PlusLife, Perth’s bone and tissue bank, has relocated its entire operation to Midland, signalling a new era for the important West Australian health service.
PlusLife managing director Anne Cowie said PlusLife’s bone and tissue processing facility had moved from Hollywood Private Hospital in Nedlands to its new $10 million facility in Midland.
“This is an exciting new chapter for PlusLife,” Mrs Cowie said.
“Our new purpose-built facility includes two tissue processing cleanrooms, freezer storage, a tissue testing laboratory and a dedicated research laboratory. These resources mean we will be able to continue our important work managing bone and tissue donations in WA and we will strive to meet growing demand for our services.”
In 2016, the State Government committed $10 million to build a new workspace for PlusLife.
The new laboratory and processing facility in Midland reached practical completion in October and recently underwent Therapeutic Goods Administration inspections of its retrieval, storage and distribution activities. That licence was issued this week.
PlusLife’s new headquarters is on Yelverton Street, bound by Helena Street and Wallsend Road. The property is owned by the State Government and leased to PlusLife through the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority.
Under the first phase of the relocation, administration staff from PlusLife’s Nedlands office moved to Midland in September last year. Technicians remained at the Nedlands facility to maintain the tissue processing and graft distribution while the new laboratory was under construction.
“I would like to thank our staff for their tireless work this year,” Mrs Cowie said. “Working across two sites has had its challenges. Staff have worked diligently to ensure our service has not been compromised in any way, the facility qualifications have been completed and we have managed a seamless transition of our operations from Nedlands to our advanced new facility in Midland.
“In addition, our builder PS Structures and the entire project team have worked hard to ensure the building was completed on time and on budget,” she said. “From start to finish it took less than 12 months.
“We greatly appreciate the State Government’s commitment of funds to build this facility, which has enabled our life-changing work to continue to help future generations.”
PlusLife bone and tissue transplants are required almost every day to treat patients with spinal deformities, young people with bone cancers (often preventing the amputation of a limb); and many more patients with arthritic joint disease and sporting injuries.
“One deceased tissue donor has the potential to improve the wellbeing, sight and mobility of up to 60 people through the donations of bones, tendons, corneas, heart valves and skin,” Mrs Cowie said.
“These selfless donations can have very real benefits to an individual’s life, but despite this, many people do not realise tissue donation is even possible.
“We are very proud that all our bone and tissue is donated in Australia to benefit Australian patients.”
Last year, PlusLife supplied more than 500 people with bone and tissue transplants.
“We are immensely grateful to our donors and their families. Without their generous gift of donation we could not continue the work that we do,” Mrs Cowie said.
PlusLife has two donor programs. Living patients having hip replacement surgery can donate the ball part of their hip, which is used commonly in a ground-up form for children with spinal deformities. And, like organ donation, bone, tendons and ligaments can be donated after death with consent from next-of-kin.
PlusLife can be contacted on 6144 3500 or 0419 196 815 after hours or email firstname.lastname@example.org To register as a bone, tissue or organ donor, visit www.donorregister.gov.au or via Medicare online.