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New era in healthcare for Concord Hospital

Concord Hospital’s new clinical services building officially opened.

SydneyConnect Video: New era in healthcare for Concord Hospital

Concord Hospital’s new clinical services building has officially opened, with the $341 million redevelopment marking a new era in healthcare for staff, patients and the community in Sydney’s inner-west.

“We’re celebrating the future of Concord Hospital, 80 years after it first opened its doors to provide care for our community,” Dr Teresa Anderson, Sydney Local Health District’s Chief Executive said.

The eight storey building has 214 patient beds and houses a comprehensive cancer centre, an aged health and rehabilitation centre and The National Centre for Veterans' Healthcare.

Dr Anderson was joined by Health Minister Brad Hazzard, Minister for Veterans David Elliott local MP John Sidoti, the District’s Board Chair John Ajaka, the hospital’s General Manager Dr Genevieve Wallace, Health Infrastructure’s Executive Director of Northern region Leisa Rathborne and Roberts Co Chief Executive Alison Mirams for a special ceremony.

“The new Comprehensive Cancer Centre provides additional services for cancer patients, and aged care patients will benefit from the new outpatient clinics, rehabilitation gyms and psychogeriatric medicine,” Mr Hazzard said.

The building is named in honour of veteran and former NSW RSL President Godfrey Eugene "Rusty" Priest. At times a patient at Concord, Rusty was a strong supporter of the hospital and a champion for veterans’ health and wellbeing.

During the ceremony, his daughter Carole-Anne and son Tim were presented with a plaque in recognition of their father’s significant contribution to veterans.

The Rusty Priest Building is a new chapter in Concord Hospital’s 80-year history of caring for the community and supporting veterans and their families.

“We owe our veterans the highest quality care for their mental and physical wellbeing and the National Centre for Veterans’ Healthcare will enhance the services available to them,” Mr Elliott said.

The move to the new building enables clinicians to continue to provide world class healthcare matched by state-of-the-art facilities, with patients to benefit from larger, single-bed rooms and the latest in healthcare technology and equipment.

The District’s Clinical Director for Cancer Care, Clinical Associate Professor Ilona Cunningham said, “This is a dream come true for my clinician colleagues and also for my patients. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who has contributed to the comprehensive cancer centre.”

The District’s Clinical Director for Aged Care Services, Dr John Cullen, added,” The outcome of all this work over so many years is brilliant. Older patients and people with disability in this place now have decent facilities and that’s the first time that’s ever been the case.”

The State Government announced the funding for the project in 2017 and main works construction began in 2019.

“There has been several years of planning, of collaborating with our community and our partners, to design a building that will support the health and wellbeing of the growing local community,” Dr Wallace said.

The redevelopment project was fast-tracked to support the state’s pandemic response and dedicated wards were opened in September last year to provide care for patients with COVID-19.

Further staff and patients began to gradually transition into the building this year.

Last month, a traditional Aboriginal smoking ceremony was held to cleanse the space and promote visitors’ wellbeing.

The construction of a new $32.4 million multi-storey hospital car park is expected to begin in mid-2022.