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Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

The Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (abbreviated RPAH or RPA, and sometimes shortened to PA Hospital) is a major public teaching hospital in Sydney, Australia, located on Missenden Road in Camperdown. It is a teaching hospital of the Central Clinical School of the University of Sydney and is situated in proximity to the Blackburn Building of the university's main campus, one of the buildings that house the Faculty of Medicine. RPAH is the largest hospital in the Sydney South West Area Health Service, with approximately 700 beds (circa 2005). Following a $350 million redevelopment, the perinatal hospital King George V Memorial Hospital has been incorporated into it.

An Australian reality television show, RPA, is filmed there and depicts the everyday workings of a major metropolitan hospital.

History

Royal Prince Alfred is one of the oldest hospitals in NSW. The funds were raised by public subscription. This was in an effort to make a monument to commemorate the assassination attempt on Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh by Henry James O'Farrell.

Teaching

It was only two years after its establishment in 1882 that the hospital accepted its first medical students from the Medical School of the University of Sydney. Since then, the hospital has benefited from this close relationship at the teaching, research and clinical levels.

At the 2008 FRACP clinical examination, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Network enjoyed a near perfect result, passing many Basic Physician Trainees who will go onto advanced training.

Clinical services

RPA's staff of over 4,000 provides the largest number of in-patient treatments in the state, almost 500,000 out-patient treatments, 45,000 adult and paediatric emergency department patients and delivers 4,000 babies each year. With around 50 percent of all admissions being district services, RPA treats more public patients than any other hospital in the state.

Within RPA itself, four clinical sections provide specialty clinical services: Division of Medicine, Division of Surgery, Division of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Division of Diagnostic Service. In addition, a range of Allied Health services are also provided, including clinical psychology, psychiatry, health promotion, nutrition and dietetics, orthotics, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, podiatry, speech pathology, social work and volunteer service.

New facilities

RPA has undertaken an extensive program of refurbishment and construction. Public spaces including gardens for patients have been renovated; views of the city, hospital gardens and the University of Sydney. New facilities include the Hot floor, a purpose-built nucleus of critical care services designed to improve patient care and clinical outcomes. It brings together operating theatres; intensive care; high dependency units; cardiac intensive care; neuro intensive care; day-stay centre and neonatal intensive care.

Sydney Cancer Centre - The only ambulatory care centre of its type in Australia, combining diagnostic, consultative and follow-up services.

Obstetric and gynaecological services - A birthing unit with nine delivery rooms, three home-like birthing rooms and 32 neonatal cots.

Diagnostic services - Facilities include positron emission tomography; X-ray/digital scanner rooms; computerised axial tomography scanners; ultrasound room; magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); and angiography rooms.

Institute of Rheumatology and Orthopaedics - 60 bed unit covering diagnosis; surgery; medical treatment unit; rehabilitation; allied health services and hydrotherapy pool.

Day-surgery centre - 38 bed centre containing separate admissions station, operating theatres and recovery area in a calming environment.

Sydney South West Pathology Service - Eastern Zone - Laboratory services in diganostic pathology including the NSW porphyrin reference unit. Also known as the Central Sydney Laboratory Service

Research

The RPA campus is also home to the largest volume of medical research undertaken within NSW. Throughout its history, clinicians at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital have been responsible for many innovations in clinical care, diagnosis and treatment, not only within Australia, but also at an international level. This is reflected in the regular publication of original articles and editorial comments by hospital staff in such medical journals as The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine. This reputation for excellence means it has the highest percentage of surgical admissions amongst NSW principal referral hospitals.

RPA is home to more research institutes and specialist units than any other public hospital in Australia, including:

  • Melanoma Unit - the largest in the world
  • '''National Liver Transplant Unit
  • Haemophilia Centre - Australia's first major centre in this area
  • Sleep Disorders Unit - an Australian first, the unit developed the revolutionary CPAP machine for sleep apnoea sufferers, and pioneered non-invasive ventilation treatment for respiratory failure.
  • Sydney Cancer Centre - Australia's largest and most comprehensive cancer treatment centre
  • Positron Emission Tomography Camera
  • Heart Research Institute
  • National Medical Cyclotron
  • National Poisons Register
  • Sydney Breast Cancer Institute - pioneered breast-sparing surgery in NSW
  • Woolcock Institute - Australia's only centre devoted to respiratory diseases and the leading partner in the national Cooperative Research Centre's asthma study.

The hospital also sponsors a number of institutes at the University of Sydney, including the Heart Research Institute; Centenary Institute for Cancer Medicine and Cell Biology; Kanematsu Laboratories; General Endocrinology Group and Institute of Respiratory Medicine.

References

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