Frequently Asked Questions

THO-South staff have asked a number of questions of the RHH Redevelopment Rescue Taskforce. These questions may also be of interest to other stakeholders and the community.

Q       When will work on the Redevelopment project start again?

A       Work on the construction of K Block will start when the issues impacting on the project have been resolved to the Government's satisfaction.

The Taskforce has commissioned a number of projects that will help put the project in the best possible position to recommence. These projects are critical to ensuring the construction of K Block is safe, efficient and achievable.

Q       How long will it take to build K Block?

A       How long it takes to build K Block will depend on the final construction methodology and the decanting and refurbishment work needed. Information will be available once the Government has agreed to recommence the project and the construction methodology is determined.

Q       Who makes the final decision on the Redevelopment project?

A       The Taskforce has been commissioned to report to the Minister by the end of November 2014. The Minister for Health will determine the way forward after he has had the opportunity to consider the final report of the Taskforce.

Q       Can refurbishment and other works start that are not dependent on the construction methodology?

A       The primary focus of the Taskforce is doing the work needed to support the Government's decision to commence the construction of K Block. The Taskforce is working closely with the John Holland Fairbrother Joint Venture to establish if any early works can start ahead of the final report to Government. 

Q       What does Phase 3 of the project mean?

A       Phase 3 of the Redevelopment project means the construction of the new inpatient precinct (K Block). Phase 1 was essential infrastructure and refurbishment works like the upgrade of Department of Critical Care Medicine, the Wellington Centre and the commercial kitchen at Cambridge. Phase 2 was the THO-South Cancer Centre. The first two phases are completed.

Q       Will services be colocated on the RHH campus eg services in the Telstra building?

A       There will be a number of empty spaces after services move into the new K-Block. The THO-South will be able to consider how this space is used for future service delivery.  

Q       What work is happening on the decanting strategy?

A       How K-block is built is a key issue for the Taskforce and will determine which patients are decanted during construction.

The Taskforce has commissioned risk assessment and feasibility studies on construction and decanting.

The THO-South was asked to develop base case decanting plans for the two construction methodologies under consideration. These base cases are being assessed by independent consultants (KPMG) for construction, clinical, delivery, programming and financial risk.

They are expected to report to the Taskforce before the end of October.

Q       What opportunity will there be to have a say on the project risks?

A       The KPMG risk assessment included consultation with key THO-South and other stakeholders. THO-South organised consultation sessions with decanting advisory groups. Consultations with union representatives were also organised.

Q       Can THO-South staff find out what's going on before it's in the news?

A       The Taskforce is using a wide range of strategies to keep THO-South Staff up to date with its progress. This includes regular communications like eNews, Infocus, emails and briefings specifically scheduled by the Taskforce. Information is also available to public at www.rhhrescuetaskforce.tas.gov.au and by emailing rhhrescuetaksforce@dhhs.tas.gov.au

Q       Will there be a reduction in the number of floors in K Block?

The job of the Taskforce is to advice on whether the current Redevelopment project can proceed. A significant amount of work has been done on the design of K Block. The current design is for two x ten story towers. However, the role of the Taskforce is to investigate issues that are critical to the success of the project including its capital and operating financial risk profile. This work is not yet completed and will be included in the final report to Government.

Q      What is the Redevelopment Project Team working on?

A       A number of projects have been commissioned to help put the project in the best possible position to recommence and support the work of the Taskforce.

  • A Single Stage versus a Two Stage Construction Methodology Feasibility Study is analysing the risks of building the two K Block towers sequentially or at the same time.
  • A Decanting Feasibility Study is considering 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 is being reviewed.
  • A Furniture, Fitting and Equipment (FF&E) audit is being 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 will be conducted 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.

Q       How much money is the Taskforce costing?

A       The Taskforce costs include the sitting fees of its members and any additional expert advice needed to support the investigation. Based on the current levels of activity, the administration costs of the Taskforce are projected to be approximately $560 000 including the cost of the KPMG consultancy. Final costs will be provided in the final report to Government.

Q       Is the Taskforce considering a greenfield site for a new hospital?

A       The Taskforce reviewed the viability of redeveloping alternative sites and noted almost $150 million has already been invested on the RHH campus and the costs of starting from scratch were in the order of $1 billion. This is substantially more than the funding available and would take between four and seven years to complete.

It is the view of the Taskforce that every effort should be made to proceed with the current Redevelopment project.

Q       Who is the THO-South liaison on the Redevelopment project?

A       Cheryl Carr, A/DON is the THO-South liaison.

Q       How many new beds will the Redevelopment provide?

A       The Taskforce has finished their work on the scope of the Redevelopment and confirmed that the design 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.

How bed capacity is used in the future is a decision for the THO-South.

Q       When will maintenance and upgrading happen to other areas of the RHH?

A       Maintenance and upgrades to the RHH campus are the responsibility of the THO-South and not part of the role of the Taskforce.

Q       How much more disruption will there be during the construction of K Block?

A       Construction in the middle of a working hospital will be challenging. Planning to minimise disruptions to patients, pedestrians and traffic has been a priority during phases 1 and 2 of the Redevelopment and it will remain a priority as for Phase 3.

If you have any further questions please email them to rhhrescuetaskforce@dhhs.tas.gov.au