The NSW Government has committed $438 million to redevelop the Shoalhaven District Memoria Hospital as the health hub for the region, providing the majority of emergency, critical care, acute, sub-acute and non-admitted services locally, reducing the need to transfer patients to Wollongong and Sydney. A new seven-storey building for acute care services is being built with a helipad and will be directly connected to the existing hospital, which will also undergo varying levels of refurbishment.

The redevelopment will provide state-of-the-art medical care for the community, including a new emergency department, medical wards, dedicated mental health ward, cardiology wards and double the number of surgical services and operating theatres.

The health campus will be sensitively landscaped with native plants and return green spaces to the  community.

  • A new emergency department (ED) and emergency short-stay unit to improve patient flow and reduce wait times
  • New state-of-the-art intensive care unit (ICU)
  • Theatres and endoscopy procedure rooms which will double in number
  • A dedicated cardiology inpatient unit (IPU) and catheterisation lab
  • A new vascular surgery service and expanded orthopaedic, general surgery and urology services
  • Overnight surgical IPUs and a dedicated day surgery unit
  • New medical IPUs for specialties including gastroenterology, respiratory, oncology, endocrinology and general medicine
  • A new acute mental health IPU
  • A psychiatric emergency care centre for emergency and crisis response adjacent to the emergency department
  • An expanded acute stroke unit collocated with a dedicated rehabilitation service to ensure early access to rehabilitation and minimise functional loss
  • A new nuclear medicine department to support expanded clinical services including cancer, cardiology and respiratory care
  • A new MRI service to provide improved diagnostic capacity
  • Expanded medical imaging including CT, X-ray, ultrasound and mammography to support clinical services
  • Significant increase in aged care capacity and a dedicated acute aged care ward
  • A sub-acute geriatric evaluation and management service
  • A dedicated palliative care facility
  • A new paediatric assessment unit which will provide additional capacity for day presentations and short stay admissions
  • A specialist rehabilitation unit for a range of conditions including stroke, orthopaedics, brain and spinal injuries
  • Expanded outpatient departments for follow up and management of admitted and non-admitted services
  • Helipad on top of the new building with close access to ICU and ED.

Consultation with clinicians occurred during the preparation of a Clinical Services Plan and subsequent Master Plan which outlined the challenges and opportunities in the current hospital system and what could be done to address the issues. The new and expanded hospital will meet the needs of the Shoalhaven region both now and into the future. During planning, extensive consultation was undertaken with the local community and feedback sought on the development proposal.

The new building will be seven storeys. It has been designed in a way that it will step up towards the north of the site, in order to ensure a lower scale building adjacent to the park.

The new building will allow for parkland and more landscaped areas around the Blackbutt Tree.

In 2022 the team finalised the design of the new acute services block building. The design is being finalised for stage 2/refurbishment of the existing building.  The relocation and building of the preschool commenced in 2022 and completed on time. In August 2023 the Pre-School successfully moved into the new building  
Planning approval for the main project was achieved in mid-2022.

Following planning approval, construction of the acute services building commenced in 2023 with the intention for the new hospital to be completed and operational in mid-2026.

Construction of the Acute Services Block continues. Planning for operational change commences.

Construction of the Acute Services Block nearing complete and planning for operational commissioning commences.

Commissioning of Acute Services Block and clinical services relocate early 2026. Refurbishment on existing hospital commences.

Completion of refurbishment works and project ends.

The new hospital will be a sustainable and environmentally friendly facility with more efficient building systems and renewable energy strategies.

A broad range of initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will be introduced. The design will reduce energy consumption and will include plenty of natural light, access to outdoor courtyards and spaces to relax and socialise.

Examples of the project’s sustainability initiatives include:

  • Prioritising northern orientation to optimise solar control in summer and winter
  •  Providing solar panels on available roof space, including a new 150kWp system installed on the new Acute Services Block.
  • Minimising the need for use of fossil fuels in powering the hospital by using electrical heating instead of gas heating.

Health Infrastructure, in conjunction with the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District is managing the project on behalf of the NSW Government. JohnStaff project management team were appointed in 2019.

The architects of the project are Conrad Gargett and the builders are John Holland group.

Yes. All health services will remain operational during the construction period. There may be changes to how people access the campus and health facilities during construction, however all services will remain open. Many services will be transferred to the new building after construction is completed.

In 2019 the new multi-story carpark opened at SDMH, in addition to existing car parks around the hospital.
From the 1st of August 2023 all carparking is free for both staff and visitors. The NSW government announced this initiative in July 2023, and it is designed to make hospital access more seamless for regional, rural and remote communities who are faced with unique geographical challenges when accessing healthcare.

One of the key objectives of the redevelopment is to provide safe and appropriate facilities to meet the needs of Aboriginal people.  Aboriginal people’s connection to Country is of prime importance and by working collaboratively health and wellbeing of Country is protected and by extension all community.

We work closely with the local Aboriginal community. In April 2023 a cultural ceremony was held with a Welcome to country, smoking ceremony and sod turning. At this event soil taken from the site was used in the smoking ceremony. Once the build is complete the soil will be returned to the Aboriginal area of the hospital as respect to the site and healing.  In November 2022 a Yarn up session was held with Aboriginal community to ensure that the local narrative is correct. In December 2021 a Walk on Country was held followed by a Design Jam workshop. Read the feedback report here. The suggestions and ideas which came out of the workshop were considered in concept to shape the landscaping and building plans.

Community and stakeholder engagement, including specific sessions for the Aboriginal community continues to be central to the redevelopment process.

Reach out to Lara Acevedo, Aboriginal Community engagement officer at lara.acevedo@health.nsw.gov.au who is always happy to have a yarn to update on the redevelopment.

No. The Blackbutt Tree will remain in place and is a focal point of our landscaping designs. During construction the tree will be protected and monitored.
To accommodate the new hospital building the Pre-school is now relocated at the southern end of the Hospital campus. Extensive consultation with the preschool operators and Shoalhaven City Council occurred during the design process.
The new Shoalhaven Preschool was opened in August 2023 by Minister for Health Ryan Park and local MP, Liza Butler.

The new building includes a dedicated parking zone for carers and staff, including a drop-off zone. In addition to the new preschool, the southern end of the campus will be retained as greenspace – enhancing the area’s family-friendly atmosphere.
Staff and community members are invited to email ideas, suggestions and feedback for the Shoalhaven Hospital to HI-shoalhavenredevelopment@health.nsw.gov.au.