SPIRE Centre set to transform Canberra Hospital

The new Surgical Procedures, Interventional Radiology and Emergency (SPIRE) Centre will future-proof hospital facilities for Canberra and our region by transforming the acute health services delivered at The Canberra Hospital.

The SPIRE Centre will deliver 114 Emergency Department treatment spaces – 39 more than are currently available at The Canberra Hospital, as well as 60 ICU beds – doubling the number currently available.

SPIRE will include four new paediatric ICU beds and a family zone to provide support services for families who have children in the ICU.

It will also deliver 22 new state-of-the-art operating theatres – nine more than are currently available, including hybrid theatres and interventional radiology theatres that will support the most advanced medical technology and techniques in caring for Canberrans.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the delivery of SPIRE forms part of the ACT Government’s plan to future-proof Canberra’s healthcare system to meet ongoing growth in demand for high quality, free public healthcare.

“The SPIRE Centre was one of our most significant commitments at the 2016 election. We are getting on with delivering it because we understand how important it is to be building now to meet Canberra’s healthcare needs into the future.”

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Meegan Fitzharris said the original scope of the SPIRE Centre has been expanded as a result of consultation with the clinical workforce and we look forward to that continuing as Canberra Health Services (CHS) works through the finer details.

“ACT Health and CHS have engaged with clinicians extensively and we’ve listened,” Minister Fitzharris said.

“The SPIRE Centre we are announcing today will be bigger and better than first planned and will provide the best outcomes for our community and for our current and future health workforce.

“Many of the key aspects of SPIRE have been boosted, with this state-of-the-art critical care and surgical facility able to meet the acute healthcare needs of our growing and ageing community well into the future.”

This significant investment by the ACT Government will be complemented by a new Australian National University (ANU) building that will boost the teaching, training and research presence on The Canberra Hospital campus.

“This investment by the ANU means Canberra and the SPIRE Centre will be very attractive to the best and brightest students and clinicians nationally and internationally who want to do their medical training and research in a modern, state-of-the-art facility.”

Canberra Health Services Chief Executive Officer Bernadette McDonald said she was excited about the expansion in the scope of SPIRE and the ANU’s contribution.

“The expanded SPIRE project will be fantastic for the ACT community as well as for Canberra Health Services staff,” Ms McDonald said.

“The additional theatres, intensive care beds and ED cubicles will help future-proof us for demand that is to come.

“While we have all these services now, SPIRE builds on our existing capacity through a project that will be custom-designed on the advice of our clinicians to improve safety, patient experience and the working environment for our staff.”

The new Surgical Procedures, Interventional Radiology and Emergency Centre (SPIRE) will be located at the eastern end of the Canberra Hospital campus. Preparatory site works for SPIRE will get underway with decanting and site works commencing this year, with construction set for completion in 2023-24.

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