About the Eltham area Community Hospital
Who is delivering the Eltham area Community Hospital?
The Victorian Health Building Authority (VHBA) is delivering the project in partnership with Austin Health. Architect firm HDR is leading designs for this vital facility, and Lendlease has been appointed as main contractor for the build.
Will the hospital be open 24/7 and will there be overnight beds?
The new Eltham area Community Hospital will operate extended business hours and provide urgent care services for people experiencing non-emergency medical issues such as the bumps, cuts and bruises associated with everyday life. It will not operate 24 hours 7 days a week nor accommodate overnight stays.
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.
When will the project be completed?
Construction on the Eltham area Community Hospital is expected to begin in early 2023 and be completed in 2024.
How has the community been consulted on this project?
We value community and stakeholder input and are committed to keeping the public informed about the Eltham area Community Hospital.
The Eltham area Community Hospital Community Consultative Committee (CCC), chaired by local MP, Vicki Ward, was established to ensure the views and aspirations of the local community are considered in the planning and design for the Eltham area Community Hospital. The committee includes representatives from Nillumbik Shire Council, Austin Health, HealthAbility, Banyule Community Health, and community members selected through an independent expression of interest process. The committee provides local perspectives and advice on a range of issues relating to the project.
The Community Hospitals Program as a whole is also informed by user groups and tailored engagement with identified key groups, including people with lived experience, First Nations and culturally diverse communities.
Traffic, parking and access
Have the impacts to local traffic and parking along Ryans Road and surrounding streets been considered?
Yes. An initial parking and traffic analysis has been undertaken and a traffic and parking management plan will be produced to determine provision of sufficient parking, safe access and any necessary traffic management measures that may be required for this new facility.
Adequate onsite parking will be provided to support the parking demand generated by the community hospital, without reliance on surrounding streets.
The VHBA will work closely with the Department of Transport to address any community concerns around traffic and parking.
Will this facility create higher parking demand on surrounding streets?
Adequate onsite parking will be provided to support the parking demand generated by the Eltham area Community Hospital, without reliance on surrounding streets.
Will ambulances and large vehicles servicing the hospital cause safety and congestion issues on Ryans Road?
The Eltham area 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.
As part of the planning process, VHBA will engage with Department of Transport and Nillumbik Shire Council to identify appropriate traffic management strategies on Ryans Road, that minimise disruption and inconvenience during peak periods, both during construction and after completion of the development.
Where will the entrance to the Eltham area Community Hospital be located?
Patients, staff and hospital visitors will be able to access the Eltham area Community Hospital by car and public transport from Ryans Road. The exact location for the hospital entrance will be determined as part of a detailed planning and design process set to begin shortly. Rear access from neighbouring streets behind the hospital will not be needed.
How many storeys will the building be?
It is anticipated the Eltham area Community Hospital will be 1-2 storeys in height to ensure health services can be delivered in a functional and efficient layout. The project architects will make sure the building is not imposing and blends well into the surrounding area.
When can we see designs for the Eltham area Community Hospital?
The Eltham area Community Hospital will be designed by architects HDR. First-look designs for the Eltham area Community Hospital are expected to be completed in 2023.
The design will be guided by principles developed in partnership with health services, clinicians, staff and consumers, and local input from the Community Hospital Community Consultative Committees.
Environment, flora and fauna
Are there any endangered species inhabiting the site?
An ecological assessment has been undertaken to determine the extent of any fauna and flora habitats present on the site. The report deemed the site to have low ecological value and found no national or state significant flora on site and suggested it is unlikely native wildlife rely on habitat within the site for roosting or breeding purposes due to lack of important habitat features.
VHBA and the appointed builder will take all possible steps to minimise impacts on any wildlife that may be present in the area. For example, trees will be thoroughly inspected for the presence of wildlife, and qualified wildlife handlers will be present to safely move any wildlife as necessary.
Will any green space be lost as a result of this project? Will any trees be removed?
We understand the significance of trees and green spaces to the community, which also have benefits to the health and welling of staff and clients attending the hospital. As part of the design process, the VHBA will work with ecological experts and landscape architects to find a design solution that will retain as much of the nearby greenery as possible.
The VHBA will offset any removed native vegetation with plenty of locally appropriate planting and landscaping upon completion of the project.
What will happen with any removed trees and flora?
We are committed to ensuring that trees and vegetation that are removed as part of the project can be repurposed on site or provided to the community to reuse as they see fit. For example, the design team will explore if larger trees cuts could be used to create outdoor seating, play-based functions, artwork or sculptures.
Remaining tree cuts, branches and stumps can be provided to the community and used to create garden screens, habitat logs and nesting boxes for fauna relocation, or mulch for use in communal flower beds. There is also the possibility for native seedlings to be collected and can be used for re-planting throughout the community.
How will trees be removed?
Arborist’s assessments will be completed to determine:
- Structural strength of trees and vegetation, including the size and location of tree roots
- Health and life expectancy of trees
- Amenity and environmental value that trees provide to the local area
- Location of utilities in proximity to trees
Trees and shrubs will be removed in accordance with authority conditions, and under the direction of a qualified arborist who has also assessed their condition.
Prior to removal, trees will also be inspected for the presence of wildlife, and qualified wildlife handlers will be called in to safely move wildlife as necessary.
Location and site selection
Where will the Eltham area Community Hospital be located?
The Eltham area Community Hospital will be located on part of 405 Ryans Road, Diamond Creek.
Upon the plan of subdivision being registered, a new street address allocation will be provided which is not yet known.
This location provides connections to the Western Ring Road and the future North East Link. Bus routes 343 and 580 stop directly opposite the Ryans Road site and provide a good connection to Diamond Creek Station, Hurstbridge, St Helena, Eltham and Greensborough.
Caption: The community hospital site is located on part of 405 Ryans Road, Diamond Creek (approx. 1.6 ha)
Why was this location selected for the community hospital?
The Ryans Road site is considered to have a range of benefits including proximity to community facilities such as playgrounds, schools and sporting facilities, and a number of bus routes connecting to surrounding areas.
The VHBA assessed the site against an extensive Site Evaluation Criteria, which is uniform across the Community Hospitals Program. This is a technical process that requires specialist input from a site evaluation committee.
The site evaluation committee considers factors such as how the location of the proposed facility links in with the broader community and health system, site features, planning requirements, site access, proximity to related services, connections and links to public transport as well as availability for acquisition.
Sites which rate well against the pre-determined site criteria are briefed to the Health Minister for consideration, decision and approval.
The Victorian Government Land Monitor (VGLM) independently regulates all government land transactions to ensure impartiality in the decision-making process.
Were the community consulted on the location of the community hospital?
As site selection is a technical process with the potential for perceived and actual conflicts of interest to arise, this process is managed and evaluated by a Site Evaluation Committee. This process often does not include community consultation due to commercial sensitivities.
Will the Eltham area Community Hospital take up all the vacant land owned by Department of Transport along Ryans Road, Diamond Creek?
No. The Victorian Health Building Authority (VHBA) has entered into an agreement with the Department of Transport (DOT) to purchase part of 405 Ryans Road, Diamond Creek for the purposes of building the Eltham area Community Hospital. Upon the plan of subdivision being registered, a new street address allocation will be provided which is not yet known.