The planned expansion of Centenary Hospital for Women and Children is proceeding, with a tender for design work released but the completion date has been pushed out a year.
The 2017 ACT Budget allocated $70 million over the four-year forward estimates for design and construction of expanded facilities and new services including more maternity beds, more paediatric high-dependency unit beds, a new paediatric intensive care treatment space, an adolescent gynaecology service, child and adolescent sleep labs and an adolescent mental health unit with a dedicated in-patient treatment space.
An ACT Health Directorate spokesperson said it was seeking tenders from suitably experienced contractors to design and build new treatment, staff and patient spaces.
The current tender is for preparation of a Preliminary Sketch Plan (PSP) design and a capital works cost plan, but the details are confidential.
“Since the expansion was announced there has been a lot of engagement with our clinical workforce to inform the design specifications for the new and expanded spaces, so this is an important milestone for the project,” the spokesperson said.
“The expansion will increase existing services at the hospital, such as maternity and neonatology. It will also create space for new services designed to meet the mental health needs of young people.”
The hospital’s expansion began with the completion of a custodial birthing suite in October last year and the rest of the project is expected to be completed in phases by 2021-22, a year later than first announced in 2017.
The spokesperson said the expansion would enable the hospital to meet a growing need for maternity services in the ACT and surrounding region, and build on the recent expansion and upgrade in partnership with Calvary Public Hospital.
“It will provide increased capacity to deliver other specialist paediatric services, reducing the need for interstate transfers. And it will also enable new services to be delivered at the hospital, for example, inpatient adolescent mental health services,” the spokesperson said.
ACT Health says that once a design is finalised, detailed design, building preparation and existing service re-location will commence to enable works. It says staff and the community will be kept up to date with the project’s progress.
The Opposition has criticised the Government in the past for building a facility that was too small in the first place and did not cater for the Canberra region’s growing population. The hospital opened in 2012.
The tender closes on 11 June.