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Mental health beds expansion project
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Mental health beds expansion project

The Victorian Government is urgently responding to a recommendation from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System with a $492 million investment in the delivery of 144 new acute public mental health beds.

The new beds, including 120 hospital-based beds and 24 home-based beds, will be delivered across four Victorian health services to address critical demand pressures, which have further increased during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The new hospital-based beds and services will be located at:

  • Northern Hospital, Epping
  • Sunshine Hospital, St Albans
  • The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville
  • McKellar Centre, North Geelong.

The home-based beds will be delivered by Barwon Health and Orygen Youth Health.

The project will increase capacity, reduce pressure on emergency departments, and provide additional support for people experiencing mental illness who require immediate treatment in a contemporary, safe and high-quality setting.

Once complete, the new hospital-based beds will provide more than 43,000 days of care, enabling 2,500 more Victorians to access vital mental health services every year.

Overview of the mental health beds expansion project

The Mental health beds expansion project will deliver:

  • a combination of hospital-based and home-based acute mental health beds
  • increased clinical consulting areas
  • more staff and support areas.

New acute mental health beds and services will be delivered at the following locations:

  • Northern Hospital - 185 Cooper St, Epping
  • Sunshine Hospital - Furlong Rd, St Albans
  • The Royal Melbourne Hospital - 300 Grattan St, Parkville
  • McKellar Centre - 45-95 Ballarat Rd, North Geelong.

The home-based beds will be delivered by Barwon Health and Orygen Youth Health.

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

More acute mental health beds

More 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

Deliver facilities that support safe and modern mental health care, providing more support for consumers presenting at emergency departments who need dedicated clinical care. Modern, responsive facilities will provide high quality care to consumers and promote recovery.

Experience-led design process

People with a variety of views and perspectives are being engaged during the project to inform the facility and service designs. This will include people with lived experience of mental illness, such as consumers, families and carers, as well as medical, nursing and allied health professionals and other staff.

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

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

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

  • Mental Health Reform Victoria (MHRV)
  • Barwon Health
  • Melbourne Health
  • Northern Health
  • NorthWestern Mental Health
  • Orygen Youth Health
  • Western Health
  • NTC Architects (Principal Consultant)
  • NH Architecture
  • BG Architecture.

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 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.

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. Home-based services will enable some consumers to recover at home, or in a community residence, so they can remain more connected to their family, friends and community-based supports.

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.

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

The new facilities will be 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.

Where is the project up to?

We’re currently in the master planning and design stages. We are aiming to complete a detailed analysis of the design requirements for each of the new mental health facilities, with input from Mental Health Reform Victoria and health services. The design process will continue through to early 2021.

Consultation

We’re committed to engaging people with a variety of views and perspectives during the project. This will include people with lived experience of mental illness, medical, nursing and allied health professionals and care staff. We will take on their views and experiences in an experience-led design process to ensure they inform important aspects of the project. We’re also working in partnership with both health and mental health services. Our partners are a central part of our consultation process and will participate in project planning, including the development of the designs for each facility and service.

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Last updated: 25 November 2020