Wakefield Emergency Centre / Wakefield Hospital

Wakefield private hospital is a long established major private hospital in the city centre, a few blocks from the Royal Adelaide hospital. It is on the SE corner of the main city centre facing the south eastern suburbs and the Adelaide hills. The hospital is comprehensive with CCU, ICU and cardiac surgical units. It was owned by Benchmark Healthcare a for-profit non-listed company. It was purchased by Ramsay Healthcare in 2004 and then by Little Company of Mary in 2006.

Dr Kay had the contract to develop and open the Emergency Centre in September 96. The consulting contract began in December 95 to allow adequate planning. It involved a full development contract starting with design and construction and commissioning of the centre, followed by recruitment and training of all staff. The launch was a soft opening with a restricted marketing program to develop the unit slowly as the hospital was concerned re bed availability.

The other component of the contract was to assist with strategic marketing and medical relationships. This involved writing the original marketing plan for the initial development together with conducting marketing workshops for hospital staff over several years. The hospital expanded rapidly with Emergency Medicine providing almost all of the growth.

It was a major success and had extremely strong Specialist and GP support. The hospital underwent a major expansion program with a new theatre complex and more beds and infrastructure changes. 60 extra beds were built and completed April 2004. The Adelaide market is very competitive with two other private emergency units, one only a couple of blocks away. Both these units have restricted their opening hours and are now open only till mid evening. This left Wakefield as the only 24/7 facility in the city. A new entity SA Emed Pty Ltd took over the complete management of the centre in 2002. SA Emed is 50% owned by Impact Healthcare Pty Ltd.

WEC continued to grow very strongly in double digit growth figures and subsequently outgrew both the facility and the hospital. There were too many admissions for the hospital to handle so between 150 to 200 were transferred out each month as well as the hospital being on ambulance bypass 50% of the time because all beds were full.

It was at this time SA Emed started looking at other options to deal with the never ending growth in emergencies.

In early September 2011 SA Emed sold the business to the Little Company of Mary.