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Eltham area Community Hospital
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Eltham area Community Hospital

The Victorian Government is investing $675 million to build 10 community hospitals in major growth areas like the Eltham area.

The Eltham area Community Hospital will be a small public hospital providing range of day hospital and primary health care services.

The project will help take pressure off nearby major hospitals, including the Austin Hospital, 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 Eltham area Community Hospital will be managed by Austin Health.

What's new

VHBA’s community survey on preferred location has closed

To support the Council’s decision-making process, the Victorian Health Building Authority ran an online survey on Engage Victoria from 2-31 August seeking the local community’s views on the preferred location. An online information session was also held on 8 September to address key areas of community interest and concern.

VHBA’s community survey engagement on the Eltham area Community Hospital’s preferred location is now closed.

The community hospitals program aims to achieve the following benefits:

Better services close to home

The Victorian Government is investing $675 million to develop 10 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 may include urgent care services, day surgery for minor procedures, public dental, and specialist appointments and will be tailored to each community.

Staying healthy locally

Community hospitals will also help keep local communities healthy by providing links to other local health care 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.

The program will support new developments in the City of Whittlesea, Eltham area, Point Cook and Fishermans Bend, relocate and expand existing health services on a new site at Cranbourne, Pakenham and Torquay and upgrade or expand existing health services at Craigieburn, Phillip Island, and Sunbury.

Eltham area Community Hospital will be managed by Austin Health and provide a range of public health services including:

  • unplanned urgent care
  • general medical and specialist appointments
  • pharmacy
  • women’s health
  • social support
  • paediatric care
  • pathology and imaging
  • public dental
  • chronic disease management
  • mental health
  • alcohol and other drug support
  • dialysis
  • day surgery
  • day chemotherapy
  • allied health and rehabilitation
  • family safety and crisis support.

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 input and are committed to keeping you up to date as the Community Hospitals Program progresses.

Community input and feedback received up to June 2020 has shaped the service design and early service planning phase of the project.

Throughout this initial planning and service design phase, we have:

  • engaged key stakeholders and project partners including the managing health service
  • surveyed the lived experience of Victorians interacting with the public health system
  • established ten community consultative committees
  • produced and distributed over 2,000 pieces of communication
  • received more than 4,500 pieces of feedback.

Following an extensive site selection process, in July 2021 the Victorian Government identified Council-owned land at the Nillumbik Council Facilities Complex, Greensborough, as the preferred location for the Eltham Area Community Hospital.

To support the Nillumbik Shire Council’s decision-making process, the Victorian Health Building Authority ran an online survey on Engage Victoria from 2-31 August seeking the local community’s views on the preferred location and an online information session on 8 September to address key areas of community interest and concern.

The Victorian Health Building Authority will provide a report capturing the online survey results and community feedback to the Nillumbik Shire Council for consideration in October 2021, as part of the Council’s broader community consultation process on whether to sell the land to the Victorian Government.

VHBA’s community survey on the Eltham area Community Hospital’s preferred location is now closed.

To keep updated as the project progresses, you can subscribe to our community hospital email database.

The Eltham area Community Hospital Community Consultative Committee (CCC) provides a forum for local community members to participate in the planning and development of the project through open dialogue and consultation.

The consultative committee includes:

  • 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 Eltham area community consultative committee is chaired by Vicki Ward MP, Member for Eltham.

To contact the Eltham area Community Hospital community consultative committee, please email the committee chair: Vicki.Ward@parliament.vic.gov.au.

Please direct project enquiries and feedback to communityhospitals@health.vic.gov.au.

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.

Your community hospital

What will the community hospital at the Nillumbik Council Facilities Complex mean for me and my family?

Community hospitals are small public hospitals. They will provide a range of ‘everyday’ health services for people who are not critically unwell.

Located in growing communities across Victoria, community hospitals give people better access to many important health services closer to home. However, they will not provide a 24-hour emergency department or many of the specialist services of major hospitals.

The community hospital will improve access to a range of health services. It will create a network of services between the Austin Hospital, Northern Hospital, as well as the new City of Whittlesea and expanded Craigieburn community hospitals.

Where is the Eltham area Community Hospital proposed to be located?

A final decision is yet to be made. However, council-owned land at the Nillumbik Council Facilities Complex, Greensborough, has been identified as the preferred location for the Eltham area Community Hospital.

What services will the Eltham area Community Hospital provide?

The Eltham area Community Hospital will provide a range of public health services including:

  • unplanned urgent care
  • general medical and specialist appointments
  • pharmacy
  • women’s health
  • social support
  • paediatric care
  • pathology and imaging
  • public dental
  • chronic disease management
  • mental health
  • alcohol and other drug support
  • dialysis
  • day surgery
  • day chemotherapy
  • allied health and rehabilitation
  • family safety and crisis support.

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.

Why was the preferred location selected?

An extensive site selection process was undertaken that identified several sites, before the preferred location was chosen.

Numerous criteria were considered including site features, accessibility for clients, the benefits of the location and planning needs. The benefits of the preferred site include:

  • ability to service locals living in Nillumbik and Banyule Local Government Areas by being located in the centre of the Eltham catchment area
  • improves local access to a range of health services so people don’t have to travel out of the area to get the services they need
  • creates a network of services between Austin Hospital, Northern Hospital, as well as the new City of Whittlesea and expanded Craigieburn community hospitals
  • the existing surrounding parkland provides a therapeutic environment for patients, staff and visitors
  • excellent road access to Greensborough Bypass, providing easy links to the Western Ring Road and North East Link
  • the opportunity to leverage existing community services including the Nillumbik Shire Council offices, Diamond Valley Library and the Sports and Fitness Centre and activate a vibrant hub of essential services.

