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Mental health beds expansion program – Northern Hospital
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Mental health beds expansion program – Northern Hospital

Location 185 Cooper Street, Epping, Victoria, 3076, Australia

The Victorian Government’s investment into the Mental health beds expansion program will deliver 30 mental health beds at the Northern Hospital, Epping.

The delivery of the project will increase capacity, reduce pressure on emergency departments and provide additional support for people experiencing mental illness who require immediate treatment.

Once complete, the new 30-bed mental health facility at Northern Hospital will provide more than 10,900 days of care, enabling 655 more locals to access vital mental health services every year.

The Victorian Government is investing $492 million towards the delivery of 144 new acute public mental health beds across Victoria.

The new beds are a response to a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System and will address critical demand pressures.

At the Northern Hospital, the Mental health beds expansion project will deliver:

  • an acute mental health facility with 30 single person bedrooms with ensuites
  • a sensory room
  • de-escalation rooms
  • internal courtyards and enclosed garden areas
  • multi-functional rooms
  • spiritual rooms
  • staff and family lounges
  • treatment rooms.

The Mental health beds expansion program aims to achieve the following benefits:

More acute mental health beds

Increased capacity to provide timely and improved access for people experiencing mental illness who require immediate treatment, in a contemporary, safe, and high-quality setting.

Contemporary mental healthcare

The facility will provide a welcoming and responsive environment designed to support both consumers and staff. Each room will feature contemporary design as well as innovative safety features. The building will feature several internal courtyards as well as enclosed garden areas that integrate with the leafy surrounds to provide a secure area to enjoy greenery and fresh air.

The new facility will feature modern physical spaces which support recovery. It will look and feel less hospital-like and people using the facility will have access to a range of shared internal spaces for social, therapeutic, and recreational activities.

Experience-led design process

People with a variety of views and perspectives have been engaged throughout the design process to inform the facility and service designs. This has included people with lived experience of mental illness, such as consumers, families and carers, as well as medical, nursing, allied health professionals and other staff.

Jobs for Victorians

The Northern Hospital project is expected to create and sustain around 453 construction industry jobs.

Implementing recommendations from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System

The additional acute mental health capacity is being urgently delivered in response to the critical need identified in the interim report from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.

Why do we need more acute mental health beds?

The Victorian Government is responding to a recommendation from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System Interim Report through the urgent delivery of more acute mental health facilities and services.

These services will address critical demand issues by increasing capacity, reducing pressure on emergency departments, and providing additional support for people experiencing mental illness who require immediate treatment. More acute mental health beds and services will mean more access for people experiencing severe mental illness, taking the pressure off other public health services.

Where will the new mental health facility be located?  

The new 30-bed acute mental health facility will be located at the Northern Hospital, 185 Cooper St, Epping. It will extend west from the existing hospital building and will be linked to the emergency department via a raised linkway.

What level of care will be provided?

Increased hospital-based care will be provided for people experiencing mental illness who require immediate treatment in a contemporary, safe, and high-quality hospital setting.

Who will be supported by these new services?

Severe mental illness affects a range of people from different family, cultural, economic and social backgrounds. The new facilities and services will provide people with better access to mental health services and support and reduce pressure on emergency departments.

The new facility at the Northern Hospital will provide people aged 18 years and over with better access to mental health services and support and reduce pressure on emergency departments.

What is going to be different about the new hospital-based facilities?

The new facilities are being designed with input from people with lived experience of mental illness such as consumers, families and carers, as well as medical, nursing, allied health professionals and staff. The facilities will look and feel less like a hospital and provide access to shared internal and outdoor spaces for social, therapeutic, and recreational activities to support consumers’ changing needs throughout their stay.

When will construction begin and end on the new mental health facility at Northern Hospital?

To meet the critical need and the timelines set by the Royal Commission, innovative new construction methods are being explored that will significantly reduce the traditional building time and provide flexibility for current and future health care.

Construction of the new facility at the Northern Hospital will begin this year (2021) and is expected to complete in late-2022.

What health service provider will manage the mental health facility at Northern Hospital?

The mental health facility at the Northern Hospital will be managed by Northern Health and NorthWestern Mental Health.

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.

NorthWestern Mental Health deliver a comprehensive range of specialist community and hospital-based mental health services for youth, adult and aged people who are experience, or are at risk of developing, a serious mental illness. More information on NorthWestern Mental Health can be found on their website.

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

  • Mental Health Reform Victoria (MHRV)
  • Northern Health
  • NorthWestern Mental Health
  • NTC Architects (Principal consultant)
  • NH Architecture
  • Lendlease Building (Managing contractor).
Mental health beds expansion program – Northern Hospital
  • Location
  • 185 Cooper Street
    Epping, Victoria, 3076, Australia

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Last updated: 23 July 2021