Project Office Blog

New Endoscopy Unit Work Begins

The Whangarei Hospital endoscopy service currently operates from two separate locations; one in the theatre complex and the second in the medical outpatient zone. The service is to be relocated and consolidated to provide a more streamlined service for both acute and elective endoscopy procedures. A new unit is to be built in the old […]

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Northland DHB Hospital Redevelopment Private: Site Master Plan

Project Brief

The objective of the site master plan was to provide a long term plan that ensures facilities are provided that support the services and models of care into the future.

The site master plan is “directional” in nature, rather than prescriptive and detailed. The site master plan will inform the detailed planning, ensuring that the right buildings are put in the right location.

The site master plan calls for the core acute services block of the Hospital to be built on the site of the existing Kitchen and Mental Health Inpatient Unit.

The acute services block will ultimately contain –

Emergency Department


Acute Assessment Unit

Delivery Suite


Special Care Baby Unit


Intensive Care Unit

Ward Block, 3 wards per floor


Ultimately the Surgical and Service Wings will be demolished.


The clinical focus of Stage 1 was the replacement of the Mental Health Inpatient Unit.

Stage 1 comprises –

New Carparks

New Mental Health Inpatient Unit

New Kitchen

Relocation of Medical Records

Demolition of Buildings

Link Road

The detailed design of the new Mental Health Inpatient Unit was informed by the Mental Health Models of Care.


The design and construction of Health Facilities are primarily informed by Models of Care. “Models of Care” refers to the health care services provided by NDHB and the way in which they are provided. The Models of Care for Mental Health and Addiction Services are well developed and robust.

NDHB’s Mental Health and Addiction Services will continue to build upon the district model that it has already been developing. This model has been developed in recognition of the distinct communities that make up Northland, and that integration of clients into community life, requires a service that is embedded in that community. The aim is to enable people with mental illness to live in the community of their choice, and to develop an individualised package of services for that individual to advance recovery.

Community treatment will be the core component of the Mental Health and Addiction Service and will be integrated with access to acute inpatient services for the comparatively small proportion of people who require admission.

The Model of Care for Mental Health and Addiction Services is District Community focused and increases the clinical threshold for Clients to remain in their local communities if their Mental Health status deteriorates, supported not only by Community Services but by provision of Sub-Acute services locally, thereby, decreasing admissions to the Acute Inpatient Service.

The Acute Inpatient Service

Acute Inpatient Services are provided for Eligible People/Service Users in the acute stage of psychiatric illness, or who are in need of a period of close observation and/or intensive investigation and/or intervention, where this is unable to be safely provided within a community setting or less acute inpatient service.

Acute inpatient services are:

  • provided in a general hospital setting;
  • well integrated with intensive care, day hospital, and community mental health services, and form part of this continuum of services;
  • focused to ensure active intervention, crisis intervention and prevention of the escalation of development of the Service User’s illness, prevention of disability, and the prevention of the development of dependency;
  • conscious of the safety needs of the patients and of the broader community including staff, reflecting that some Service Users may present a risk of suicide, self harm or danger to others;
  • delivered in accordance with a comprehensive system of risk management within which least restrictive intervention strategies will be determined.

Individualised care plans are developed for each person admitted to the service. These plans are comprehensive, based on assessed needs, and include identified goals for the period of inpatient care. Plans are developed in conjunction with the Service User concerned, with relevant community service involvement, and where appropriate with other caregiver

Special arrangements are developed to meet the needs of particular sub-groups, wherever possible. This could include inpatient treatment for eating disorders, or mothers and their babies in the post-partum period, where no other provision is made for these groups

Acute inpatient services are expected to have an average duration of stay less than three weeks, with rare stays exceeding 30 days, but with individual length of stay based on clinical assessment. Hotel and personal care services are provided at no cost to the Service User, including the provision of personal care items when such items are lacking on admission.

The new Inpatient Services and new facility have been designed to provide a high standard of humane treatment and care to service users who are acutely unwell, and are unable to be treated safely in their local community. The challenge for the service is to enhance the continuum of care between inpatient and community services through the alignment of staff, clinical processes and documentation across the setting as 90% of clients admitted to the unit are existing clients of Mental Health and Addiction Services. 28% of the clients are from the Mid North and Far North districts, which impacts on the physical presence of both staff and whanau on the inpatient unit.