Details of a plan aimed at guiding the development of the Launceston General Hospital over the next 20 years have been revealed.
A Tasmania Health Service North Executive meeting paper obtained by The Examiner lays out the key findings of the draft LGH masterplan and recommends the endorsement of a four-stage redevelopment.
This includes the design and construction of a new mental health services precinct on the existing Anne O'Byrne site, and a new tower on the hospital's Northiside site to be used as an in-patient and out-patient precinct.
The paper lays bare the key issues identified through consultation with stakeholders, including the "limited space on the main campus to expand and/or bring clinical and support spaces up to contemporary standards to meet projected services demand".
It also acknowledges "a lack of storage, office, teaching and meeting spaces" across most sites and the need to invest in strengthening home-based and community-based care.
According to the meeting paper, prepared on February 1 and cleared by chief executive hospitals North and North-West Eric Daniels, the draft masterplan will be submitted to Health Minister Sarah Courtney in late February, with consultation to occur in March.
The masterplan aims to guide how the remainder of $87.3 million in state government funds will be allocated out to 2024, identifying Northside and the Anne O'Byrne sites as the "best future expansion and development opportunities" within the precinct.
A timeline for the LGH masterplan was revised by the state government in response to COVID-19, with a public consultation process launched in December 2019 and work recommencing in August 2020.
Aimed at setting out the infrastructure requirements for the next 50 years of health service delivery in Northern Tasmania, the plan also includes consideration of how a co-located private hospital could compliment the broader LGH precinct.
Calvary's $100 million unsolicited bid remains at stage two with the Office of the Coordinator General.
In its meeting paper, the THS North Executive proposes four "high level" stages of development of the LGH precinct.
Stage one, with works commencing in 2021/22 and funded through the $87.3 million LGH redevelopment commitment, proposes the fit out of the Charles Street tower for paediatric outpatients, allied health, maternity and gynaecology outpatient services.
It also identifies interim priority works for negative pressure rooms in the hospital's acute medical unit, central re-processing unit and an emergency department airlock upgrade, along with providing additional in-patient capacity by bringing forward the refurbishment of Ward 3D as a purpose-built unit for patients with complex behaviours.
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Under stage 2, subject to funding, it proposes the design and construction of a new mental health services precinct on the Anne O'Byrne site, providing a co-located in-patient unit, community based mental health services, and the alcohol and other drug service "which will free up space on [the] main campus for future development".
Under stage 3 and 4, the plan proposes the building of a new tower on the Northside site, which will include: a consolidated theatre complex on level five; the expansion and redesign of pharmacy, pathology and the Holman Clinic; improvements to in-patient wards including more single rooms; consolidation of back of house services including dedicated service corridors and lifts; and a reorientation of the main entrance to Cleveland Street and upgrades to front of house and public amenities.
Health Minister Sarah Courtney said while the government had not yet received the final draft masterplan, she understood the Northern health executive had endorsed "a set of proposals with some really exciting works that will make a huge difference for staff and patients".
"Bringing forward the Ward 3D refurbishment will be significant for the hospital," she said.
"Last year's budget included significant funding for more beds, and refurbishing 3D will allow us to open more beds in the North.
"Increasing inpatient space at the LGH has been a priority of the Government, because we know that we need to build more space to deliver care, improve patient flow and take pressure off the ED.
"In addition to this, I am also excited at the opportunities the masterplan will outline to improve facilities for maternity services, mental health services, and in increasing the number of negative pressure rooms."
Ms Courtney said the final draft of the masterplan will be released for further consultation with the community, local staff and the unions from next month.
"I thank all who have provided feedback so far and acknowledge the community's huge interest in this process," she said.
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