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What is happening?

Wellington resident and benefactor Mark Dunajtschik has offered to build and gift a new $50 million Children’s Hospital to Wellington.

Mr Dunajtschik is an experienced builder and will manage the construction of the new hospital with his property partner Grant Corleison.

Capital & Coast District Health Board (DHB) will work closely with the benefactor’s team and develop detailed plans and specifications for the new building. The DHB will own, operate and maintain the new Wellington Children’s Hospital, once it is completed.

Charitable builds like this one are rare but not unheard of. Starship Children’s Hospital in Auckland was also funded by benefactors. The new Wellington Children’s Hospital will be named after Mark.

What is being built?

The new hospital will be around 7,000m², likely to be spread over three floors. It will include:

·50 inpatient hospital beds, as well as social and family areas

·Outpatient consultation rooms

·An education and research centre which will accommodate teaching, research and be integrated with Otago University

·Staff and administration areas.

Where will it be built?

The hospital will be located on the northern end of the Wellington Regional Hospital campus in Newtown. It will be built in front of the Riddiford building. There will be a link bridge connecting the children’s hospital to the existing hospital.

What services will be located in the new hospital?

Existing child hospital and outpatient services will move into the new hospital. The services and staffing levels will remain the same; however the quality of care we provide will be enhanced.

Children requiring emergency care, intensive care, radiology, surgery and other specialist services will continue to receive this care in Wellington Regional Hospital.

Why do we need a new Hospital?

The existing Wellington Children’s Hospital building is nearly 30 years old and is no longer fit for purpose. It is cramped with inadequate clinical areas, no dedicated areas for families, and insufficient isolation facilities increasing the chances of infected children infecting others.

Because there is not enough room in the existing building, children are cared for across the Wellington Regional Hospital campus.

The existing building does not require earthquake strengthening, but it does need a significant infrastructure upgrade –electrical, data, medical gases, heating ventilation and air conditioning.

The Board was advised in 2010 that the existing building needed substantial investment and that investing in a new building presented better value for money. The Board had building a new children’s hospital as part of its long-term plan.

How much will it cost?

The advice we have from our quantity surveyors is that the $50 million is a credible and achievable figure to build the new hospital.

The Wellington Hospitals Foundation is also supporting the project, and is aiming to fundraise $5 million for extra furniture, fittings and equipment required for the new hospital.

Capital & Coast District Health Board will need to contribute up to $7.5 million for activities outside the project such as demolishing existing buildings on the site.

When will it be completed?

It is estimated it will take 18 months to build the new hospital once the plans are finalised and consent grated. We are working to have the consent this year.

Who does Wellington Children’s Hospital cater for?

Wellington Children’s Hospital is an important part of New Zealand’s specialist children’s hospital network. They support babies to adolescents with medical conditions and paediatric surgery.

Specialist paediatric surgery is only performed at five hospitals in the country – one of which is Wellington.

Around 4,000 children per year are admitted to the child health services at Wellington Regional Hospital. 80 percent of the children live in the Capital & Coast DHB area; the other 20 percent are children from the lower North Island. Just over half of these children are under five years.

More than 5,000 children attend nearly 38,000 outpatient appointments at Wellington Regional Hospital every year.

Last updated 10 July 2017.