Australia’s Queensland Government has officially launched a new Mental Health Acute Inpatient Service (MHAIS) facility at the Ipswich Hospital campus.  

Inaugurated by Queensland Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services Minister Shannon Fentiman, MHAIS has been developed with an investment of A$104m ($68.54m). 

The facility began admitting patients in November 2023 to facilitate mental health rehabilitation and recovery. 

Fentiman said: “This building represents a step forward for people in Ipswich and the greater West Moreton region who have experience of mental illness in their lives or the life of a loved one.” 

MHAIS has a bed capacity of 64, which is 16 more than the previous facility. It features specialised areas for various patient needs, including adult patients, the elderly, and those requiring intensive clinical care. 

According to the Queensland government, consumers and community representatives, which includes First Nations elders, played a crucial role in the development of the MHAIS. 

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Input collected from them was integral during the design and construction phases, ensuring the facility was culturally sensitive and socially inclusive, the government noted.  

The design incorporates internal green spaces, natural light penetration, and a sensory room designed to promote well-being and aid in the recovery process.  

Additional amenities include ping pong and chess tables, a small gymnasium, and spaces for gardening and barbecues.  

Opening of the MHAIS also marks the completion of the A$153.8m Stage I Ipswich Hospital Expansion work. 

This will be followed by the commencement of work on the Stage II Hospital Expansion later this year. It will add 200 more beds to the hospital’s existing capacity. 

The government awarded a tender for the A$710m Ipswich Hospital Stage II expansion in May 2023. 

This expansion is part of the Queensland government’s commitment to provide safe and sustainably funded mental healthcare services to local people, through the A$1.64bn Better Care Together plan and Mental Health Levy.