New funding announcement signals big changes for Dhelkaya Health

More than $1.2 million in funding through the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund (RHIF) has been announced for three Dhelkaya Health sites across the Mount Alexander Shire.

Castlemaine Health’s Cornish Street site, Maldon Hospital, and the old hospital site in Halford Street are each set to benefit from major improvement works, which includes:

  • $318,000 to re-design and re-purpose Castlemaine Health’s existing front reception for use as a sterile stock facility to ensure compliance for accreditation requirements, with a new reception area already planned for the Odgers Road entrance.
  • $418,000 for demolition of the old Halford Street nurses’ quarters, which has been unoccupied since the site was decommissioned in the 1990s.
  • $494,860 for fire safety and risk management works to ensure Dhelkaya Health infrastructure and buildings at Maldon and Castlemaine are better equipped for fire preparedness.

Jason Stevens, Executive Director Corporate Services, said: “We are thrilled to be able to share this news with our local communities.”

Having a dedicated sterile stock facility in the main block of the Castlemaine campus will improve clinical staff access to critical supplies and consumables. The commitment will also enable a review of the patient and visitor flow at the Castlemaine campus of Dhelkaya Health. Investment in fire safety and preparedness means safer buildings and grounds for patients, residents, staff and local communities in both Maldon and Castlemaine.

Mr Stevens said: “The funding announcement for demolition of the old nurses’ quarters at our Halford Street campus affords us the opportunity to eliminate the risk that the redundant building presents to our health service and the community. The commitment will allow us to ensure the site becomes a safer environment.”

Following a competitive tender and appointment processes to run over the coming months, projected timelines for the Halford Street project should see the demolition works completed by June 2023. The adjacent building and offices on the Halford Street site, which are currently leased by Workspace, will remain intact. These buildings and offices are run as an incubator for business start-ups and are occupied by up to 80 small local businesses.

While there are no agreed plans yet for the Halford Street site’s future purpose, the demolition of the unoccupied nurses’ quarters opens up options for future accommodation and use.

Vanessa Healy, Board Chair, said: “While we have lots of ideas, we don’t yet know what Halford Street will look like in the future. But we do know it will be safer and more secure for those who work and live nearby thanks to this funding.

“I’d like to acknowledge and thank Dhelkaya Health’s Executive Director Jason Stevens, Director Justin Sawyers and CEO Sue Race for the significant amount of time and effort that went into the RHIF application process. We are truly delighted with the outcome, and are grateful for the support of Maree Edwards MP and the Victorian Government. Dhelkaya Health has a very bright future ahead.”

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