themeing and Vinyl Skinning to the Feature Wall in Reception and Offstage Glass Offices. The New Medical Centre is getting 70 to 100 Patient visits per day which has exceeded expectations.

The Building was opened by the Health Minister Tony Ryall and WDHB Members Bob Symcock, Pippa Mahood and Martin Gallagher. Pinnacle/MHN Chief Executive John Macaskill-Smith was the guide for the opening.


Waikato Times by Nicola Brennan-Tupara 28.08.2012


Tokoroa Hospital is about to get a much needed facelift thanks to the sign-off of a $1.9 million capital investment. The Waikato District Health Board (DHB) this week signed off the investment which will see several primary health services relocate to the hospital's grounds to be a one stop shop. It'll see wards 3 and 4 - handed over for use by non government organisation providers - with Ward 3 being leased by Tokoroa Primary Care, Medicentre and Caldwell and Simpson medical centres. The amalgamated community pharmacy and blood collection service will move from town to the current physiotherapy area, while services in that area will be shifted to ward 4. Waikato DHB chief executive Craig Climo said the project bought together a number of primary and secondary providers in one location and would provide opportunities to work more closely together. In time he hoped some of the town's lead maternity care givers would also shift from the centre of town to the hospital. He said there was also ''good interest'' from other health and social services thinking of moving into ward 4, including a fourth GP practice supported by National Hauora Coalition; podiatry, and providers from the Maori and Pacific communities. The DHB had also been in talks with St John. Mr Climo said construction impacts on the wider hospital, which was built in 1969, would be kept to minimum. However, people would see and hear work going on. It is hoped most of the work will be finished and ready for use by October. Board member Dr Clyde Wade, who for many years was clinical unit leader for rural services, said the decision was a great step for Tokoroa. ''I started down this track exactly 20 years ago, July 1993,'' he said. ''I spent a lot of time and energy banging heads and trying to get something happening in Tokoroa and nothing happened in the end.''He said it had been the ''right thing to do '' for a very long time and hoped it would help attract clinical staff to Tokoroa.

Board member Martin Gallagher asked about what would happen with other surplus buildings and land on the 27 acre campus, but Mr Climo said it was too early to know. He said there was a ''great excess'' of land, but it was of low value given the property market in Tokoroa. So at this stage they were solely focused on the co-location of services and hopefully in time integration. The $1.9 million investment must now been signed off by the minister. Tokoroa Mayor Neil Sinclair told the Times last year that the council had advocated for an integrated centralised healthcare facility in Tokoroa for years.

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''It is great to see that it is now happening. This move alleviates the concerns we have had around the sustainability of general practices in Tokoroa and removes the threat of the hospital being closed, which has been a major concern for our residents.''

Waikato Times by Nicola Brennan-Tupara 28.08.2012


Three Tokoroa medical centres are moving into Tokoroa Hospital next year to improve healthcare in one of Waikato's poorest health regions. Tokoroa Primary Care, Medicentre and Caldwell and Simpson's will move into the hospital early next year, alleviating residents' concerns that the hospital's future might be in jeopardy. Midlands Health Network chief executive John Macaskill-Smith said the co-location would be the first positive step in making sure patients received good quality healthcare services, now and in the future. He said it was of huge collective concern that the health of those in Tokoroa was the worst in the Waikato DHB district - with residents not living as long as New Zealanders on average. "There is no excuse for this when you look at the total amount of funding and resources available for the community." Further complicating things was an ageing workforce, ageing population, and ongoing difficulties in recruiting doctors to the region. It was hoped the new facility would attract future staff. Medicentre GP Dr Ralph Wiles, who has worked in Tokoroa for over 30 years, said Tokoroa was a fascinating place to practise medicine, but they didn't have the facilities to take on many undergraduate or post-graduate registrars. "Currently we are stretched for room," he said. Dr Wiles said the way to attract staff was to have a centre that showcased the interesting patients in Tokoroa, while also providing good educational opportunities for medical staff to grow their skills. He hoped if graduates came and had a good time, they'd be more likely to come back and take up a vacant position. So the new facility would help with sustained recruitment, he said. It might also help reduce what he said was Tokoroa's biggest health issue - obesity. "Having a facility that enables a more sophisticated health service to be offered will help deal with some of the issues [around obesity]." Mr Macaskill-Smith said they couldn't keep doing things the same old way and had to change now to build a sustainable health system. "Although we are not asking the hospital staff and local GPs to integrate with each other, this will create future opportunities to integrate between primary and secondary care, to share resources where suitable and streamline referral processes for patients." Tokoroa Mayor Neil Sinclair said the council had advocated for an integrated centralised healthcare facility in Tokoroa for years. "It is great to see that it is now happening. This move alleviates the concerns we have had around the sustainability of general practices in Tokoroa and removes the threat of the hospital being closed, which has been a major concern for our residents."

Compiled by: MARK WASSUNG - Registered Architect, Urban Designer & Eco Futurist Member of ANZIA & NZRAB - Managing Director - Design Engine Architects Ltd