$20m children’s facility welcomed

September 23, 2021 BY

Planning has started on a $20-million children's emergency department at Geelong's University Hospital.

PLANNING is underway for a $20 million dedicated children’s emergency department at Geelong’s University Hospital.

The new paediatric emergency facility, initially announced in 2018, will be a purpose-built department with expert staff to care for children of all ages.

Geelong MP Christine Couzens confirmed initial design work had started and the state government would invest $20 million to improve the experience for children and families accessing emergency treatment in Geelong.

“This is great news for families; planning for this important project is underway,” Ms Couzens said.

“The new paediatric zones will give children a private, calm and compassionate space where they can be cared for while also reducing wait times for treatment.

“This investment is part of a $102.4 million we’re delivering to build new emergency department paediatric zones in five of Victoria’s busiest hospitals.”

Barwon Health spokesperson Kate Bibby said Barwon Health welcomed the state government’s commitment to improving health services for the Geelong region community.

Kate said Barwon Health’s three major mental health building projects were currently on track, with work continuing during lockdowns, as all were considered essential works*.

“Our Emergency Mental Health and Other Drugs Hub is due for completion by the end of this year, while the McKellar Acute Mental Health and Wellbeing Unit and the Central Geelong Mental Health Hub are both due for completion late next year,” she said.

“McKellar mental health and wellbeing unit is a modular design which means the modules are manufactured off-site and trucked in.

“This reduces the total build time and also reduces disruption to the neighbours.”

The new McKellar Inpatient Unit, delivered as part of the Victorian Government’s response to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health system, will provide state-of-the-art facilities for people aged over 50 to receive inpatient psychiatric care and support.

The McKellar Centre Inpatient Unit is being funded by the Victorian State Government as part of its response to the interim recommendation of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.

Barwon Health’s Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs Hub at University Hospital’s Emergency Department, which is nearing completion, will provide a more therapeutic environment and service connections for those seeking MHAOD care.

University Hospital’s current Emergency Department assesses about a dozen people with primary mental health concerns each day.

The new five-storey Central Geelong Mental Health Hub on Moorabool Street will provide access to mental health services at a central location in Geelong, as part of a broader strategy for
the region.

*When the Times went to print, Barwon Health was waiting for confirmation on current projects following Monday night’s announcement that non-essential construction would stop for two weeks.


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