Status

Delivery

City of Whittlesea Community Hospital

Location 132 Riverdale Boulevard, Mernda, Victoria, 3754, Australia

The Victorian Government is investing more than $800 million to build community hospitals in major growth areas including the City of Whittlesea.

The City of Whittlesea Community Hospital will be a small public hospital providing a range of important everyday health services including chronic disease management, chemotherapy, and women’s health.

The project will help take pressure off nearby major hospitals, including Northern Hospital Epping, and enable more people to manage their health needs closer to home. Strong links to specialists, community health providers and social support services will ensure more seamless follow-up treatment and support for those who require complex care.

A new development on a new site, the City of Whittlesea Community Hospital will be managed by Northern Health.

The Community hospitals program aims to achieve the following benefits:

Better services closer to home

The Victorian Government is investing more than $800 million to deliver community hospitals in major growth areas across Victoria. These facilities will provide more locally available public healthcare options and better access to important everyday health services close to home.

Services will be tailored to each community and may include urgent care services, day surgery for minor procedures, public dental and specialist appointments.

Stronger links to specialist care

Community hospitals will also help keep local communities healthy by providing links to other local healthcare providers including GPs, allied health services, specialists, social services and major hospitals if more complex care is required.

Reduce pressure on major hospitals

Community hospitals will also reduce pressure on major public hospitals and emergency departments. This will assist major hospitals to focus on critical care, complex health issues and surgeries, emergencies and trauma while our community hospitals support locals to manage their everyday health needs and access community services.

Meeting increased demand

As Victoria’s population grows and healthcare needs change, community hospitals will help meet increasing demand for public health services in major Victorian growth areas.

Once complete, the new community hospitals will have the capacity to treat at least 114,000 more urgent care patients each year. They’ll support 55,000 dialysis treatments and enable more than 100,000 additional allied health sessions each year.

The program will support:

The City of Whittlesea Community Hospital will be managed by Northern Health and provide a range of services, including:

  • unplanned urgent care
  • mental health
  • alcohol and other drug support
  • dialysis
  • community-based palliative care, chemotherapy and rehabilitation
  • general practice
  • women’s health
  • maternal, family and early childhood services
  • family safety and crisis support
  • pathology and imaging
  • pharmacy services
  • public dental
  • chronic disease management
  • allied health.

Strong links to specialists, community health providers and social support services will ensure more seamless follow-up treatment and support for those who require complex care.

We value community and stakeholder input and are committed to keeping the public informed on the Community hospitals program.

We work closely with key stakeholders across the health sector and local government. We aim to deliver functional and efficient health facilities that are fit-for-purpose, inclusive and that meet community needs.

Our engagement program includes:

  • user groups
  • working groups
  • surveys
  • workshops
  • tailored engagement with identified key groups, including people with lived experience, Traditional Owners groups and culturally diverse communities.

We’ve established community consultative committees (CCC) to ensure the views and aspirations of the community are considered in the planning and design for each community hospital. Committees are made up of a diverse cross-section of community members, local service providers and organisations who provide a local perspective and considered advice on a range of issues relating to the project.

Summaries of the meetings held can be found on the Community Hospitals community consultative committee meeting summaries page.

The City of Whittlesea Community Hospital community consultative committee (CCC) provided a forum for local community members to participate in the planning and development of the project through open dialogue and consultation.

The consultative committee included:

  • foundation members from key organisations such as local councils
  • health service providers and Aboriginal representation
  • community members selected through an independent expression of interest process.

The City of Whittlesea CCC was chaired by Danielle Green MP, the former Member for Yan Yean.

Meeting summaries can be found on the Community Hospitals community consultative committee meeting summaries page.

What is a community hospital?

Community hospitals are small public hospitals. With extended hours to provide day and after-hours services, community hospitals will provide a range of everyday health services, which may include:

  • urgent care service for common minor injuries and illnesses
  • day medical services such as chemotherapy and renal dialysis
  • day surgery for procedures such as cataract removal, major dental work, gynaecological procedures, colonoscopies and other minor surgical procedures that do not require an overnight stay
  • treatment and support for chronic health issues including mental health, alcohol and other drugs, pain management, diabetes and respiratory problems
  • family services including child and maternal health, family safety and women’s health
  • pathology, pharmacy and diagnostic imaging such as blood tests and x‑rays
  • public dental services.

Community hospitals will be located in major growth areas across Victoria and will provide people with better access to many important ‘everyday’ health services closer to home.

What will the City of Whittlesea Community Hospital be like?

The City of Whittlesea Community Hospital will be a small, single storey, public hospital. It will provide a range of services including:

  • chronic disease management
  • chemotherapy
  • social support
  • women’s health.

The project will help take pressure off nearby major hospitals, including Northern Hospital Epping. It will enable more people to manage their health needs closer to home. Strong links to specialists, community health providers and social support services will ensure more seamless follow-up treatment and support for those who require complex care.

Which health service provider will manage the City of Whittlesea Community Hospital?

Northern Health will operate the City of Whittlesea Community Hospital. Northern Health is a major provider of acute, maternity, sub-acute and specialist services in outer north Melbourne. More information on Northern Health can be found on their website.

What services will the City of Whittlesea Community Hospital provide?

The City of Whittlesea Community Hospital will provide a range of services, including:

  • unplanned urgent care
  • mental health
  • alcohol and other drug support
  • dialysis
  • community-based palliative care
  • chemotherapy and rehabilitation
  • general practice
  • women’s health
  • maternal, family and early childhood services
  • family safety and crisis support
  • pathology and imaging
  • pharmacy services
  • public dental
  • chronic disease management
  • allied health.

Strong links to specialists, community health providers and social support services will ensure more seamless follow-up treatment and support for those who require complex care.

