The Front of Whare project aims to relocate and expand Te Pae Tiaki Wellington Emergency Department (ED), and expand the acute services in the Medical Assessment and Planning Unit (MAPU), Surgical Assessment and Planning Unit (SAPU), Intensive Care Unit (ICU), at Wellington Regional Hospital.
Why do we need to expand and refurbish our acute services?
Wellington Regional Hospital’s emergency and acute health services, which also supports the Central region, is over capacity – and we are caring for people with increasingly complex needs.
The existing ED was built in 1999, and extended in 2004 and the demand for our emergency service and hospital continues to grow. People are experiencing long wait times, or are provided care in less than ideal settings, such as in corridors, as the size and layout of Te Pae Tiaki Emergency Department is no longer fit-for-purpose. While the dedicated ED team strive to deliver safe care, it is clear a new modern space is needed to enable them to continue delivering high-quality emergency services.
Compounding this is the fact that as part of our ongoing programme to assess our hospital facilities and infrastructure, it was identified that ED has a 34% NBS (IL4) rating. This means the building is an earthquake risk, rather than it being earthquake-prone – which may prevent it from operating fully as normal following a one in 500-year seismic event.
Where we are at in the process
Over the past 12-15 months staff, equity groups, subject matter experts, consumers, clinical and non-clinical teams have contributed a great deal of time and expertise to develop an Indicative Business Case, which includes initial design plans and models of care.
The Indicative Business Case was recently presented to the Ministers for Health, with support from Te Whatu Ora’s Executive Leadership Team, Board, and Te Aka Whai Ora.
On 9 June 2023, the Minister for Health, Dr Ayesha Verrall announced government funding of $10million to proceed with enabling works and to develop a Detailed Business Case for the Front of Whare.
We will now begin a process to develop this Detailed Business Case and design which we expect will take at least six months. A key part of this next phase of the project will be engaging with clinical and operational teams, consumer and equity groups on the detailed design. Over the coming months we will share more detail on the process and timing, including how groups can be involved, and when we will be able to share high-level designs.
Once the Detailed Business Case and design is complete it would then be presented to Te Whatu Ora Board Executive Leadership Team, Board, and Te Aka Whai Ora for approval. If the Plan is endorsed by all parties, it would then be submitted to the Treasury to be considered by Cabinet in future Budget proposals.
If approved the work would be delivered over several stages, across an estimated four - six years.