UCPH Newsletter - March 2016

Latest news on the ACT’s new hospital

Construction begins

Construction of the University of Canberra Public Hospital began in early 2016, at the site on the corner of Aikman and Ginninderra Drive in Bruce. The hospital will form part of the University of Canberra’s health precinct. To watch a video showing how construction will progress, please visit www.health.act.gov.au/ UCPH.

Head Contractor announced

The Minister for Health, Simon Corbell, announced the head contractor for the University of Canberra Public Hospital in November 2015. Brookfield Multiplex will design and construct the new hospital and its partner company Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions will maintain the completed facility. Brookfield Multiplex has significant experience in health sector construction projects, delivering the $2 billion Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth and a $385 million clinical research and education hub at the University of Sydney’s Camperdown Campus.

Brookfield Multiplex and Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions have also worked together on a number of similar projects, including Casey Hospital and La Trobe Hospital in Victoria.

Final design released

Minister Corbell also released the final design for the hospital, which is featured in the artists’ impressions throughout this newsletter. The final design includes convenient underground parking to reduce walking time for staff and patients, which was a key point raised by members of the community during the reference design consultation in early 2015.

About the UCPH

The University of Canberra Public Hospital, also known as the UCPH, is being built as part of the ACT Government’s Health Infrastructure Program. Since 2008, more than $909 million has been invested in the Health Infrastructure Program, which is one of the largest infrastructure investments in the ACT’s history.

The UCPH will be a different kind of hospital – focused specifically on subacute care. It will provide rehabilitation and support for people with illness or injuries, or who are recovering from surgery, as well as offering adult mental health rehabilitation services. It will not include services such as an emergency department, intensive care unit or surgery, which are known as ‘acute’ services. This will help to ease the growing pressure on the acute areas at Canberra Hospital and Calvary Hospital, as well as providing a more appropriate environment for people to receive subacute care.

At the UCPH, people will be supported to become more independent as they recover. The service will focus on addressing challenges and developing skills and resources to help them live in the community and have an enhanced quality of life. There will also be more options, including expanded day services, ambulatory services and tailored programs, to ensure that the care provided meets individual’s needs. For people with illness or injuries, or who are recovering from surgery, this may allow them to stay living in their homes while receiving care, or to return home sooner. The UCPH will be a new and innovative health service for the ACT and will be a valuable addition to our health system.


The site north west of the main University of Canberra campus has the added benefit of helping to enable research opportunities. The UCPH will be a teaching hospital, continuing the ACT’s integration of clinical and teaching environments for the benefit of our current and future health care providers. The research opportunities will benefit not only the UCPH and our local community, but the broader healthcare sector as well.


In developing the design for the UCPH, ACT Health has worked closely with a number of stakeholders. In March 2015, an early version of the design (the ‘reference design’) was released for community consultation, and the feedback helped to create the final design.

The final design Brookfield Multiplex has created in consultation with ACT Health and key stakeholders is inspired by the natural landscape of the ACT and in particular the Brindabellas. It works with the natural features of the site and is centred on the theme ‘nature is nurturing’.

The layout of the facility will include mental health areas to the north, rehabilitation inpatient units to the west, rehabilitation day service areas and the hydrotherapy pool to the south, and the University of Canberra’s education areas to the east. There will be onsite pharmacy, pathology and imaging services, as well as a cafe.

As in the reference design, the main entry and pick-up / set-down location will be on the east side of the main building, with a secondary entry to the south.

The Services

Inpatient Units

The Neurological Rehabilitation Unit will provide care for patients with a range of neurological conditions including stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis and Guillain-Barre syndrome.

The General Rehabilitation Unit will provide care for patients with a range of conditions including amputations, deconditioning and disability associated with medical illness, surgery or trauma.

The Older Person’s Rehabilitation Unit will provide older age appropriate rehabilitation services for patients who are likely to have a range of medical comorbidities associated with ageing, such as cognitive impairment, hip and other fractures, post surgery or non-operative management, ortho-geriatric conditions, de-conditioning and Parkinson’s Disease.

The Slow Stream Rehabilitation Unit will provide rehabilitation services for patients with limited tolerance or ability to participate in rehabilitation. Patients may include those with non-weight bearing restrictions and patients who require maintenance services whilst awaiting completion of home modifications, or placement into residential aged care.

The Adult Mental Health Rehabilitation Unit (AMHRU) will deliver effective recovery based treatment and rehabilitation to adults with mental illness, whose needs cannot be met by less intensive community based mental health services. The primary goal of treatment and support will be to enhance the person’s quality of life and/or improve their functional status.

Day services

The UCPH will offer a range of ambulatory care services and programs, offering some people the option of working towards their rehabilitation goals through day services. The day rehabilitation programs may include therapy sessions in the gym, therapy kitchen, therapy bathroom or laundry relearning vital skills of daily living.

The Adult Mental Health Day Service will provide recovery focused services, pharmacotherapy and other health and speciality services, such as individual and group programs for psychotherapy, psychoeducation, creative therapies, healthy lifestyle and living skills.

Additional outpatient services

To complement the day therapy sessions, other ambulatory services at the UCPH will include rehabilitation and geriatrician medical clinics, nurse practitioner clinics, a Driver Assessment Rehabilitation Service, Prosthetics Clinics, Memory Assessment Services and a Falls Injury and Falls Prevention Service.

Rehabilitation and geriatric sessional therapy and services will provide a range of services for people who generally require less intensive intervention that is offered in the day programs.


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© Australian Capital Territory, Canberra, March 2016