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Port Macquarie Mental Health Expansion, Port Macquarie, NSW

The Mental Health Expansion project upgraded and expanded the existing Mental Health facility at Port Macquarie Base Hospital.

The 24-bed Acute Mental Health Inpatient Unit has been purpose built to meet future needs, as identified in the Mid North Coast Local Health District’s Mental Health Services Clinical Services Plan. The new unit provides a safe and therapeutic environment for acutely unwell patients with known or suspected psychiatric conditions and behavioural disorders. Designed to Australian Health Facility Guidelines, the unit includes appropriate facilities for reception, administration, admission, assessment, diagnosis, observation, treatment and recovery of patients.

The facility caters for a range of patients, with the design allowing for the different patient cohorts to either be separated or to share spaces and activities. It was important to provide an environment that is calming and reassuring for patients. Since the opening of the facility, feedback from patients and staff has been very positive. Careful planning and placement of important elements such as externally-located staff bases has enabled staff and patient interaction.

The abundance of natural light and non-clinical environment have positively impacted on patient experience. The unit is located high and adjacent to banks of gum trees and provides good views from each bedroom through the native bushland. The main central courtyard takes full advantage of the available natural light, providing a relaxing place for patients. The design has also provided space for patients to socialise, undertake activities such as music or art therapy or utilise the quiet reflection space.

Staff have reported that the design helps them to realise and deliver their new models of care.


PROJECT SIZE: 2,400 m²

STATUS: Completed

CLIENT: NSW Health Infrastructure

PHOTOGRAPHY: Jeremy Rogers Photography