FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The NSW Government’s $835 million John Hunter Health and Innovation Precinct project will deliver a new seven-storey Acute Services Building, refurbishments to some of the existing facilities, and other infrastructure works including improvements to internal roads, landscaping, wayfinding, engineering and ICT services.

Clinical and non-clinical services at the John Hunter and John Hunter Children’s Hospitals will be expanded to significantly increase capacity for inpatients as well as critical care services.

The project will work in collaboration with health, education and research partners to deliver industry-leading facilities and create further opportunities for partnerships with industry and higher education providers.
It will deliver an innovative and integrated precinct that will transform healthcare services for Newcastle, the greater Hunter region and northern NSW communities. 

The John Hunter Health and Innovation Precinct project is being delivered in partnership with Health Infrastructure and Hunter New England Local Health District.

The project will increase critical care capacity and regional access to quality healthcare for the people of the Greater Newcastle, Hunter New England and northern NSW regions.

The project will be a key driver of economic growth and jobs for Newcastle and the broader Hunter Region including construction, civil works and engineering jobs during development phase of the project, and research, health care and retail jobs following completion.

The project is aligned to the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan which identifies the precinct as a catalyst area to promote key growth for the region.

The John Hunter Health and Innovation Precinct is included in Infrastructure Australia’s Priority List recognising the significance of this project to the community and region more broadly.

A new seven-storey Acute Services Building (ASB) will be delivered and include:

  • New and expanded emergency department
  • New and expanded critical care services for both adult and paediatrics
  • New operating theatres, interventional and imaging services
  • New birthing suite and inpatient maternity unit
  • New neonatal intensive care unit and special care nursery
  • Larger and redeveloped inpatient units providing single and twin rooms
  • Increased interventional and imaging services
  • Clinical and non-clinical support services
  • Improved road access to the campus
  • Hospital Executive and Demand Management Unit
  • Retail spaces
  • Rooftop helipad
  • Four levels of multi-storey car parking
Some services in the existing building will be refurbished and others will have more space than ever before.  The works will deliver:
  • Expanded main entrance with new canopy and improved drop-off zones
  • Two adult inpatient units
  • Hospital Admissions Unit and Administration space
  • New 12 bed Nexus Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit (part of the $700 million Statewide Mental Health Infrastructure Program supporting mental health care reform in NSW)
  • Retail Services
  • Pharmacy services
  • Support services
  • Upgrades to roads across the precinct
  • Landscaping and wayfinding
  • Engineering and ICT services infrastructure
  • Link bridge to connect the ASB to HMRI
Which, when and where clinical services will be included in the redevelopment will be considered through a process of prioritisation. from the CSP and endorsed through project governance. The process of prioritisation includes consideration of clinical need, key clinical relationships and the construction process.
Departments and is one of the State’s busiest trauma centres.

The expansion will deliver updated and enhanced health facilities, providing additional capacity and purpose-built infrastructure to meet the future health demands of the Greater Newcastle, Hunter New England and northern NSW Regions.

The new seven-storey Acute Services Building and refurbished areas will provide increased capacity in the form of additional beds and treatments spaces.

The redevelopment will significantly expand capacity in the Intensive Care Unit, by more than 60 per cent and deliver almost 50 per cent more theatres, interventional suites and procedural spaces (from 15 to 22 operating theatres and from 11 to 14 procedure spaces).
 
The Master Plan was delivered in 2019 based on the Local Health District’s Clinical Services Plan with a concept design and business case completed in mid-2020.

Stage one of the Emergency Department Interim Expansion of the John Hunter Emergency Department was delivered five months ahead of schedule in late 2020 and Stage two was completed in April 2021.

Health Infrastructure lodged the State Significant Development Application (SSDA) with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment on 25 May 2021 and this was approved on 30 November 2021.

Enabling works will commence early 2022 and main works construction will commence later this same year.  

