The process for selecting new furniture and equipment to fill an entire hospital is not a simple task! The project’s Furniture, Fixtures & Equipment (also known as FF&E) team are responsible for testing, selecting, documenting and ordering everything from office desks for staff, to lounge furniture for visitors and patients.

Clinical and non-clinical staff have been sampling and selecting new furniture for the Prince of Wales Hospital Acute Services Building as part of a comprehensive procurement process. An integral step in the decision-making process is engaging consumers to provide that essential patient and visitor perspective.

Local resident, Joy Wilson, is a member of the redevelopment Consumer & Community Advisory Committee and a participant on one of the FF&E selection committees. Joy, along with fellow consumer and husband Bob Wilson, visited a furniture showroom in Regents Park with members of the project team to test out furniture for the new Acute Aged Care Extension outdoor terrace.

Chairs and tables were tested for appropriate seat height and sturdiness and used in a range of scenarios including alongside a picnic table.

Joy explained that the key things to look out for when selecting furniture for aged care patients included taking into account wheelchair access to tables as well as the height of the chairs, to ensure patients are able to get in and out of them with ease.

“The visit enabled us to identify that the table and chair heights didn’t match up, which will now be addressed with the manufacturer. It was great to be able to test and workshop the furniture selection from the perspective of a potential patient or visitor,” said Joy.

In the meantime, consumer representatives, Jenny Horder and Gail Parsonage participated in the selection of some of the general furniture that will be purchased for the hospital, including tables, office chairs, café chairs and the all-purpose, visitor chair.

“It was a really interesting and productive meeting. I feel confident knowing the project have not underestimated the importance of having comfortable chairs in hospitals! The all-purpose chair that was selected on the day was chosen based on comfort and practicality,” said Gail.

Did you know? There are more than 2,000 chairs being purchased for the new hospital alone!

Visit the project page to learn more about the Acute Services Building.