Enabling Contemporary Care
The new Maitland Hospital, currently under construction in NSW’ lower Hunter Valley will provide the infrastructure required to respond to the anticipated population growth in the lower Hunter region. By transferring all existing health services from the current Maitland Hospital, an aged and outdated facility, to the new facility, service capability and complexity will increase markedly, allowing people to get the care they need closer to home.
“Ultimately we want to provide our community with a facility that enables contemporary healthcare and that meets modern patient needs and expectations,” says Gillian Geraghty, Executive Director Rural and Regional at NSW Health Infrastructure.
Gillian adds; “some of the old wards of the existing Maitland hospital aren’t conducive to patient-centric care. At the same time these environments aren’t great for staff wellbeing, which is a big focus for the design. We understand the importance of a happy, engaged, motivated and valued workforce to the delivery of excellent patient care, so we want to make sure our spaces are kind and supportive of our staff too.”
The new Maitland Hospital project is a major opportunity to embrace technology and innovation with the aim of creating new ways of working, improved performance and better health outcomes. New technology and innovative treatment methodologies for patient care will be considered in the design of the new facility.
The Greenfield Challenge
The new hospital will be located on a 17-hectare greenfield site that was once a brickworks quarry. Part of the project vision was to take this land and return it to the local community with the selected site very much located in the epicentre of the growth of the Maitland community, with strong links to transport and other community amenities such as shopping centres and libraries.
As Gillian explains; “the community were concerned about moving into the new site. They didn't want to leave the old site because there are lots of memories attached to that site and some comfort levels, of course, so the process has taken time. To ease this process we worked closely with Maitland City Council on documenting the memories, the good memories, from the old facility, and taking them with us to the new. Through this process we’ve worked to ease concerns and ensure that everyone feels very welcome in the new facility.”
Understanding Community Need
For the integrated project team managing stakeholder needs and expectations, and ensuring community buy-in for the facility is a must. A large piece of work outlining collaboration with local government, education providers, community and project partners is in place to ensure the new Maitland Hospital delivers exceptional patient care.
“Maitland Hospital is my local hospital, so of all the projects I work on it’s very pertinent,” says Gillian. “A lot of the people working on the project team are from the local community, and that makes a big difference. We’ve kept very close to the local council and members. We participate in community events, we connect with the local schools and nearby training institutes. We feel part of the community and understand their needs, and everything we do is around contributing back to the local economy.”
With this vision an overarching aim, the project team has sought likeminded partners and found one in Multiplex. Multiplex have been appointed to deliver the main works package which commenced in December 2019. As part of this appointment Multiplex has established a Connectivity Centre to secure work for the long-term unemployed.
Moreover NSW Health Infrastructure is working with the other Government agencies, with education institutions and with other healthcare providers to start a health precinct that espouses not just health and wellness, but sustainability and resilience. “With the drought and the recent bushfire tragedies we’re working closely with our local communities to deliver health facilities that take advantage of renewable energy options that are kinder to the environment and that can deliver a high level of contemporary care that meets the needs and expectations of our patients for many years,” concludes Gillian.
If you’re interested in learning more from Gillian about the community minded initiatives helping to deliver contemporary patient-centric care at the new Maitland Hospital, or about overcoming the challenges of a greenfield site, then join us at the Health Facilities Design and Development Summit 2020.
The event, running as part of Australian Healthcare Week 2020 at the ICC in Sydney on the 25th – 26th March brings together over 100 local and international healthcare innovation and facility development experts from the likes of Adelaide BioMed City, Mercy Virtual Care Centre (USA), South Eastern Sydney LHD, Nepean Blue Mountains LHD, Central Adelaide Local Health Network, Health Infrastructure NSW, Bendigo Health and Canberra Health Services.
To learn more about the event grab a copy of the event guide now.