Hospital work shaping up

On the mend: Transition manager of the expansion project Peter Rophail is pleased with the progression of the Blacktown Hospital redevelopment, including the recent opening of mental health facility Melaleuca. "It's a happy, very beautiful facility," he said. Picture: Natalie Roberts

On the mend: Transition manager of the expansion project Peter Rophail is pleased with the progression of the Blacktown Hospital redevelopment, including the recent opening of mental health facility Melaleuca. "It's a happy, very beautiful facility," he said. Picture: Natalie Roberts

THE foundations of the state's biggest hospital construction project have been built.

The $324 million stage one redevelopment of Blacktown Hospital and neighbouring Mount Druitt campus is still in full swing with many projects already completed and in use.

One of the centrepieces of the Blacktown project is a 170-bed, seven-storey clinical building dedicated to cancer, cardiac, aged and respiratory care.

The structure and scaffolding of the building is complete with concrete pouring now up to the sixth storey and due to be completed next year.

Work will soon start to connect the existing hospital building with clinical services.

"There will be comprehensive care as it's not just about beds but also support," transition manager of the expansion project Peter Rophail said.

"It's innovative approach to care with comprehensive services in the one place."

Mr Rophail said the $24 million 622-space car park opened in April has made a big difference for visitors and staff.

The hospital's newest addition is Melaleuca, a 20-bed facility for mental health patients.

"It's an innovative model of care based on feedback from patients and staff," Mr Rophail said.

"It has a homely feel to improve the transition from hospital to a home environment. It has a four to six-week recovery program that includes active recovery therapy to prepare patients for their return into the community."

Planning for the second stage of redevelopment is under way, which will include upgrading acute services such as emergency, intensive care and surgery.

Mr Rophail said staff and community members will be heavily consulted in the planning.

"We are busily planning for the hospital's long- term capacity up until 2026," he said.

"This community is rapidly growing so this facility needs to accommodate that population. It's not just about expanding capacity. We're also changing the way we deliver care. We have a clear vision to become a leading tertiary teaching hospital that is world renowned."

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