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RHH Redevelopment Support Package

25th May, 2017

Michael Ferguson, Minster for Health

RHH Redevelopment Support Package

As the State’s major health facility the Royal Hobart Hospital is vitally important to every Tasmanian. The Hodgman Liberal Government will continue to support the RHH with an additional $76.6 million recurrent funding package in the 2017-18 Budget to address Emergency Department pressures, and an additional $7 million for important capital works.

With increased demand as well as short-term capacity pressures caused by the RHH Redevelopment, we understand that more needs to be done.

To ease these pressures we opened the new 54-bed temporary inpatient facility to ensure patient and staff safety during the demolition and construction of the 10-storey tower.

The RHH Redevelopment Support Package will open more beds, employ more staff and ensure patients get the best care possible in the most appropriate location.

The Support Package comprises:

  • 10 new short stay beds, five treatment chairs and additional triage and ED nurse staffing - $20 million;
  • Operation of a new ward at the Hobart Repatriation Hospital, providing 22 additional staffed beds and freeing up beds at the Royal - $19.3 million;
  • Set up costs of the new beds and treatment spaces - $3 million;
  • Increase orderlies and infection control staffing at the Royal - $1 million;
  • Extend the occupational therapist rapid response initiative, to help keep people out of hospital - $840,000;
  • Increase capacity to treat mental health rehabilitation patients at the Tolosa Street Respite and Rehabilitation Centre - $2 million; and
  • Trial a range of initiatives to improve patient flow through this coming winter, including additional allied health support over weekends, extended pharmacy opening hours to assist more timely patient discharge and using the ambulatory care unit for overnight patients to aid patient flow - $2.4 million.

In addition, the 27 new beds announced in March but only funded until June 30 this year are funded – with $28.1 million provided over the Budget and across the forward estimates period.

This package is part of the biggest ever investment in health by a Tasmanian Government.

On top of the $76.6 million recurrent funding boost, $6 million is provided to establish a THS Statewide Operations and Command Centre to deliver better care with improved patient flow, and new capital funding of $7 million is provided for works at the Hobart Repatriation Hospital to build new ward space.

This new capital project comes on the back of the success of the RHH Redevelopment.

In the past year a number of milestones have been achieved, including the opening of the 54-bed temporary facility as well as the demolition of the old building set to make way for the new 10-storey tower with helipad.

Ground works are now well underway and construction of the tower is set to begin in coming months.

It's important to remember that while the redevelopment is causing short-term issues, it will mean a new state-of-the-art health facility with capacity for an additional 250-beds when completed in 2019.

I also want to reassure Tasmanians that patient safety remains our number one priority and we won't do anything to compromise that during the redevelopment.