Rural Northwest Health commits $800,000 to Warracknabeal hospital redevelopment

RURAL Northwest Health has committed a further $800,000 to the redevelopment of Warracknabeal Hospital.

Work on the second stage of the $10.6-million project starts next week.

Chief executive Catherine Morley said the money would make the project more cost-effective.

“Despite the planning process it became apparent we weren’t going to be able to achieve everything we wanted within the $9.8-million scope,” she said.

“So another section of work has been allocated to allow the building to be completed and that includes more extensive refurbishment of part of the Landt Nursing Home.

“We have still compromised on a couple of things to meet budget, but by spending a bit extra now we will get it all finished in one go and we get a better deal by including it all in one package.” 

The redevelopment includes a new aged care wing, to be built in tandem with a community health wing.

“Once the aged care wing is completed, work can start on the redevelopment of the acute and urgent care wing,” Ms Morley said.

“We are working closely with the builders, so we will have plenty of notice and will be able to tell staff, residents and community members about any disruption to the campus early enough for them to prepare for the disruption.”

Some aged care beds have been closed because of the works.

“Two of the wings will be joined together so the end rooms involved in the linking will be closed while works are completed,” Ms Morley said.

“The residents and families involved will have regular updates from the Rural Northwest Health team so they know what the process will be.”

She said the redevelopment should be finished by December next year and officially open in March 2016.

“We are very lucky to have had funding from the federal government and are grateful for the state government’s support,” Ms Morley said.

Up to 35 construction staff will be working at the site for the project’s duration.

Nicholson Construction was awarded the contract. 

Director Richard Nicholson said Horsham builder Scott Bond would be the site manager and Geoff Pickering from Ballarat would be the project manager.

“It will be a big job from day one, because we will be tackling two areas together, but we are very conscious of the need to maintain services and minimise disruption,” Mr Nicholson said.

“In some respects the project will feel like coming home, because we completed the early works for stage one back in 2006.”

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