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Mental health beds expansion program – Sunshine Hospital
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Mental health beds expansion program – Sunshine Hospital

Location 176 Furlong Road, St Albans, Victoria, 3021, Australia

The Victorian Government’s investment into the Mental health beds expansion program will deliver 52 acute mental health beds at Sunshine Hospital, St. Albans.

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 52-bed mental health facility at Sunshine Hospital will provide more than 18,900 days of care, enabling an estimated 1,153 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 Sunshine Hospital, the mental health beds expansion program will deliver:

  • an acute mental health facility with 52 single person bedrooms with ensuites
  • sensory rooms
  • 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 Sunshine Hospital project is expected to create and sustain around 555 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 52-bed acute mental health facility will be located at Sunshine Hospital, 176 Furlong Rd, St Albans.

The new mental health unit at Sunshine Hospital will be a natural extension of the existing adult and aged acute mental health unit and will be located in the adjacent carpark.

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 Sunshine Hospital will provide people aged 18 years and older 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 and 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 Sunshine 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 Sunshine Hospital will begin this year (2021) and is expected to be complete in late-2022.

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

The mental health facility at Sunshine Hospital will be managed by Western Health and NorthWestern Mental Health.

Western Health is a major provider of maternity, sub-acute and specialist services in the western region of Melbourne. More information on Western 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.

Mental health beds expansion program – Sunshine Hospital
  • Location
  • 176 Furlong Road
    St Albans, Victoria, 3021, Australia

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Last updated: 23 July 2021