Taskforce Communique Number Two

01 August 2014

The Taskforce is required to report on key matters that are material to the success of the Redevelopment RHH project.

The construction of the new inpatient precinct is nearly ready to commence. Many THO-South staff contributed a great deal of time and effort to get the project to this stage.

During July, the work of the Taskforce has focused on the appropriateness of the redevelopment on the current site and discussions with key stakeholders. Initial work has commenced to confirm the scope of the Redevelopment project. Care and maintenance arrangements have also been finalised with significant parcels of work progressing to support the project and the Taskforce.

Redevelopment on the current site

An early matter for consideration was confirmation of the appropriateness of pursuing the redevelopment on the current site.

The Taskforce in collaboration with the Professional Reference Group, have reviewed the issues, costs and delays associated with a development of alternative sites to the proposed location of K Block on the RHH campus.

Almost $150 million has been invested in the current RHH site to date including:

  • $83 million on essential infrastructure and refurbishment works under Phase 1
  • $25 million on the THO-South Cancer Centre under Phase 2 and
  • $40 million on extensive planning and design work for the new inpatient precinct.

Any consideration of an alternative location would need new planning documentation (health, business and master plans), design and documentation, land use planning, tendering and procurement, construction and commissioning.

While exact timeframes would vary dependent on any alternative proposal, estimates of between four to seven years to complete an alternative project are not unreasonable.

The costs associated with the construction of greenfield site by Government have also been previously estimated as being well in excess of $1 billion, substantially more than the funding currently available.

The Taskforce is presently of the view that, considering the significant cost and time invested in the current site and the significant cost and time associated with a development on an alternative site, every effort should be made to proceed with the current RHH Redevelopment project.


Investigation into the scope of the Redevelopment project is considering the role of the Redevelopment RHH in the context of Tasmania's health care system into the future. This has a number of components -

  • whether the project complies with the current funding agreement between the State and the Commonwealth Government
  • whether any misalignment exists between the project scope and relevant health and clinical planning
  • an understanding of how the THO-South will deliver services according to the Models of Care that have been established for the new inpatient precinct and
  • the extent to which the redeveloped RHH would support the efficient management of tertiary health services in Tasmania.

During July, the Taskforce commenced their analysis of the project and the requirements of the Commonwealth/State agreement to redevelop the RHH.

Ongoing collaboration between the Project Team, RHH clinical staff and the design architects has led to the development of a design that is consistent with the Commonwealth-State Intergovernmental Agreement.

The design development work undertaken to date has also been reviewed including the value management consultations that revised the blocking and stacking for the proposed inpatient precinct and reduced the available floor area in 2013.

The Taskforce will present these findings to key clinical and nursing staff in advance of providing advice to the Minister on the matter.

Work on other Scope issues is scheduled for completion by the end of August 2014.

Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder engagement is a key communication method for the Taskforce and THO-South staff have been the primary focus to date. The following information sessions have been held:

THO-South Executive Users Group

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Roy Fagan Centre Concern Group

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Hobart Private Clinic

Monday, 30 June 2014

Staff Medical Association

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

ANMF Users Group

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

THO-South Staff, CEO Staff Forum

Thursday, 3 July 2014


Thursday, 3 July 2014

Staff Medical Association

Thursday, 3 July 2014

THO-South Staff Forum

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

THO-South Consumer Engagement Advisory Group

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Nursing Leadership and Advisory Committee, THO-South

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

THO-South Staff Forum

Thursday, 11 July 2014

Nurse Unit Managers Meeting

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Redevelopment RHH Project Team

Monday, 21 July 2014

Tasmanian Association for Hospice and Palliative Care Inc.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Stakeholder issues are actively managed by the Taskforce Secretariat and monitored at the combined meetings of the PRG and Taskforce.

Care and Maintenance

The Redevelopment project was placed into the care and maintenance phase as per the Ministerial Statement, 7 May 2014. The following issues have been resolved:

  • the Governance Instrument for the Redevelopment RHH project was revoked
  • a new Project Authorisations and Financial Delegations Instrument was executed on 3 July 2014 that reflects the requirements of the care and maintenance phase
  • the Redevelopment RHH Project Team has been restructured and refocused
  • budgets for phases 1, 2 and 3 of the Redevelopment project have been confirmed after a comprehensive review and
  • design consultants and project and contract management contract variations have been completed which enables limited ongoing work while the project is being reviewed.

A number of projects have been commissioned to support the project and the work of the Taskforce.

A Single Stage versus a Two Stage Construction Methodology Feasibility Study will analyse the risks of building the two K Block towers sequentially or at the same time.

A Decanting Feasibility Study will consider whether it is possible to relocate patients and services so the proposed K Block can be built.

The decisions which resulted in a helipad not being included in the Redevelopment project will be reviewed.

A Furniture, Fitting and Equipment (FF&E) audit will be conducted to assess what FF&E can be transferred from the current hospital to K Block and what new FF&E must be purchased.

An Information Communications Technology (ICT) needs assessment to assess what ICT systems are required to support service delivery in K Block and how the systems in K Block will integrate with the current RHH systems.

Taskforce Costs

Based on levels of activity to date, the administration costs of the Taskforce are projected to be approximately $350 000. A more detailed outline of costs associated with both the Taskforce and the project will be included 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.

Approved: John Ramsay, RHHR Rescue Taskforce Chair, 1 August 2014