Taskforce Communique Number Three

01 October 2014

The work program of the Taskforce has five streams.

The second stream of work is the scope of the project. This includes models of care and future facilities planning, and was completed during August.  

The Taskforce presented findings from its investigation on the development of the design and its alignment with the Commonwealth/State agreement to key clinical and nursing staff at the Tasmanian Health Organisation-South (THO-South).

The Taskforce commenced the third stream of work on construction methodology with the engagement of independent consultants KPMG.

The Taskforce continued to meet with THO-South staff and other key stakeholders to the project.

Parcels of work under care and maintenance have continued to be progressed and monitored during the month.

Finally, work commenced on the final two streams of investigation: governance and capital and financial risk, which will form the basis for the October report of the Taskforce.

Scope of the Redevelopment Project

Through its investigation, the Taskforce has been able to confirm the design of the proposed inpatient precinct (K Block) is consistent with the Commonwealth-State Intergovernmental Agreement. Therefore the capacity of the THO-South to support the additional 195 overnight beds required by the Agreement has been confirmed.

The Taskforce reviewed the consultation process conducted with internal stakeholders which confirmed that the design would enable delivery of services consistently with the relevant models of care.

The Taskforce investigated the broader impacts of the Redevelopment project on the capacity of the THO-South to relocate external services to the RHH campus. The THO-South has demonstrated the potential to relocate off-site services back on RHH campus. 


How K-block is built is a key issue for the Taskforce and will drive the requirements for decanting patients during the construction phase.

Two construction methodologies have been considered for the project.

Construction Methodology A proposes a staged construction, allowing most of B Block to remain operational during the construction of K Block. No off-campus decanting is anticipated under this methodology but some services would be required to move multiple times.

Construction Methodology B proposes a total decant of B Block before it is demolished and the two towers are built simultaneously. The decanting requirements are greater and off-campus options needed to be considered which may involve clinical risks to patients.

It is the view of the Taskforce that a further comprehensive risk assessment of the construction methodologies should be undertaken before any further decision is made.

KPMG have been engaged to conduct a cost benefit analysis which is exploring the following areas of investigation:

  • construction risk, including risks associated with the safety of patients and other on site during the construction period
  • clinical risk, including risks to patients associated with the proposed decanting programs
  • delivery risk, including risks associated with the skills and resources required to manage the construction and decanting programs (including clinical staff)
  • programming risk, including risks associated with complexity and delays in construction
  • financial risk and
  • the risk mitigation strategies that are available and, once implemented, are these risks tolerable?

KPMG also have specialist clinical expertise on-staff and engaged on their team. They are also collaborating with construction and design experts from Johnstaff and engineering expertise from Taylor Thomson Whitting.

They will report to the Taskforce before the end of October 2014.

Care and Maintenance

Design consultants, Lyons and AECOM, and the Managing Contractor continued to work on the projects commissioned last month (see Communique #2). These reports will be delivered during September 2014.

The Taskforce has been resolving some of the outstanding risks which are critical to ensuring a safe, efficient and achievable build by commissioning:

  • a Single Stage versus a Two Stage Construction Methodology Feasibility Study which will analyse the risks of building the two K Block towers sequentially or at the same time and
  • a Decanting Feasibility Study which will consider whether it is possible to relocate patients and services so the proposed K Block can be built.

These studies are key bodies of work that will support the cost benefit analysis.

Budget scrutiny has continued and the Taskforce has identified $2 million in savings through forensic analysis of the project's budget.

Taskforce Costs

Based on levels of activity to date, the administration costs of the Taskforce are projected to be approximately $560,000 including the cost of the KPMG consultancy. Updates will be provided in subsequent reports.


The RHH Redevelopment Rescue Taskforce (the Taskforce) was established by the Minister for Health, Michael Ferguson, on 7 May 2014.

The Taskforce is commissioned to undertake an independent investigation into the RHH Redevelopment project and to report to Government within six months.

The Taskforce membership includes Mr John Ramsay (Chair), Ms Jo Thorley and Dr Dan Norton AO.

The Taskforce was first convened at a meeting with the Minister for Health on 22 May 2014 and held their first business meeting on 6 June 2014.

The Taskforce has approved a business plan which defines five work streams that will provide advice across the Terms of Reference and include:

  • governance
  • redevelopment on the current site
  • project scope
  • construction methodology and
  • capital and financial risks.
The Taskforce intends to report to Government progressively against these five work streams, to enable elements of the project to continue ahead of completion of the investigation period where possible.