New Footscray Hospital Project newsletter #7 | September 2023
Welcome to the latest new Footscray Hospital Project newsletter.
The new Footscray Hospital recently celebrated a big milestone. With the main hospital building reaching structural completion and ‘topping out’.
Cranes that have lined the skyline are progressively coming down. All cranes are expected to be removed from the site by the end of the year.
More than two million hours of work have been carried out. And around 150,000 tonnes of concrete poured. The focus will now shift to the façade and internal fit-out. With the hospital expected to reach completion in late 2025.
Formwork has been stripped out of the main hospital building on Geelong Road. While huge architectural v-columns create a visible entrance to the emergency department.
Work is progressing on the pedestrian footbridge connecting Victoria University. The footbridge is being assembled on-site and is expected to be lifted into place later in the year. Further details will be provided to local neighbours closer to the time.
It's exciting that in just two years, the new Footscray Hospital will open its doors.
Timeline - onsite works lookahead
Internal fit-out continues in the emergency department September 2023September 2023
Construction of piers on the Victorian University (VU) footbridge (behind the VU hoarding on Ballarat Road) September 2023September 2023
Removal of one tower crane September 2023September 2023
Steel framing work on the Hospital Street façade September 2023September 2023
Start steel installation for plant room on main hospital building's (Inpatient Unit) roof September 2023September 2023
Completion of bridge pillars, lift and stairs on VU footbridge October 2023October 2023
Start installation on lead-lined rooms in the inpatient unit (for safety from X-ray radiation) October 2023October 2023
Façade installation starts on Hospital Street October 2023October 2023
Removal of two tower cranes October 2023October 2023
VU footbridge lift across Ballarat Road November/December 2023November/December 2023
Completion of façade works on all five buildings November/December 2023November/December 2023
Removal of final tower cranes from the site November/December 2023November/December 2023
Soaring to new heights
Your new Footscray Hospital has reached its highest point. The main hospital building and inpatient unit have 'topped out'.
Let's look what's been happening over the past few months.
New Footscray Hospital officially topped out
Earlier this year the first three buildings were ‘topped out’. Now we mark the structural completion of all five buildings on the new hospital site.
The hospital’s two main clinical buildings are the latest to reach the milestone.
Main hospital building (inpatient unit)
The main hospital building along Geelong Road includes the 10-storey high inpatient unit tower and features:
- the emergency department entrance
- operating theatres
- medical imaging and pathology
- more than 500 beds (including mental health).
The sub-acute building on Ballarat Road will include:
- the ambulatory care precinct
- clinics such as allied health and clinical trials
- the wellness hub with a rooftop café.
Watch the timelapse of the main hospital building going up.
IMAGES: a montage of timelapse footage of the New Footscray Hospital being constructed
TEXT ON SCREEN: Your New Footscray Hospital is structurally complete and has now reached its maximum height. Works will now focus on façade and internal fit-out. On track to open in 2025.
IMAGES: A white screen appears with the text ‘in partnership with’ and the logos for Western Health and Plenary Health. A sliding transition screen displays the text learn more at vhba.vic.gov.au, along with the Victorian Health Building Authority and Victoria State Government logos.
End of transcript.
New Footscray Hospital and Victoria University bridging health and education
Have you spotted a new site compound on the north side of Ballarat Road? The new site is just outside of Victoria University (VU). It has been assembled to start work on the pedestrian footbridge.
The public-use footbridge will span Ballarat Road. It will connect the new Footscray Hospital to VU’s Footscray Park Campus.
The VU building at the new hospital will include:
- a dedicated education and research space
- facilities and opportunities for nursing, midwifery, allied health, and paramedicine students and more clinical areas
- open-plan student learning spaces
- a research gymnasium.
Between now and the end of the year, you’ll notice different stages of bridge construction taking place, including:
- excavation on both sides of Ballarat Road
- finished foundations for the bridge pillars
- steel and concrete coming into the site over the next few months as pillars are built up.
Within the boundary of the main hospital site, the bridge walkway will be constructed. When the installation of the structural steel is complete, the walkway will be lifted onto pillars.
The project team will continue to keep the community updated on impacts. Including any road closures on Ballarat Road later this year.
Students build their new Footscray Hospital
As part of National Science Week 14 – 18 August, students at Footscray Primary School and Footscray City Primary took part in a STEAM-based build activity.
Students designed and built their version of the new Footscray Hospital, with thanks to Dr Loz from SciencePlay Kids.
A budding group of junior designers learnt about the importance of hospitals in their community, what kind of health specialists work there, and then had the chance to design and build their own version of the new Footscray Hospital.
Footscray Primary can see the cranes from their schoolyard, and there was so much excitement from all involved in this activity! Local MP Katie Hall visited Footscray Primary School to see some of the new hospital creations.
The initiative was facilitated by Plenary Health delivering the New Footscray Hospital project in partnership with the Victorian Health Building Authority and Western Health. The STEAM-based program was held in partnership with SciencePlay Kids and Footscray Learning Precinct to engage, educate and connect young people in the West with their new hospital.
Supporting critical care nurses in the West
Three Western Health nurses have been awarded ICU post-graduate scholarships. These will further their training and improve critical care in the west.
