Project manager and architect appointed for new Acute Mental Health Unit

AMHU artist impression

West Moreton Health has appointed project managers Aurecon and architects Hassell to deliver a new 50-bed Acute Mental Health Unit (AMHU) to be built at Ipswich Hospital.

Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said $91 million in funding for the new Acute Mental Health Unit was part of the Palaszczuk Government’s $146.3 million commitment for the master-planned Ipswich Health Precinct.

“Every Queenslander, no matter where they live, deserves access to the best healthcare, including mental health care, which is what this project will deliver,” Ms Howard said.

Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden said the Acute Mental Health Unit was a key element of the Ipswich Health Precinct under West Moreton Health’s 15-year Master Plan.

“The new facility, which has been co-designed with consumers and clinicians, will provide six extra beds as well as contemporary models of mental health care.”

Member for Bundamba Lance McCallum said the build would also free up the current mental health site on the Ipswich Hospital campus, creating room for future hospital expansion.

“The Acute Mental Health Unit and the Ipswich Hospital 26-bed ward refurbishment will support about 100 jobs during construction,” Mr McCallum said.

Member for Jordan Charis Mullen said the new Acute Mental Health Unit, near the current site, will provide best practice mental health care and assessment, recovery and rehabilitation services for adults and older people.

“The current Acute Mental Health Unit, which was built in the 1990s, will be demolished once the new facility is in use, creating more available land for further hospital expansion,” Ms Mullen said.

The site, across from Ipswich Hospital, is bounded by Chelmsford and Kallara avenues and Walker Street. An enclosed overhead bridge will link the new facility with Ipswich Hospital for the safe movement of patients, staff and equipment.

West Moreton Health Board Chair Michael Willis said Aurecon and Hassell were appointed after a competitive tender process.

“Aurecon is providing project management and contract management for West Moreton Health as we build a new state-of-the art mental health unit,” Mr Willis said.

Aurecon have extensive experience on complex health projects in Queensland, including construction project management at Longreach Hospital, Gladstone Hospital’s Emergency Department, Queensland Children’s Hospital and the Roma Hospital Redevelopment.

“Aurecon will work to ensure nearby residents experience minimal impact during construction,” Mr Willis said.

“We strive to be good neighbours throughout the build and into the future as hospital services increase to meet population growth.

“We know the construction will cause disruption to neighbours and we will work with residents on any of their concerns.”

West Moreton Health Chief Executive, Dr Kerrie Freeman said patients will have access to internal gardens and courtyards as part of their care.

“Hassell will work with West Moreton Health to design a healing mental health care environment that nurtures wellbeing and mindfulness for our consumers through the use of modern materials, construction methods and engineering design,” she said.

Seven properties will be demolished and cleared from the site in July following the appointment of the early works contractor.

The main construction will begin early next year and will be completed by late 2022.

The Queensland Government has committed $146.3 million to the Master Plan to deliver infrastructure that meets the future health needs of the state’s fastest-growing hospital and health region.

Other components include an MRI suite, which was opened at Ipswich Hospital in December 2019, a new $25 million 26-bed ward at Ipswich Hospital and the purchase of nearby Ipswich City Council buildings.

“Overall, these projects mean more people can receive care closer to home,” Dr Freeman said.

To learn more about the Acute Mental Health Unit and Stage 1 of the Master Plan, view the flyer here.