News & Media

Work begins on $9.45m Austin Mental Health Facility

Work has begun on a 30-bed, purpose-built mental health facility at the Austin Hospital with the turning of the first sod on the site by the Minister for Major Projects, John Lenders, and the Minister for Health, Bronwyn Pike. Mr Lenders said the new $9.45 million Adult Acute Inpatient Unit and Specialist Mental Health Services would be ready for patients by the middle of next year. “The new unit is an important part of the largest hospital redevelopment project in Victoria and one of the most significant infrastructure projects currently underway in the State – the Austin Health Redevelopment and Mercy Hospital for Women (A/RM) Project,” Mr Lenders said. “The Bracks Government is leading the way with a record investment of almost $12 billion in major project infrastructure across the State, creating jobs and contracting opportunities and contributing significantly to the health of the local and Victorian economy.” Health Minister Bronwyn Pike said the new unit would provide a much-needed boost to psychiatric facilities in the northeast. “While the current facilities at the Austin and Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital campuses have served the needs of the community well, they are in need of upgrading,” Ms Pike said. “Before today’s official ceremony I requested a lunchtime forum with mental health consumers, carers and interested community members to discuss the needs and interests of people with mental illness in the local area. “The forum canvassed the various concerns and needs that community members have about mental health services. These discussions are important for as the government plans future mental health services, not only in this area, but throughout the state,” Ms Pike said. The new 30-bed unit will provide: · New purpose-built facilities for a six bed ‘Mother and Baby Unit’ with accommodation also available for patients’ partners;· Facilities for a nine-bed ‘Eating and Mood Disorders Unit’;· A new and expanded 15-bed ‘Adult Acute Unit’ including four high dependency beds;· Greatly improved privacy for all patients, with the provision of single bedrooms with ensuites and a variety of communal area; and· Brand new furnishings and equipment and landscaped outdoor areas. Mr Lenders said the AR/M project brings together two of Victoria’s best public hospitals on one site, providing an improved and expanded range of acute and specialist health services. “This $376 million major projects will deliver world-class facilities that will meet the needs of Melbourne community well into the future.”