Construction complete on new Hervey Bay Mental Health Unit

Published Wednesday, 08 November, 2023 at 11:39 AM

Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

  • Stage one of an almost $40 million Fraser Coast Mental Health Service project has been completed and is set to start delivering services in early 2024.
  • Stage one involves a new 22 bed inpatient unit in Hervey Bay which will enable consumers to receive timely care in a modern, purpose-built facility.
  • This is the first time there has been a specific mental health inpatient capacity at Hervey Bay.

With construction completed, doors of the new Hervey Bay Mental Health Inpatient unit (IPU) will open to patients early next year.

Health Minister Shannon Fentiman visited the new 22 bed facility today, which is stage one of a nearly $40 million project set to have a profound impact on mental healthcare services on the Fraser Coast.

The historic milestone marks the first time that Hervey Bay will have its own specific mental health inpatient capacity.

The IPU will provide more timely access for patients and help divert mental health presentations away from the emergency department, taking pressure off the whole hospital.

The Hervey Bay IPU will serve as the operational hub for the Community Acute Care Team, situated near the Hervey Bay Hospital's emergency department.

The second stage of the project will also be important for the region, transforming the existing inpatient unit at Maryborough Hospital into a fully refurbished 10-bed specialist sub-acute unit, specifically dedicated to older people's mental health care.

Today’s completion means that staff and acute patients from Maryborough will relocate to the new acute inpatient unit in Hervey Bay in early 2024 and pave the way for the beginning of the Stage 2 refurbishment at Maryborough Hospital.

Together, both stages will increase mental health inpatient bed capacity from the current 14 beds at Maryborough to a total of 32 beds across the Fraser Coast.

Funding for this critical expansion has been allocated through the Palaszczuk Government’s $1.64 billion Better Care Together Plan, which is enhancing mental healthcare services in the region and promoting recovery-focused care.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services Shannon Fentiman:

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to ensuring Queenslanders have access to the best healthcare available, no matter where they live.

“This new mental health facility will mean that more beds and essential support services will be available closer to home for residents in Hervey Bay and surrounding areas.

“We know regional areas are particularly vulnerable to mental health crises and by increasing our commitment to services on the Fraser Coast we can ensure this community has access to the support and services they expect and deserve.

Quotes attributable to Adrian Tantari, Member for Hervey Bay 

“It’s so important that locals are able to access the care they need, where and when they need it most.

“That’s why I’m so proud to see access to acute mental health inpatient capacity delivered in Hervey Bay for the first time.

“What’s more, this new facility will take pressure off the emergency department at our local Hervey Bay Hospital.

“It’s all part of our Government’s plan to deliver world class healthcare close to home.”

Quotes attributable to Bruce Saunders, Assistant Minister for Train Manufacturing and Regional Roads, Member for Maryborough

“The Palaszczuk Government is working hard to deliver the services our growing Fraser Coast region needs, where they are needed.

“I’m pleased to say the completion of this project paves the way for our Government to deliver Stage 2 of our refurbishments to Maryborough Hospital in my community.

“It’s just one part of a range of infrastructure projects which together are delivering a huge uplift to our community.”

Quotes attributable to WBHHS Chief Executive Debbie Carroll

“It is extremely exciting development for the Fraser Coast community to see this facility  completed.

“On average, 70% of Adult Acute Inpatient admissions in the current facility in Maryborough are from the Hervey Bay catchment.

“Studies have shown better outcomes are achieved when consumers receive care and treatment closer to their place of residence.

“We are looking forward to seeing the new space used by our staff, consumers, and their families.