The SPIRE Project

Delivering a new, state-of-the-art emergency, surgical and critical healthcare facility.

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COVID-19 Announcement

Major Projects Canberra is committed to progressing the delivery of ACT Government infrastructure projects and appropriately engaging with our community on those projects.

As a consequence of recent health advice, and so as to reduce risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic to members of our community and staff, Major Projects Canberra is postponing all in-person community engagement activities. This relates to all of our projects including Light Rail Stage 2A, SPIRE Project and the CIT-Woden project.

This is effective immediately and will continue until guidance from health authorities advises activities are able to be resumed. If you have any questions, please email spire@act.gov.au.

We thank you for your patience during this time.

The SPIRE Project

The SPIRE Project is the largest healthcare infrastructure project ever undertaken by the ACT Government. Together with several other health infrastructure projects underway across Canberra, the SPIRE Project will help meet the increasing demand for complex healthcare services required by the ACT’s growing population.

The SPIRE Project will deliver a modern, purpose-built and state-of-the-art emergency, surgical and critical healthcare facility on the Canberra Hospital campus. The new facility will ensure the healthcare needs of our growing and ageing community and region are met today and for the decades ahead.

With an investment of over $500 million, the SPIRE Project will deliver increased capacity across Canberra Hospital’s adult intensive care, paediatric intensive care, surgical, coronary care and emergency services.  

Benefits of the new SPIRE Project

The SPIRE Project will deliver significant benefits to patients and their families and carers. There will be new spaces for patients, carers and staff for respite, learning and meetings as well as improved access between the emergency department, helipad, the 12 ambulance bays and critical care facilities.

In addition to integrated radiology and medical imaging facilities and a 10-bed short-stay Mental Health Unit adjacent to the Emergency Department, there will be 148 inpatient beds – including 60 Intensive Care Unit beds and 24 Coronary Care Unit beds.

The remaining features and benefits are seen below:

SPIRE Project

Proposed floor allocation of the SPIRE facility

Proposed floor allocation

Location of the SPIRE Project

The new facility will be built at the north-eastern end of the Canberra Hospital campus, with the final site chosen to ensure critical health services are not disrupted during construction.   

SPIRE map

The location of the SPIRE Project also effectively re-purposes valuable campus space by demolishing ageing buildings (5 and 24) and replacing these with a new, purpose-built facility. The new build will accommodate contemporary models of care, new and emerging technologies and flexible design principles.

Public, consumer and clinical consultation

In late 2019, the Minister for Health, Rachel Stephen-Smith MLA, called for expressions of interest from the Garran community to join the project’s Local Community Reference Group (LCRG).

A significant number of registrations were received to join the Local Community Reference Group (LCRG). This response reflects the interest the Garran community and local businesses have in the planning, design and delivery of the SPIRE Project. Due to the size of this response, a community forum was held on 4 February 2020. 

The Local Community Reference Forum provided an opportunity for attendees to share their specific interests, concerns and aspirations associated with the SPIRE Project. Feedback was documented and will be used to guide the Local Community Reference Group’s (LCRG) meetings going forward. 

LCRG members will meet regularly throughout the year to address matters of interest of the local community with the SPIRE Project Team, including urban design, safety and delivery arrangements. They will be encouraged to share updates from these meetings with the people they are representing so information can be disseminated throughout the community.

The Clinical Advisory Group (CAG) is an advisory, investigative and decision-making body that will focus on clinical planning, policy and strategy for the SPIRE Project in the context of the whole hospital. The group will work to ensure that the operational requirements of clinical staff are reflected in the designs for the new facility. 

In addition to the CAG, there are 10 Clinical User Groups focusing on the:

  • Emergency Department
  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Acute Cardiac Care Unit and Interventional Cardiac Laboratories
  • Mental Health Short Stay Unit
  • Perioperative and Interventional Suite
  • Surgical Inpatient Unit
  • Helipad
  • Medical imaging
  • Loading dock
  • Central sterilisation.

The SPIRE Project Consumer Reference Group (CRG) is an advisory body providing guidance, advice and consumer (patients and carers) insights on matters of design, accessibility, safety (including cultural safety) and amenity in relation to the SPIRE Project.

The group coordinates consumer feedback from their networks and the consumer groups they represent, which includes: Health Care Consumers’ Association (HCCA), People with Disabilities ACT, Multicultural Advisory Council ACT, Mental Health Consumers’ Network, Carers ACT, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body and Council on the Aging (COTA).

