St Vincent’s Hospital on the Park leads new charge in Victoria’s collective fight against COVID-19

St Vincent’s has welcomed patients at its newest hospital to help manage the escalating demand on Victoria’s healthcare system caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Victorian Government called on St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne (SVHM) earlier this year to recommission the former Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, in East Melbourne, as part of a concerted effort to render extra medical support during the State’s growing health crisis.

As a result, St Vincent’s Hospital on the Park (SVHP) was developed to offer surge response by providing care for some of SVHM’s lower-acuity patients.

SVHM CEO Angela Nolan says the strategic move has freed up more beds to treat COVID-positive patients at the St Vincent’s main Fitzroy site, putting the public hospital in an even stronger position to offer on-going care for those who need hospital and critical-response attention.

“St Vincent’s is at the forefront when it comes to delivering healthcare and now, through St Vincent’s Hospital on the Park, we are extending that care even further in a time when our community needs it more than ever,” Ms Nolan says.

From the ground up

Plans for the $30-milion hospital were formulated during the early stages of the pandemic, with building works starting in April.

Ms Nolan says she is extremely proud of the work done by the St Vincent’s Project and Construction team to realise this vision in such a tight time-frame.

“Usually a project of this magnitude would take more than nine months to complete, but we were able to commission the building in less than five months,” she says.

More than 700 people were involved in developing the history-making new site and 40,000 hours were spent transforming it into a functioning hospital.

New beginnings

SVHOP is an 84-bed facility that will accommodate people who require lower acuity medical care including patients from SVHM’s palliative care and rehabilitation wards.

Palliative care patients were the first to be admitted at the new facility, and there are plans to relocate rehabilitation and geriatric evaluative medicine patients soon.

“Our first patients have settled in well and are very comfortable in their new surroundings,” Ms Nolan says.

“It is a great outcome, and reflects the ongoing commitment of St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne to providing excellent, compassionate care to Victoria’s most vulnerable.”