Construction has commenced on an expansion project at Fremantle Hospital in Western Australia (WA) to enhance mental health services in the southern corridor.  

The project will introduce 40 new mental health beds, with an investment of A$63m ($42.2m) from the government. 

This redevelopment includes purpose-built wards, a 24-hour urgent care service, and a neurostimulation unit. 

The work at Fremantle Hospital’s V block will result in 20 secure beds, ten beds for open adults, a ten-bed neurological behaviour unit for older adults, and a 24-hour mental health urgent care service.  

The project will lead to an over 60% growth in inpatient mental health bed capacity at Fremantle Hospital, from 64 to 104.  

It will also result in the new 24-hour mental health urgent care service, an expansion on the existing triage service operating from 8am to 10pm. 

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The aim is to alleviate pressure on Fiona Stanley Hospital’s busy emergency department and ensure dedicated crisis care for acute mental health patients. 

This purpose-built facility will feature swipe-controlled, single bedrooms with ensuites and TVs, treatment rooms, sensory modulation rooms, as well as separate dining and lounge spaces.  

The redesigned building claims to focus on contemporary mental health principles, incorporating features, including natural light, landscaped outdoor courtyards, and balcony spaces.  

The adopted model of care emphasises staff and patient interaction, with collaboration hubs available throughout the wards. 

WA Premier Roger Cook: “Our government is dedicated to improving access to healthcare across our State to ensure top-quality services are available no matter where you live. 

“WA’s southern corridor is growing rapidly and it is vital that healthcare services are expanded to match this demand, which is why we are investing $63m to significantly upgrade Fremantle Hospital. 

“An extra 40 beds will increase inpatient mental health services at Fremantle Hospital by more than 60%, which will be hugely beneficial to the community.”