Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) government has begun construction work on the Cowra Hospital redevelopment project by turning the first sod on the hospital site.

Richard Crookes Constructions has been selected as the main works contractor for the Cowra Hospital redevelopment, which will require an investment of around A$110.2m ($71.5m).

NSW Health Infrastructure said it is committed to creating training and job opportunities throughout the construction period, with the project due to be completed next year.

Health Infrastructure Rural and Regional executive director Amanda Bock confirmed that all the project’s preparatory enabling works, including the demolition of existing structures, were completed last year.

Bock said: “Feedback from staff and the community has been integral through the planning and design of the project, including the hospital’s two-level design, as well as improved access and onsite parking, new landscaped areas and enhanced access to district views from the hospital. 

“The design for the redevelopment has also been informed by engagement and consultation with the local Aboriginal community. As part of this, a cultural room will be located near the new main entrance, providing direct access to an adjoining outdoor space.”

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The redevelopment plan also includes aspects of community engagement, with focus groups currently working to improve the patient and visitor experience.

Initially put forward in December 2022, the schematic designs for the Cowra Hospital Redevelopment outlined a facility that would aim to enhance the delivery of healthcare services to the Cowra community and surrounding areas.

They highlighted that the refurbished hospital would include an emergency department, general medical and surgical inpatient wards, palliative care facilities, peri-operative services, a maternity unit with a nursery, ambulatory care and other specialised units.

Earlier this week, the NSW government published designs for the refurbished Temora Hospital and Bathurst Hospital facilities.