This Group is another meaningful way the ACT Government is working with key professional and community representatives to ensure the design of the SPIRE Project meets the needs of the community.

Through ongoing engagement with these groups, information forums and online surveys, there will be continuous opportunity for community input.

SPIRE Project activities

The SPIRE Project includes two significant workstreams:  

  • SPIRE Project enabling works: the activities and actions required to clear and prepare the site for construction.
  • SPIRE Project main works: the design and construction of the new emergency, surgical and critical healthcare facility and its integration with the existing Canberra Hospital.

A new modular building (Building 28), opened in March to enable the relocation of staff currently in Building 24. 

Latest updates on enabling works:

Building 8

Redevelopment of Building 8 will be the next significant project in the enabling works program. The new four storey building including entrance lobby on Hospital Road will house the Canberra Sexual Health Centre, Staff Development Unit, Surgical Training Centre, University of Canberra training and research, ANU teaching and training and Hospital administration functions. 

If you have any questions regarding Building 8 please contact SPIRE@act.gov.au

Temporary car park

The ACT Government has been listening and acknowledges the concern surrounding parking facilities for the Canberra Hospital. The now disused CIT Woden campus, located off Hindmarsh Drive, will be the site of a temporary car park for Canberra Health Services (CHS) staff. This will provide capacity for more than 1100 vehicles and will help free up public parking on the hospital campus.

Demolition works have already commenced to prepare the disused site for the temporary car park construction. Construction is expected to begin in October, with the car park ready for use in early 2021.

A Development Application (DA) for the temporary car park has been submitted and is open for public comment via the Planning website.

If you have any questions or feedback about the temporary car park works, get in touch by contacting SPIRE@act.gov.au.

The program of enabling works will continue throughout 2020.

Meanwhile the design of the SPIRE Project is also being progressed. Currently the design is at concept stage with input from clinicians, consumers and the community being used to inform the building requirements and scope.

Following a highly competitive Expression of Interest round, a shortlist of two strong applicants was finalised and Request for Tender notices sent to Lendlease and Multiplex, who expressed their interest in partnering with the ACT Government to deliver the modernisation of Canberra Hospital.

The successful applicant will be announced mid 2020 with main works commencing in 2021.

More information

SPIRE Project FAQs

How tall will the new emergency, surgical and critical care facility be?

The new facility will not exceed the height of any existing building on the Canberra Hospital campus. A concept design for the facility has been completed and the detailed designs will be developed during 2020 in consultation with key stakeholders, clinicians and the community. 

Will there be noise reduction measures in place during construction?

A high level of attention will be paid to minimising noise and construction-related disturbances that may impact on the wellbeing of patients and neighbouring residents. At a minimum, all site preparation and construction will be subject to the Environment Protection Act 1997 and Environment Protection Regulation 2005 aimed at protecting people from excessive noise.

Will the public be kept informed?

As the SPIRE Project progresses, Canberra residents will be kept informed through a variety of means including updates on the Major Projects Canberra website: www.act.gov.au/majorprojectscanberra, the Our Canberra newsletter, leaflet drops and information forums.  Enquiries may be directed to SPIRE@act.gov.au.

Are you building more car parks?

A new temporary car park solution has been identified which will boost parking availability for hospital staff and visitors to the Canberra Hospital. The now disused CIT Woden Campus, located off Hindmarsh Drive, will be the site of a temporary car park for more than 1100 vehicles, and is expected to be ready for use by the end of 2020.

Where will the Emergency Department be located?

Canberra Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) will be relocated with the SPIRE Project. Once the facility is operational, the existing ED will close. The helipad, currently adjacent to Building 12, will also be relocated to the top of the new building which will ensure rapid access to the ED.

What’s happening with the health and residential services currently available in Building 5?

New accommodation will be found for the Canberra Sexual Health Centre, the Child at Risk Health Unit services and other Canberra Hospital functions currently operating in Building 5. Further information will be available as planning progresses.

The residence in Building 5 will continue to be accessible until mid-2020 for interstate visitors and carers of patients who live more than 100km from Canberra Hospital. Canberra Health Services, with input from affected stakeholders, is currently developing plans for the alternative arrangements that will be put in place for patients and carers going forward.

When will it be finished?

The SPIRE Project is scheduled for completion in 2024.

Opportunities to stay informed

Project updates will continue to be published on this page.

If you have any questions, please contact SPIRE@act.gov.au

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Page last updated on: 2 Jul 2020