The $590,000 refurbishment of Wagga Wagga Base Hospital’s Mental Health Unit is now complete thanks to the NSW Nationals in Government.

Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor, who officially opened the unit, said it was ready to provide better care for the local community that helped design it, and there were now more inviting outdoor areas for physical activity, additional living areas offering more quiet spaces and sensory areas to relax and unwind.

“The renewed spaces work well because they have been designed in collaboration with local patients and their visitors,” Mrs Taylor said.

Service improvements

The improvements in the High Dependency Unit include: a new theatre and sensory rooms; major upgrades to the courtyard including an outdoor deck and larger courtyard for a basketball/handball court; a waterfall and wall garden; an additional staff station in the consumer area; and a new music system.

The Acute Unit upgrades include: an additional living area; an additional sunroom; increased space in the art/gym room; new counter area for consumers at the staff station; and a basketball/handball court in the courtyard.

Other enhancements include wall murals, weighted blankets, massage chairs, sensory lights, games, sporting equipment, courtyard blackboard and indoor/outdoor furnishings and beanbags.

Delivering for the regions

Mrs Taylor said the improvements are Murrumbidgee Local Health District’s share of $20 million in funding for NSW local health districts and specialty networks announced under the NSW Government’s $700 million Mental Health Infrastructure Program.

“This is part of the Government’s long-term plan to help our mental health facilities refresh their physical environment so they support modern care models,” Mrs Taylor said.

In 2018-19, the Nationals in Government invested almost $44 million to provide a range of hospital and community-based mental health services in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District.