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Precinct to integrate patient-centred healthcare with research and teaching one step closer
Development partner chosen for innovative $500M Health and Wellbeing Precinct.
The University of Wollongong's innovative Health and Wellbeing Precinct will include Australia's first primary and community health clinic to offer truly integrated, patient-centred healthcare, as well as aged-care and retirement living facilities, and research and teaching programs.
New details about the planned Precinct were revealed today (Thursday 22 February) when UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings CBE announced that Lendlease had been chosen as preferred respondent for the project. Lendlease was chosen following a national open-market Expression of Interest process that commenced in November 2016.
"The development of the Health and Wellbeing Precinct is a major initiative for the University that will bring significant benefits to the Illawarra community and beyond," Professor Wellings said.
"It will create a space where medical professionals sit alongside students, researchers and academics and where aged-care centres sit alongside state-of-the-art rehabilitation services, where GPs will work side-by-side with dieticians, dentists and psychologists.
"Lendlease provided the most comprehensive development concept and vision for the Health and Wellbeing Precinct, which best meets UOW's vision to advance education, research, community engagement and employment opportunity for graduates."
The Health and Wellbeing Precinct will integrate research and teaching environments with non-surgical health care and aged-care facilities to translate research into action while developing and delivering new models of patient-centred care and training the next generation of healthcare professionals.
HEALTH AND WELLBEING STRATEGY
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Health and Communities) Professor Alison Jones said the precinct will enhance UOW's already strong multidisciplinary focus on aged care and provide new research and teaching opportunities in nursing, nutrition, physical activity and rehabilitation, psychological wellbeing and mental health, and technological support for ageing, among other areas.
"The Health and Wellbeing Precinct is one of the key planks of UOW's Health and Wellbeing Strategy which will harness and build upon the collective talent across the University, our partners and communities themselves, to improve the physical, mental and social wellbeing of our communities," Professor Jones said.
"The Precinct will have a strong focus on teaching and research, which will see research translated into practice to improve patient experience and outcomes.
"It will enhance our ability to train the health workforce of the future to deliver patient-centred models of care within an interdisciplinary model."
The overall development represents a $450-$500 million investment in the Illawarra, with Stage One accounting for $200-$250 million.
Economic modelling indicates that Stage One, in its the initial five-year development and operation, will add $600 million in total value to the Illawarra (in direct, indirect and induced impacts) and create more than 2,000 jobs.
It will also generate more than $6 million in annual economic benefits to the public through the provision of aged care and healthcare services.
Stage One of the Health and Wellbeing Precinct vision includes health-related research and teaching facilities integrated with a primary and community health clinic, a 108-bed residential aged care facility, 199 independent retirement living units, a childcare centre, and retail and commercial facilities. Additional parking spaces will also be included in the development.
The hub of the Precinct, the intoHealth Primary and Community Health Clinic, is modelled on the renowned Mayo Clinic in the United States and will offer truly integrated patient-centred healthcare - everything from respite and rehabilitation to aged-care and mental-health services - for the first time in Australia.
Covering 7.5 hectares at the southern end of the Innovation Campus, the Precinct will complement existing health services and help relieve pressure on local health networks in the Illawarra by offering non-surgical care focussed on preventative health and the maintenance of physical and mental health and wellbeing.
The Lendlease proposal ranked highest overall after competing bids were evaluated, scored and ranked on a number of criteria, and was determined to best meet UOW's vision for the Health and Wellbeing Precinct.
Lendlease is Australia's largest owner, operator and developer of retirement living communities with more than 12,500 units across 71 communities nationally.
UOW and Lendlease will now enter a negotiation phase to reach a commercial agreement. If the negotiations are successful, this will be followed by extensive stakeholder engagement, planning approvals, geotechnical and site enabling works throughout 2019.
UOW anticipates construction commencing in 2020, with the first facilities operational by 2022.
Lendlease intends to partner with an aged care provider active in the local Illawarra region.
ABOUT UOW'S HEALTH AND WELLBEING STRATEGY
UOW's Health and Wellbeing Strategy aims to address global and regional health challenges by capitalising on the University's expertise in medical research, research application and education, and its focus on high-impact science.
It is focused on five key initiatives with a local, national and global outlook: the Health and Wellbeing Precinct; the $80 Molecular Horizons life-science research centre; Clinical Education Unit for regional nurses at Bega and South Western Sydney; the Mind the Gap initiative for mental health services in the Shoalhaven; and a Rural and Regional Postgraduate Medical Training Network.
The Health and Wellbeing Precinct will integrate research and teaching environments with non-surgical health care and aged-care facilities.