The government of Queensland, Australia, has reserved A$20m ($12.8m) for immediate upgrades to the Queensland Spinal Cord Injury Service (QSCIS) at the Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) in Brisbane.

The capital injection will be used to add therapy spaces and develop a new food service model, as well as build new bathrooms and toilets.

Queensland Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman said: “This is another important step towards ensuring that patients with spinal cord injuries are receiving the best care possible here in Queensland.

“The decision follows feedback from hundreds of patients, consumers, family and staff.

“This initial investment of A$20m will mean patients receive the highest quality of care while also remaining close to a broad range of specialist services which are well-established at the PAH.

“Immediate upgrades to the existing building will lead to safer and more dignified care, as well as vastly improved patient privacy.”

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The overhaul is intended to improve care quality while the new building is being developed.

Nurses and allied health staff have been recruited over recent weeks to provide timely and quality care for patients while development is ongoing.

In June this year, the Queensland government earmarked A$5m to work on a business case for planning the new facility.

The funding has meant the hospital’s spinal unit does not need to be moved to Metro North HHS’ Surgical Treatment and Rehabilitation Services facility.

It came shortly after the government granted A$1.17bn in tenders for expansion projects at the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Hospital and Ipswich Hospital.

Earlier this year, former Queensland health minister Yvette D’Ath commissioned an investigation into the spinal injury unit following allegations of poor treatment and resource constraints.

At the time, the relocation of the unit was highlighted as an option.