New prototype rooms provide a sneak peek into the future of paediatric healthcare in NSW

In a first for NSW, children will soon have access to state-of-the-art positive pressure isolation rooms at Sydney’s chilrden’s hospitals to help keep kids safe by reducing the risk of exposure to viruses and other infections for immune compromised children.

The isolation rooms will be built into the cancer care wards and intensive care units at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick.

These upgrades are another significant step in the NSW Government’s commitment to rebuild essential health services with the September budget including a landmark $3 billion for new and upgraded hospitals across greater Western Sydney.

The positive air pressure is created using a specialised air ventilation system, preventing airflow between the corridor into the patient's bedroom. This offers significant benefits for improved infection control.

The technology significantly reduces the chance of airborne pathogens from the outside environment (such as viruses) reaching immunocompromised patients, such as cancer or transplant patients.

Known as Positive Pressure Ventilation Anterooms (PPVA), the rooms function as a protective shield and will help protect some of the sickest and most vulnerable children.

The Children’s Hospital at Westmead have developed prototypes of the new rooms to enable staff to familiarise themselves with the design and the technology.

These prototype rooms will allow staff to adapt the layout and design of vital spaces before they are built and allow simulation and training in the new and improved working environments.

In another first for paediatric healthcare in NSW, carer zones will also be introduced in intensive care units at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, which will allow parents and carers to remain with children while they are in hospital.

The prototype spaces will ensure The Children’s Hospital at Westmead continues to be a leader in providing care for sick children across NSW.

The isolation rooms are expected to be completed at both hospitals in 2025.

For more information,  see the media release.