Congratulations to Vanessa Clapham, Emma Philips and Arshpreet Kaur, who will each receive $10,000 towards their course fees and associated costs.
The scholarships are part of Plenary Health's five-year partnership with Western Health Foundation, as part of the delivery of the New Footscray Hospital project in partnership with the Victorian Health Building Authority and Western Health.
Western Health Chief Executive Adj. Prof Russell Harrison says, ‘These scholarships will help attract, train and retain staff and keep them in the west, and allow these nurses to become ICU staff, which is vital for Western Health and our community.’
Plenary Health New Footscray Hospital Project Chair Kelvyn Lavelle says Plenary Health is proud to support nurses and their training as part of its partnership with Western Health.
‘The retention and development of nursing staff, not only at Western Health but across the whole health sector in Victoria is critical,’ adds Mr Lavelle.
Scholarship recipient and western suburbs local Vanessa Clapham says that after many years of study, she had found her home in the intensive care unit at Footscray Hospital.
‘The scholarship has been a blessing,’ says Mrs Clapham. ‘Without it - while also raising a family- completing my post-graduate studies would not have been financially viable.’
Mr Lavelle adds, ‘For Western Health, the scholarships mean we can employ new intensive care nurses, grow our team, and provide the best care for those critically unwell.’
Connectivity Centre jobs hub and community space
Want to learn more about the job and training opportunities available on site?
The Connectivity Centre and NFH Jobs Hub continue to support the west. Connecting local communities to jobs, apprenticeships and training opportunities at the new hospital site and Victoria University Polytechnic.
Drop-in sessions are held every Tuesday 10.00am-12.00pm to assist students and job seekers interested in working on the new Footscray Hospital.
Job readiness information sessions are also held on a weekly basis. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit 138 Nicholson Street, Footscray.
The Connectivity Centre is also a community space and has held a host of events recently. Check out the gallery below.
Shannon Hitch - Food Services Assistant
When food services assistant Shannon Hitch left Western Health to focus on raising her young children, her return felt inevitable.
‘The moment I walked out the door, I wanted to come back,’ says the mother of two.
‘I started at Footscray Hospital in 2005, and left in 2013, but I missed the place so much that I came back in 2015. I absolutely love it here.’
While Shannon’s passion hasn’t changed since she joined the food services team almost two decades ago, the job description has.
When she first started as an FSA, Shannon and her colleagues had barely any contact with patients. Under the previous model, FSAs would prepare all the meals in the Footscray Hospital kitchen – and hand them over to patient services assistants (PSAs) to deliver to patients.
This changed in about 2011, when food services staff started serving meals directly to patients.
‘It was quite unfamiliar territory to begin with because you had no rapport with the ward staff or the patients,’ Shannon recalls.
‘But I love the interaction with patients, especially in wards like 3B (geriatric ward).
‘The patients are like your grandparents. And a lot of them will say ‘you are the first person I have spoken to today’. I think it means a lot when you can put your hand on their hand and have a chat.
‘It comes down to kindness and human interaction.’
The Footscray Hospital food services staff prepare and 'plate up' as many as 260 meals, delivered from the Western Central Production Kitchen, every day. This is in addition to morning and afternoon tea.
Despite the volume, Shannon still manages to remember the preferences of long-term Footscray Hospital patients.
‘We have one lady who I always remember likes ham and cheese on white bread, not wholemeal, and a weak coffee with one sweetener.' she says.
One of Shannon’s favourite things to do after spending five days a week working hard in an industrial kitchen is cook!
From the archives: Did you know?
Traffic and industrial accidents accounted for large numbers of patients at Footscray Hospital in the 1950s and 60s.
In 1968, casualty staff treated 1322 traffic accident victims and 1661 people injured in industrial accidents.
Save the dates: New Footscray Hospital community information sessions
With construction passing the halfway mark, you’re invited to attend an information session to learn more about the progress of your new Footscray Hospital.
Come along and meet the builder, learn more about the construction timeline and have a first look at some of the internal designs of the new hospital.
This is a great opportunity to meet the team delivering this significant new hospital for the West, including Western Health and Victoria University.
Sessions will be held at The Line Footscray, 2 Yewers St, Footscray, VIC, 3011.
Drop in any time on:
- Thursday 19 October from 5.30pm-7.30pm
- Saturday 21 October from 11:00am-1:00pm.
No need to register.
There will be light refreshments, tea and coffee, and a kids' corner on Saturday with special guest Dr Loz from Science Play Kids.
Retail and commercial opportunities at the new hospital
The new Footscray Hospital Project will soon be launching their retail and commercial opportunities expression of interest campaign.
To register your interest to receive info, contact email@example.com
Contact the project hotline at (03) 9999 1985 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Visit the new Footscray Hospital project page
- Subscribe for project updates
- Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn
Is there anything you’d like to learn about in the next newsletter?
Email your idea to email@example.com.
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This project is being delivered by the Victorian Health Building Authority in partnership with Western Health, and the Plenary Health consortium.
Acknowledgement of Country
We acknowledge the Wurundjeri people as the Traditional Owners of the lands of the new Footscray Hospital and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.
Last updated: 27 September 2023