OUR future health needs are being put under the microscope as Ballarat Health Services forms its plan to build for the next 30 years.
BHS is releasing its first draft master plan for building and infrastructure across the whole organisation. This will predominantly involve bringing all acute and lower level care together on the Base Hospital site, keeping the Queen Elizabeth Centre focused on aged care.
Green space has been a key feature in all design proposals to allow staff, patients and their families a chance to take time in safe, on-site gardens.
BHS will put three broad options direct to the public in community sessions next week to gauge opinion for what shape the future Base Hospital and QE should take.
This follows a $461.1 million state government investment in the hospital made in this month’s budget.
BHS chief executive officer Dale Fraser said a lot of buildings that were part of the hospital, built 20 to 30 years ago, were no longer fit for purpose and created limitations on staff and patient care.
The master plan was about looking at the bigger picture for the future, rather than building for immediate needs.
“That $460 million is a jump start to our redeveloping needs for the next period of time but we need to try and build slightly ahead of time,” Mr Fraser said. “This will be the guiding principles for extra growth and development, to ensure services are have the right space and purpose and green space.”
Each option has a slightly different shuffle of building works with varying access points to the hospital but all with respect to heritage. The need to grow must go up and so, there is likely to be a nine to 10-storey new build.
One option would move the main hospital entrance to Sturt Street with the emergency department in the centre of the site, partly in a bid to ease congestion on the hospital’s Mair Street corner. This would also fill in under-utilised space in the site’s centre where Windermere Street once ran behind what was the back of the hospital.
Mr Fraser said the master plan was catering to healthcare increasingly for people from beyond Ballarat with one in three daily visits from people in Melbourne’s outer western suburbs like Ballan and Bacchus Marsh.
BHS master plan community consultations will run in Lederman Hall at the QE on Tuesday at 3.30 or 5.30pm: bhs.org.au/masterplan.
Chance to shape city’s aging future
A FRESH look at the Queen Elizabeth Centre could reshape aged care for this city.
Ballarat Health Services’ draft master plan proposes to keep a focus on aged care and services at the Ascot Street site, which is a mix of aged, palliative and low level care and rehabilitation.
BHS chief executive officer Dale Fraser said this was a chance for the whole community to consider what would make the ideal aged care environment.
He suggested this might be styles of cafes or retail environments and how to best incorporate more green space.
“We are creating this master plan for community needs, so we want the community to have its say so we’re starting this journey on the right principles,” Mr Fraser said.
The master plan aims to future proof buildings for the next 20 to 30 years as Ballarat’s population is set to boom. Plans must also consider an ageing population in the state’s west and increasing visits from people living in Melbourne’s outer-western suburbs.
Under the proposed master plan, low level care on the QE site would return to a redeveloped Base Hospital.
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If approved, plans would mark a new chapter in an incredible transformation for the QE site, which was formerly Ballarat District Benevolent Asylum and Lying-In Hospital.
Draft plans have the potential to create a multi-storey building for services on the QE site.
The master plan for BHS buildings aims to complement the organisation’s service plan, looking to cater for the emerging and changing needs of the region’s healthcare.
This follows a $460 million state government injection for BHS Base Hospital in this year’s budget. Mr Fraser said the master plan helped guide where to best start using the funding.
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