News

$229 million GV Health redevelopment forges ahead

By Shepparton News

With stage one of Goulburn Valley Health’s redevelopment in full swing, next year will see the completion of further buildings at the health service’s Graham St site as part of the multimillion-dollar project.

NEW EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT SET TO OPEN

The new Emergency Department building will open to the public in late February. Signifi cant works are taking place to the exterior of the building with some areas of the public carpark closed to the public.

In recent weeks, energisation of the building has taken place, which means all electrical outlets and light switches are now functional.

The building has undergone quite the transformation during recent months with the façade going up. While the new section of ED will open, the existing building will be closed for refurbishment.

This refurbishment will take place for the duration of 2020 and is likely to open in early 2021. Once the entire refurbishment is completed, the capacity of GV Health’s Emergency Department will double in size.

The new paediatric unit is being constructed above the new ED building and the current surgical ward will become a special care nursery. For that reason, GV Health chief executive Matt Sharp said it would be some time before services moved into the new paediatric ward.

“The current maternity and birthing areas will be integrated with the special care nursery, which will then fl ow onto the new paediatric ward,” he said.

“In regard to the current paediatric ward, we’re not 100 per cent sure what we’ll use that for in the longer term; in the meantime, once the current ward has moved to its new location, we’ll be using that for decanting current services on a temporary basis,” he said.

Stage one works are set to ramp up in 2020. Picture: Artist's impression

SERVICES TO BEGIN OPERATING IN INPATIENT TOWER UNIT

Services will start moving into the Inpatient Tower Unit, located towards the back of the Graham St site, about July next year.

The building is one of the tallest in Shepparton with a total of five levels. The build started in September 2017 and has reached a point where the scaffolding is beginning to be removed resulting in more visibility of the works.

Mr Sharp recently explained how services would shift into the new IPU building.

“(But) there’s a series of other moves (that) need to happen following this,” he said.

Mr Sharp said the current surgical ward would relocate from its location into the new tower.

“During the next 12 months we’ll be refurbishing our theatre suite,” he said.

The current theatre suite would be integrated into level one of the new building which will also house new theatres.

“That will require some careful work so we can continue those essential services in theatre while we integrate the new facilities,” Mr Sharp said.

The IPU has five levels with the fifth and fourth floors being used to house a plant room, including a big IT room. Levels two and three will be used as inpatient areas, which will be largely single and two-bed rooms, moving away from the four-bed room model.

Level one will house four new theatres as well as an expansion of the theatre recovery area, a central sterilising area and 10 Intensive Care Unit beds. The ground floor will contain a new mortuary as well as a brand new kitchen.

GV Health will have a fresh face in 2020. Picture: Artist's impression

EXCITING PROJECTS PLANNED

As part of the $229 million redevelopment there will be a new kitchen housed in the large Inpatient Tower Unit.

As a result, the health service will shift to a Room Service Delivery Model which will see patients order their meals off a menu, rather than the current model. The new kitchen is being designed to suit the new delivery model which follows the examples set by health services in the United States.

The model will see a huge overhaul of the way patients are fed at GV Health. GV Health’s manager of business services Brett Dobson explained how the model would work recently.

“There will be a wider range of choices available at a wider range of times,” he said.

Food services officer Emily Mason described the model as essentially being the same as ordering off an á la carte menu. The pair said the hospital would look to implement the new model as a result of the current Graham St redevelopment, set to result in a new kitchen for food services. 

“We’re currently looking towards mid2020,” Mr Dobson said.

PARKING REMINDER

People should be aware that parking for patients, visitors and staff will continue to be at minimum levels during 2020.

To make sure you can attend your appointments, GV Health recommends the following:

• Leave 15 minutes early to allow time to fi nd a car park.

• Arrange for someone to drive you and pick you up.

• Park nearby but please be mindful of neighbours and pay attention to parking signs and time restrictions.

RECRUITMENT RAMPS UP

Executive director people and culture Stacey Weeks said in order to recruit the current and future positions needed there were some key projects underway.

“In terms of the current workforce issues there are short, medium and long-term initiatives being worked on,” she said.

GV Health will work closely with a new talent acquisition manager, currently being advertised, who will work to attract and retain staff.

Mr Sharp said there would be about 450 new jobs created as a result of the redevelopment which will begin to be fi lled during 2020.

“We’ve just advertised three gap year programs for young people fi nishing Year 12 — one allied health assistant, one health assistant in nursing and a health administration role as well,” Ms Weeks said.

“We’re really clear on what our current issues are and what our projected workforce needs are and we’ve been putting together a number of initiatives to address those areas; in the next 12 months it’s going to be all about implementing those initiatives,” Mr Sharp said.