This site does not encroach on playgrounds or community sporting assets and was considered to both preserve and enhance the public green space.

Do I get a say in the location?

The selection process must be based on a wide range of factors including how the location of the proposed building links in with the broader health system. This requires specialist input through an expert site evaluation committee.

Once the site has been identified we seek community input to understand the benefits and concerns the community may have to enable an informed decision in both land and future designs should the site be selected.

Given the nature of land availability in a commercial environment, community consultation on site selection is not possible.

What are the planned construction timelines for the Eltham area Community Hospital?

Should this site be confirmed, construction would be expected to begin in 2022 and be completed in 2024, pending land transfer processes.

Which health service provider will manage the Eltham area Community Hospital?

Austin Health will manage the Eltham area Community Hospital. Austin Health is the major provider of acute, maternity, sub-acute and specialist services in Melbourne’s north-east.

Austin Health will partner with community and local health providers to provide a comprehensive and integrated health care model for the local community. More information about Austin Health can be found on the Austin Health website.

I visit the Nillumbik Council Facilities Complex all the time. What improvements will it bring to the area?

The Nillumbik Council Facilities Complex is already home to an important range of community services such as the Shire offices, library, stadium, education and public open space in a bushland setting.

We recognise Nillumbik Shire’s unique setting and want the Eltham area Community Hospital to reflect its environment with a respectful design that is integrated into the surrounding parklands.

The design will make locals feel at home at the new hospital, as well as reinforce the strong link between nature, recreation, health and community.

The community hospital will improve access to a range of health services and create a network of options between Austin Hospital, Northern Hospital, as well as the new City of Whittlesea and expanded Craigieburn community hospitals.

It will link with existing services, add to the vibrant community hub of essential services and bring together mutually beneficial partnerships (such as education and training).

We anticipate better lighting and covered walkways will improve pedestrian security in the area.

Access to the area will also be improved through an upgrade and extension of some existing roads within the Nillumbik Council Facilities Complex.

What will it mean for the local shops if a new community hospital is built at the Nillumbik Council Facilities Complex?

We anticipate the Eltham area Community Hospital will benefit existing businesses and help bring new businesses to the area.

We believe this will encourage greater investment in the area and, with that, bring more shopping options. This would create local jobs and improve convenience.

What will the new community hospital look like?

Keeping in step with the local amenity and the area’s natural environment are important considerations for us when designing new facilities. We will work with the community to make sure we capture the local community vision for the hospital in our design.

Should the Nillumbik Council Facilities Complex be selected as the site for the community hospital, our understanding of the importance of green space will be reflected in efforts to replicate the natural environment by enhancing the existing green space and replanting trees and natural flora.

Green and welcoming environments are important for good health outcomes and we will work with the community to make sure we capture these important elements in the hospital and its surrounds.

We expect the building would be two to three storeys and will provide smart and integrated parking solutions. We would explore how this could be built, taking advantage of the location’s slope to make sure the building is not imposing and matches the current aesthetics of the area.

Lighting would be improved in the area thanks to the new community hospital with covered walkways also improving pedestrian safety. There will also be covered dropoffs and it would be fully accessible for people with a range of mobility needs.

A new community hospital at this location would place medical help right next door for those inevitable sporting injuries that occur.

Won’t there be additional traffic and parking issues because of the community hospital?

We do anticipate additional traffic to the area, therefore a preliminary parking and traffic analysis has been undertaken as a part of the site identification process, to understand the impact and determine suitability of site. A detailed traffic and parking analysis will be conducted from which a traffic and parking management plan will be produced, if this site is selected.

Access to the area will also be improved through an upgrade and extension of some existing roads within the Nillumbik Council Facilities Complex.

The traffic and parking analysis will also determine the most suitable location for the public entrance, provision of sufficient parking, and any necessary traffic management measures that may be required for the Eltham area Community Hospital.

How many car parks will be lost if a hospital is constructed at the preferred location?

At this stage there is not anticipated to be any net loss of parking in the Nillumbik Council Facilities Complex and additional parking will be provided to meet the needs of the hospital.

The site features (such as slope of the hill) can be utilised to provide smart and innovative parking solutions that can meet the needs of the complex.

Will parking on site be paid or free parking? Will there be time limits?

Austin Health, as managing health service, will determine the parking model in due course. A detailed parking analysis will be conducted on the site to determine provision of sufficient parking for the Eltham area Community Hospital.

How will I be able to get to the community hospital?

The preferred location has excellent road access to Greensborough Bypass, providing easy links to the Western Ring Road and North East Link.

There are currently a number of buses routes within a 10-minute walk of the Nillumbik Council Facilities Complex:

  • Route 385 stops on nearby Plenty River Drive (approximately eight-minutes’ walk)
  • Routes 343 and 901 stop on Diamond Creek Road (approximately eight-minutes’ walk)

Should this site be selected, VHBA will work with the Department of Transport to investigate options to improve public transport access to the Nillumbik Council Facilities Complex.

Preferred site consultation

Community and stakeholder engagement

Following an extensive site selection process, in July 2021 the Victorian Government identified Council-owned land at the Nillumbik Council Facilities Complex, Greensborough, as the preferred location for the Eltham area Community Hospital.

To support the Nillumbik Shire Council’s decision-making process, we ran an online survey on Engage Victoria from 2-31 August seeking the local community’s views on the preferred location and an online information session on 8 September to address key areas of community interest and concern.

What’s next?

We will provide a report capturing the online survey results and community feedback to the Nillumbik Shire Council for consideration in October 2021, as part of the Council’s broader community consultation process on whether to sell the land to the Victorian Government.

Further information

Please direct project enquiries and feedback to communityhospitals@health.vic.gov.au.

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Last updated: 10 September 2021