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Builder and designs revealed for $492M mental health facilities

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A builder has been selected and designs revealed for Victoria’s new acute mental health facilities in Epping, Geelong, Parkville and St Albans.

Lendlease Building has been appointed as head contractor to deliver the project, following a tender process.

The designs include each facilities exteriors, grounds and internal fit-outs, which aim to create a safe, welcoming, and healing atmosphere for consumers on their treatment and recovery journey.

Developed in consultation with carers, clinicians, staff and consumers, the new facilities will deliver the state’s mental health system with an additional 120 beds.

The beds will be spread across Northern Health’s Epping campus (30 beds), Barwon Health’s McKellar Centre (16 beds), the Royal Melbourne Hospital (22 beds) and Western Health’s Sunshine Hospital (52 beds).

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The $492 million investment will be delivered by the Victorian Health Building Authority. It is a response to a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.

Construction will involve a combination of modular solutions and traditional construction and refurbishment, with works set to start in mid-2021. All four facilities are expected to be operational by 2023.

Once operational, the beds will deliver an estimated 43,000 extra days of hospital-based care, allowing 2500 more people access to help when they need it most.

The new facilities aim to reduce pressure on emergency departments and deliver acute mental health services, including inpatient and community-based care to Victorians experiencing acute mental health issues from contemporary, safe, and high-quality hospital settings.

Acting Premier and Mental Health Minister James Merlino said the new beds will take pressure off of Victoria’s emergency departments.

“We’re implementing every recommendation of the Royal Commission – to fix our broken mental health system and save lives,” he said.

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