The Centenary Hospital for Women and Children Expansion Project

The ACT Government has invested more than $50 million to expand the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children (CHWC). This is an exciting project that will ensure we are able to meet the growing health service demand from the Canberra community as our population continues to rapidly increase over coming years.

Centenary Hospital for Women and Children expansion

The expansion project provides a planned, comprehensive and structured response to these growth pressures through expanded infrastructure and service solutions, for birthing women, newborn babies, children and adolescents with a range of health care needs. Canberra Health Services strives to provide the best possible care, in the right setting, delivered by the right person at the right time.

You can find out more about the Project by watching this short video

This project will deliver a range of new services as shown below:

The Centenary Hospital for Women and Children Expansion Project infographic

Latest information

Latest news

New Administration Building design now finalised

The final designs have now been approved for the new Centenary Hospital for Women and Children (CHWC) Administration Building which will be built to the right of the CHWC forecourt.

Now that the Paediatric High Care Ward redevelopment has been completed and is now in operation, the next project to commence is the construction of the Administration Building. This new building will house those staff currently occupying areas in the CHWC so that new clinical spaces can be constructed their place.

Over the coming weeks, staff and visitors will see some activity around the area which is necessary before the project begins. It is anticipated that the new building will be complete mid-2021.

New Early Pregnancy Unit to be included in project

Women with complications relating to early pregnancy, including early pregnancy loss, will be able to access care in a new dedicated Early Pregnancy Unit to be built at the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children.

The dedicated facility will support women and families experiencing pregnancy loss  less than 20 weeks’ gestation; offering medical, emotional and psychosocial support in a purpose-built space.

Adjacent to the antenatal ward, the new three-bed unit will be purpose-built to offer a therapeutic and healing environment staffed by a skilled, multidisciplinary team.

The Paediatric High Care Ward works nearly complete!

In November 2019, the Paediatric High Care ward relocated temporarily to Block F, Level 1 which is the Paediatric Surgical Ward to minimise the disruption to services while the refurbishment work is carried out.

The Paediatric High Care Ward works involve structural changes to improve the line of sight from clinicians to patients.

Works include redesign of the patient bedrooms to provide more glassed walls for improved observation of bed spaces.  The project is also increasing High Care (monitoring) to all patients admitted to the ward.

It is anticipated that patients will begin using the new Ward from 13 October 2020 with more public information to be provided prior to that time.

caring at centenary hospital

Overview of the Centenary Project for Women and Children

The Centenary Hospital for Women and Children is now eight years old and since the opening in 2012, has helped thousands of babies as they’ve started their lives and cared for thousands of children and women over that time. This CHWC Expansion Project provides more than $50 million to ensure we can continue to meet the projected service demands of the ACT and Southern NSW over future years which we know will increase commensurate with our growing population.

This is such an exciting project for Canberra and the Region

We now have a perfect opportunity to expand our services and take the time to review our operational and clinical outcomes to do things even better. The expansion project allows us to look at our models of care and review them, expand the range of the services that we currently have and embed a culture of teaching, training and research into the delivery of clinical services.

We know that current demand is growing

In 2018, about 65% of all public births in the ACT were at the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children. We also know that significant population growth is expected over coming years, which means our births will significantly increase too. Additionally, there is a growing demand for adolescent and mental health services which means the addition of an Adolescent Mental Health Inpatient Unit and day services are appropriate and well timed.

What are the benefits for patients and staff?

  • New high quality and accessible health services – the project increases the volume, range and quality of services offered.
  • Improvements to service delivery – creating a critical mass of acute and tertiary services to allow health care professionals to develop and maintain specialist care skills.
  • Improvements to patient experience – better co-location of more services leads to better patient experience.
  • Improved staff training and education – modern teaching and training facilities fully integrated with clinical care.

Where is the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children and where will the expansion go?

The Centenary Hospital for Women and Children is on the northern end of the Canberra Hospital campus in Woden and the expansion will be constructed on the existing site, with a slight expansion out towards Gilmore Crescent.

Centenary Hospital for Women and Children expansion map

What will the new services look like?

The first round of design has now concluded for this project and we now have a good idea about how the new services once constructed, will look.

Below you can see rendered images of the Adolescent Mental Health Unit and Day Service from Gilmore Crescent.

Adolescent Mental Health Unit

Below is a rendered image of the new Clinical Administration building.

Clinical administration building

What are the next stages of the project?

Consultation with existing staff at the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children is a key priority for this project to make sure we get the right information from those who know best – the people that run the services. The project team will continue to engage with other key stakeholders, including consumer representatives who will or have used the services of the CHWC, about how the project will be delivered, and importantly what it will mean for the community.

It is our intention to consult widely as the project continues through social media, community meetings and briefings.

With the first stage of work in the Paediatric High Care Ward nearing completion, the next stage of the project is the construction of the Clinical Administration Building (pictured above). This new build will accommodate the staff who currently occupy areas within the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children who need to relocate to create capacity for the expansion of clinical services within the building.

How to find out more

If you’d like to find out more about this project, please email

Page last updated on: 4 Dec 2020