Building for the future: improving access to the state’s hospitals

Published 12th March, 2014 in Health

The NSW Government is getting on with the job of improving access to some of the State’s busiest hospitals for staff, patients and their families.

carpark at Sutherland Hospital

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and Health Minister Jillian Skinner have inspected construction work on the new multi-storey car park at Sutherland Hospital, which will deliver an additional 300 places for staff and the public.

“We understand that accessible, secure car parking is a vital component of our hospital system,” said Mr O’Farrell, who was joined at Sutherland Hospital by local MPs Mark Speakman (Cronulla), Lee Evans (Heathcote) and Melanie Gibbons (Menai).

“We will spend over $115 million in our first four-year term on major capital works car park projects across the State – adding well over 3,000 car spaces for staff, patients and their families.

“The four-storey structure at Sutherland Hospital will provide an additional 300 places for staff and the public, taking to 1,000 the number of spaces on this hospital.”

Mrs Skinner said the need for modern, accessible car parking is one of the issues most commonly raised as she visit hospitals and speaks with staff and patients.

“Building new car parks at our hospitals benefits the hardworking staff and patients alike,” Mrs Skinner said.

“Modern, secure, accessible parking is also a great support to the people who visit hospitals at all hours of the day and night to support our patients.

“These visits can be highly stressful for loved ones but we know that access to car parking can be a support to them at a difficult time,” Mrs Skinner said.

The new Sutherland Hospital car park project is located on the site of the existing car park. It includes:

  • Phase 1 - additional ground level  car spaces at the eastern end of the staff car park on the site of the former helipad (completed)
  • Phase 2 - a new four-level multi-storey car park at the western end (underway)
  • Phase 3 - the remainder of the ground level car spaces adjacent to the multi-deck will be reconfigured and reconstructed to suit the new layout (following completion of multi-deck)

The project is due for completion by the end of this year.

The local MPs welcomed progress on the car park, which follows the NSW Government’s announcement in October of $400,000 to plan for a major redevelopment of Sutherland Hospital, which would include up to 60 new inpatient beds and a refurbishment of the emergency department.

Mr Speakman said he was pleased the new car park would comprise both ground-level and multi-deck parking and that construction would be staged, to reduce the impact on existing spaces and the inconvenience to those who use them.

“Our community is passionate about this hospital – from the frontline health services it delivers through to the car parking it provides,” Mr Speakman said.

Mr Evans said: “It is great to see this project moving forward. The people of Sutherland Shire have long wanted more car parking at their hospital. It will make a big difference to both the staff who work so hard at this hospital, patients and those who visit them.”

Ms Gibbons said the provision of more car parking around hospitals was an important issue.

“I am very pleased to be a member of a Government that is delivering what the people of this community have long wanted – more car parking at their hospital to make hard times easier.”

Apart from Sutherland Hospital, work is continuing on hospital car park projects at Blacktown Hospital ($24.2M – 600 spaces) and Wollongong ($27.8M – 700 spaces).

Major car park projects have also been completed at Nepean Hospital ($23.1M – 650 spaces) and Liverpool Hospital ($29M – over 900 additional spaces).

These major capital projects are in addition to car park expansions underway or complete hospitals around the State including Campbelltown, Wagga Wagga, Shoalhaven and Dubbo.

The NSW Government has also allocated planning money for new car parks at Westmead Hospital and Coffs Harbour Hospital

Published 12th March, 2014 in Health