The John Hunter Health and Innovation Precinct will be operational from 2026.  However, the Precinct Master Plan considers the future use of the campus beyond 2050.
Throughout the project, the team has engaged with over 1,500 staff members and carried out over 800 hours of consultation in 2021.

More than 150 project user group meetings have been held with staff across a range of disciplines providing input and feedback.  This has been vital in delivering the designs for clinical, administrative, detailed engineering systems, support and public areas.

The team also commissioned the University of Newcastle’s Hunter Research Foundation Centre to undertake an independent Social Impact Assessment of the development’s potential impact on natural, financial, human, social and manufactured capital in Newcastle and the Hunter region.  Over 1,000 community responses were received and have helped shape the design including realigning the road network to minimise potential vegetation clearing).

More than 75 Working Group meetings have also been held involving Local Health District staff and community stakeholders about the development, communication, art and Aboriginal connections to the site.
A survey of almost 13,000 staff (campus-wide) showed almost 90% of staff want to receive updates in a monthly email update, as part of the GM weekly webinar sessions, and on printed material displayed in work areas.  

Staff requested the use of more images and videos and information about timelines, changes to departments, new services and facilities, as well as how traffic and parking will be managed. 

All of these are now being delivered and printed displays about department specific changes are being developed in consultation with staff and will be installed in the coming months. These include QR codes that staff can use to ask questions that will be answered directly and as part of the email and webinar progress updates.

More communication tools and channels will be added throughout the life of the project. Staff can email suggestions for how to improve communication to HI-JHHIP@health.nsw.gov.au
Lookout Road is one of the busiest roads in Newcastle with up to 60,000 vehicles using it each day. This congestion can cause delays for drivers exiting the hospital – especially during peak periods. Immediate solutions include:
  • staff and community members using public transport
  • staff choosing to carpool, ride or walk to work
  • drivers using alternative routes to travel north and south.
Future modelling shows that traffic on Lookout Road would be almost halved once the Rankin Park to Jesmond section of the Newcastle Inner City Bypass is complete.
No. The bypass is being managed by Transport for NSW that has called for tenders and expects these works to be completed in 2026.

The hospital redevelopment is being managed by Health Infrastructure (include upgrading roads inside the hospital campus that will connect to the bypass.) However, the agencies are working together to deliver the best outcomes for both projects.

The project will see some services from move from the existing building to the new Acute Services Building but this is unlikely to impact traffic conditions.

However, any additional increase in services will be managed with a range of measures in partnership with the Local Health District for example staggered staff start and finish time, modified hours and more.

The contractor chosen to build the John Hunter Hospital expansion will develop a comprehensive traffic management plan demonstrating how vehicle movement will be controlled so there is no impact within the hospital precinct.

This will address where construction vehicles access the site, and when (outside peak traffic and / or shift change times). 

This will also help to minimise any impact to traffic on Lookout Road. Tenders for construction of the new hospital precinct are currently being reviewed.
No, and once complete it will deliver approximately 900 additional car spaces for staff and visitors.

Construction workers on the John Hunter Hospital expansion will be prohibited from parking in public and staff car parks. Provision of parking for these people will be part of the traffic management plan.
No, and once complete it will deliver approximately 900 additional car spaces for staff and visitors.

Employees working on the precinct will be prohibited from parking in public and staff car parks. Provision of parking for these people will be detailed within the Contractors traffic management plan.
Yes. The redevelopment includes upgrades across the precinct and the approximately 900 new car spaces in the Acute Services Building semi-basement and ground level parking areas.

Some existing roads may be altered, and some completely new roads will be built to connect to the bypass. This will temporarily change some parking areas. This will be staged and there will always be more parking created before any existing areas are changed.

There will never be a decrease in the overall parking available.

Staff and the community will be kept informed of any impact to parking well before it happens.
The Integrated Project Team, comprising members from Hunter New England Local Health District, Health Infrastructure, APP Corporation (consultant Project Manager) and BVN Architects.
Please contact the Integrated Project Team on HI-JHHIP@health.nsw.gov.au.