Building works underway at RCH

Construction works are now underway on the first stage of a project to expand The Royal Children’s Hospital, adding more inpatient beds and Emergency Department treatment spaces.

The major redevelopment is the result of a $41.3 million investment by the Victorian Government.

Around 20 workers are now on site each day as part of Stage One, which involves converting vacant floor space on level five into a brand new ward. This ‘empty shell’ was built into designs for the original RCH building, catering for future growth.

Stage Two of the project will see the RCH Emergency Department (ED) expanded to include 20 more clinical treatment spaces, optimised workflows, upgraded staff rooms, and more child-friendly spaces.

Royal Children’s Hospital CEO Bernadette McDonald described the upgrade as timely and important.

“This project will help us meet increasing demand in the community, and to keep providing that very high level of clinical care this hospital is known for,” Ms. McDonald said.
“We’re expecting to have a new ward complete by the end of 2022, and for ED works to start in the middle of this year.”

Stage One works are almost all confined to the Level 5 ‘empty shell’ space, and include the installation of walls, air conditioning, electrical wiring along with furniture and fittings.

In the lead up to Easter, construction teams are carrying out the most intensive phase of the project, which involves the installation of essential plumbing between levels four and five.

“At the moment we are seeing low and occasionally medium level noise in some parts of the hospital, and this is linked to these initial plumbing works we’re expecting to see complete before Easter,” Ms McDonald said.

“We are very grateful to patients, families and staff for their patience while we get through the works.”

Once complete, the new 30-bed ward will provide care for children and infants with a range of acute and chronic illnesses.

Following a competitive tender process, Kane Constructions was contracted to carry out the Stage One works, while a tender process is underway for the Stage Two portion of the project.


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