Where will the City of Whittlesea Community Hospital be located?

The City of Whittlesea Community Hospital will be located at 132 Riverdale Boulevard, Mernda.

To ensure we can deliver this community hospital when and where it is needed most, we have acquired the site through a compulsory acquisition process.

The Victorian Health Building Authority worked with Northern Health and other key stakeholders to identify potential options for the City of Whittlesea Community Hospital and select the location.

Why was this location selected for the community hospital?

The 132 Riverdale Boulevard, Mernda location was selected following an extensive site selection process that identified several potential sites. Numerous criteria were considered including site features, accessibility for clients, the benefits of the location and planning considerations.

The site will be next to a new retail and dining precinct and a future vibrant community hub. Land for the hospital has been secured through a compulsory acquisition process.

Will the hospital be open 24/7 and will there be overnight beds?

The City of Whittlesea Community Hospital will be a small public hospital, operating extended business hours. It will not operate 24/7. The exact operating hours will be determined by the managing health service – Northern Health.

The City of Whittlesea Community Hospital will provide a range of services. These will include chronic disease management, chemotherapy, social support, and women’s health.

More life-threatening emergency care, complex acute care, major procedures or overnight stays will be supported by nearby major hospitals, including Northern Hospital in Epping.

Will there be an emergency department?

No. People will be able to attend the facility for minor bumps and bruises and non-emergency care. People experiencing a medical emergency should visit their nearest emergency department.

How was the community consulted on this project?

We value community and stakeholder input. We are committed to keeping the public informed about the City of Whittlesea Community Hospital.

In the early stages of the project, a community consultative committee was established. This was to ensure the views and aspirations of the local community are considered in the planning and design for the City of Whittlesea Community Hospital.

The committee includes:

  • members from the City of Whittlesea Council
  • health service providers
  • community members selected by an independent expression of interest process
  • a limited number of invited community members.

The committee provides local perspectives and advice on a range of issues relating to the project.

The design priorities identified by the community were:

  • accessibility
  • cultural inclusion
  • connection to nature
  • safety
  • welcoming space
  • family friendly spaces.

Will the hospital be accessible for people with limited mobility?

Accessibility is a key principle in designing a community hospital facility.

The City of Whittlesea Community Hospital will provide car parking with accessible access to the hospital for people with disabilities or who are elderly or frail.

Consulting spaces, waiting rooms and amenities within the facility will be Disability Discrimination Act compliant and designed with accessibility in mind.

Are there plans to manage increased traffic in the area?

Yes. An initial parking and traffic analysis has been undertaken. A traffic and parking management plan will be produced to determine sufficient parking, safe access and any necessary traffic management measures that may be required for this new facility.

The Victorian Health Building Authority will work closely with City of Whittlesea Council to address any potential community concerns around traffic and parking.

Will ambulances and large vehicles servicing the hospital cause safety and congestion issues on Plenty Road?

The City of Whittlesea Community Hospital will not have an emergency department (ED), so there will be no ambulance vehicles transporting patients to the community hospital. In some instances, an ambulance may be called to transfer a patient from the community hospital to a major hospital ED.

Throughout the construction period, the Victorian Health Building Authority will work with the City of Whittlesea Council and local stakeholders to address any potential traffic and congestion issues on Plenty Road and surrounding streets.

Have the impacts to parking been considered?

Adequate onsite parking will be provided to support the parking demand generated by the community hospital, without reliance on surrounding streets.

Parking arrangements (including fees) at the City of Whittlesea Community Hospital will be at the discretion of the operating health service, Northern Health.

What will the City of Whittlesea Community Hospital look like?

The City of Whittlesea Community Hospital has been designed with the local character in mind to achieve a respectful, integrated design that is fit-for-purpose.

The facility’s internal spaces have been carefully considered to create safe and comfortable environments for staff, patients and families.

The design process was guided by design principles developed in partnership with Northern Health clinicians, staff and consumers. The City of Whittlesea Community Hospital community consultative committee had input into the design.

How was the community’s feedback considered in the design?

In the early stages of the project, a community consultative committee was established. This helped ensure the views and aspirations of the local community are considered in the planning and design for the City of Whittlesea Community Hospital. During the design consultation process, we received some great ideas and suggestions, some of which the architects have incorporated into the design.

The use of accessible car parking, clear signage and wayfinding, indigenous planting, and Aboriginal artworks are examples of community priorities that were incorporated into the designs.

The community also wanted natural light throughout the building. They wanted warm colours to help avoid overstimulation for people with sensory differences. Both of these features have been considered in the design process.

How many storeys will the building be?

The Whittlesea Community Hospital will be a single storey building. This will help ensure health services can be delivered in a functional and efficient layout. The project architects will make sure the building is not imposing and matches the character of the surrounding area.

How will construction impacts be managed to minimise disruption and impacts to nearby residents?

The appointed contractors will work closely with the Victorian Health Building Authority to minimise construction impacts on the community. This includes noise and vibration monitoring, noise control measures in accordance with Environment Protection Authority and Council imposed noise guidelines, dust suppression measures and the use of clear construction signage.

Who is delivering the City of Whittlesea Community Hospital?

The Victorian Health Building Authority is delivering the project in partnership with Northern Health, building contractor Lendlease, architects HDR in partnership with DesignInc and engineering firm Watermans Consulting.

When will the project be completed?

The City of Whittlesea Community Hospital is on track for completion in 2024.

This project is being delivered by the Victorian Health Building Authority in partnership with:

  • Northern Health (managing health service)
  • HDR in partnership with Design Inc (architects)
  • Lendlease (managing contractor).

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Location

City of Whittlesea Community Hospital
  • Location
  • 132 Riverdale Boulevard, Mernda, Victoria, 3754, Australia

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Last updated: 10 May 2024