Mercy Hospital's New Intensive Care Unit

On July 15th 2022, Mercy Hospital celebrated the opening of its new state-of-the-art ICU.

This impressive new structure has a three-bed capacity, and will also double as a High Dependency Unit (HDU). This addition to Mercy Hospital’s infrastructure is one of many stepped developments in its strategic plan to provide exceptional care that makes a difference to the Otago and Southland communities.

Board Chairperson Lauren Semple cutting the ribbon at the opening ceremony — Image by: Thirza Smith

The new ICU has been purpose-built following a growing demand for ICU and HDU facilities. This is due to the increasing complexity of cardiac and neurological surgeries being performed, along with the increasing range of comorbidities or existing conditions in patients who are having lower risk surgeries. With the trend of increasing patient complexity and comorbidity in healthcare, being responsive to the changing needs of patients on the ward will be a game-changer for Mercy. The new purpose-built, spacious three-bed ICU/HDU is situated within McAuley Ward on the first floor, allowing for staff synergies and development opportunities by creating an environment where staff who are usually looking after ward-level patients, can increase their exposure to higher acuity patients. This will in turn support increasing knowledge and expertise, further enhancing Mercy Hospital’s exceptional patient care.

A closer look at one of three new ICU bed set-ups. — Image by: Thirza Smith


The opening of the intensive care unit coincided with the celebration of the hospital’s newest ward’s one year anniversary. Callaghan Ward was opened on 17th July 2021, and has since ensured that Mercy is able to support both its patient cohort and SDHB in providing beds and nursing care for patients post-operatively, allowing for patients who would have otherwise seen their surgery cancelled. To round off the weekend’s celebrations, today - July 16th - marks Founders Day at Mercy Hospital. This is a celebration of the anniversary of the first patient being admitted to Mercy Hospital (formerly Mater Miscordiae Hospital) in 1936. Each year on Founders Day, Sisters of Mercy and the Board Chair are invited to join staff at the hospital for its Long Service Awards ceremony, recognizing our staff’s commitment to Mercy and the patients served over the years.

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