Artist impression of the acute mental health ward to be built at Ipswich Hospital.
Artist impression of the acute mental health ward to be built at Ipswich Hospital.

Ipswich Hospital: Inside new $91m mental health ward plans

WEST Moreton Health has appointed project managers Aurecon and architects Hassell to deliver a new 50-bed acute mental health unit, to be built at Ipswich Hospital.

Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard said $91 million in funding for the new unit was part of the State Government's $146.3 million commitment for the masterplanned 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.

The unit is a key element of the precinct under West Moreton Health's 15-year master plan.

It is planned to provide best practice mental health care and assessment, recovery and rehabilitation services for adults and older people.

The build of the new facility will free up the current mental health site at the hospital and create more room for future expansion.

The current acute mental health unit, which was built in the 1990s, will be demolished once the new unit is in use.

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

The site, across from Ipswich Hospital, is bounded by Chelmsford and Kallara avenues and Walker St.

An enclosed overhead bridge will link the new facility with Ipswich Hospital.

"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.

Mr Willis said Aurecon has 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," he 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.

Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor.