The McGowan Government will invest $24.4 million as part of the WA Recovery Plan to provide an additional 20 mental health beds at Fremantle Hospital and supplement funding for the existing 20-bed expansion.
The new unit will include a 10-bed older adult neurological behavioural unit, caring for patients with complex needs including neurological and psychiatric issues. Patients will benefit greatly from a shared model of care between psychiatry and geriatric professionals.
There will also be a 10-bed adult ward, all single rooms with access to a courtyard.
This additional funding complements the 20-bed secure mental health unit at Fremantle Hospital announced by the McGowan Government in April 2019.
The 40-bed mental health development will transform Fremantle Hospital into a key mental health hub, significantly boosting the current 64-bed inpatient admission capacity and providing better access to expert care for patients with a mental illness in the South Metropolitan region.
Existing Fremantle Hospital buildings will be refurbished and redeveloped to cater for this new unit. Preliminary work on the redevelopment will commence shortly, with the unit expected to open in 2023.
This is a positive step forward for people living with a mental illness in Perth’s southern corridor, providing greater access to expert care and treatment and helping relieve pressure on busy emergency departments in the area.
As stated by Health and Mental Health Minister Roger Cook:
“Improving outcomes for people with mental illness is a priority for the McGowan Government.
“These additional 20-beds at Fremantle Hospital will ensure access to safe, high-quality mental health inpatient care and further assist in delivering timely care to our most vulnerable patients.
“In particular, it will provide specialist care for older adults with more complex needs.”
As stated by Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk:
“These extra beds mean people in Fremantle and surrounds will have access to mental health care closer to their homes and loved ones.
“We know that there is huge demand for mental health services across the community. Ensuring that there are inpatient services available is an important way to better our mental health system.”