The first significant demolition works have begun at the Repat as the Marshall Government continues to revitalise the precinct.
Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the redevelopment for the Older Persons Mental Health Service was a key step towards revitalising the site, signalling a steady return to a thriving health precinct.
“We are committed to reactivating and revitalising what we know is a critical part of South Australia’s health system,” Minister Wade said.
“Labor closed the Repat, we’re building it.”
The Southern Older Persons Community Mental Health team is operating from a temporary location on site while the first lot of construction works to refurbish and repurpose the C Block building delivers their permanent base.
The community team will be located alongside the non-government dementia facility and the new 18-bed neurobehavioural unit and, forming the state’s first dementia village.
As a key initiative in implementing part of one of the recommendations of the Oakden report, the neurobehavioural unit is being built in the former Ward 18 building.
The Office for Ageing Well, in partnership with the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist, has been working to ensure the new dementia facilities and services planned for the site meets the needs of consumers and the expectations of their families, as well as the wider community.
“As part of this, individuals who have lived experience of caring for a family member with extreme symptoms of dementia have been involved in shaping the design for the new 18-bed neurobehavioural unit,” Minister Wade said.
Local Liberal member for Elder Carolyn Powers said: “There is considerable passion for the Repat and our community has fought hard to secure its future as a vibrant precinct."
“The upgrades we are seeing before us are helping to make sure the Repat will continue to help families through difficult times well into the future,” Mrs Powers said.
Member for Waite, Sam Duluk, said the upgrade was an important step in reactivating the Repat.
“The Repat was a key pillar of the southern health network for 75 years and thanks to the Marshall Liberal Government it will continue to play a significant role in the health care needs of all South Australians,” Mr Duluk said.
Director of the Office for the Ageing Well, Cassie Mason, said engaging families with lived experience had been instrumental in plans to develop the neurobehavioural unit as a fit-for-purpose facility.
“As part of the design process, we worked with The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) Oakden families and families who currently have loved ones in care,” Ms Mason said.
“The experience, knowledge and perspective these family members and carers have contributed to the design work has been invaluable.
“Thanks to the engagement process, we were able to better understand the unique care needs of people living in the neurobehavioural unit and how we can enable people to continue living their best life.
“This included the addition of flexible spaces that allow families to bond and be together, good connections between indoor and outdoor spaces and the creation of shared spaces that support safe interactions.
“Alongside expert input, the first-hand knowledge from families has ensured the architects have a deep understanding on how to design a facility to support and improve outcomes for people with the most extreme behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.
“This engagement is just the first step in creating a well-designed, person-centred Dementia Friendly Community at the Repat site.”
Engagement with a broader group of people with lived experience of dementia, including those living with dementia, will occur as plans for the neurobehavioural unit and broader precinct progress. The design plans will be publicly available following further consultation.
To view the full Office for the Ageing engagement report, visit www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/NBUConsumerEngagement