18 December 2020

Government releases Canberra Hospital Expansion draft plans for comment

| Ian Bushnell
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Canberra Hospital Expansion

An artist’s impression of the Canberra Hospital Expansion. Images: ACT Government.

As the ACT’s public health system continues to face pressures over its Emergency Departments and surgery waiting lists, the government has released draft plans of the $600 million Canberra Hospital Expansion project ahead of a development application to be lodged next year.

The plans outline the new emergency, surgical and critical healthcare facilities, the broad design features of the project and fresh architectural images of how the building sits on the hospital campus.

Documents for feedback include early designs of the building floorplans, new details on entry plazas and green spaces and designs for a relocated helipad.

READ MORE Canberra still has the longest emergency waiting times in Australia

The building will house a new emergency department with 114 treatment bays, operating theatres, a new medical imaging department, intensive care and acute coronary care units, mental health short stay and day beds.

There will also be space for future inpatient beds, ambulance bays and the helipad on the roof.

New building

How the new building will sit within the campus.

A new main arrival and drop-off area will be created on Yamba Drive where the current Emergency Department is located, while the new ED drop-off and entry will be on Hospital Road.

The new building will be connected with the existing hospital via a tunnel under Hospital Road and at ground level across Hospital Road, with clinical services linked at Level 3.

The plans promise an integrated campus, with generous landscaping including a reflective garden.

As already announced, the new building will be all-electric and achieve a 5-Green Star sustainability rating, with efficient insulation and sun shading to reduce peak cooling and heating demands.

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Multiplex regional managing director David Ghannoum said that the feedback gained from consultation so far, as well as public comments over the next few months, would help inform the formal development application for the delivery of the new emergency, surgical and critical healthcare building, due for lodgment in March 2021.

“We have been working hard to ensure that early feedback from consumers and the community already gathered is incorporated into our iterative design process, which is reflected in the draft plans being released today,” he said.

“Design elements such as traffic management, building mass and helipad placement have been carefully considered to minimise impact on surrounding residents and ensure the best amenity for all hospital users.”

Rachel Stephen-Smith

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith: confident the new Canberra Hospital building will be big enough to meet demand. Photo: File.

Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said the new building would be at the heart of the Canberra Hospital, and according to advice would be sufficient to address the demand it will face when completed and going forward.

”But there are also things we need to do internally in terms of timely care and processes to address some of the issues we’re seeing in the Emergency Department,” she said.

Ms Stephen-Smith said the new building was part of a larger infrastructure strategy that included a new northside hospital, starting construction in the middle of the decade, and a new northside elective surgery centre.

As pre-DA consultation, the government wants the public to comment on how the project looks and feels and sits in the environment, not models of care or surgical requirements.

People can comment on the YourSay website and there will be street stalls and pop-up information sessions in the new year.

Comment close on 24 February.

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What would be handy to do at the same time is to provide more parking around the Garren shops for hospital users.
Usually impossible to find a park in the hospital grounds so off towards Garren we go.

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