What the Royal Commission said
The Royal Commission recommends that the Victorian Government:
- in line with master planning for Thomas Embling Hospital and the proposal of the Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority:
a. refurbish the existing 136 beds; and
b. by the end of 2026, provide an additional 107 beds, a small number of which should be allocated for people living with mental illness whose treatment, care and support requirements cannot be safely and appropriately met in acute inpatient settings or through the forensic community model (refer to Recommendation 37(2)).
- provide up to 20 beds, in addition to the 107 beds referred to in Recommendation 38(1)(b) and the additional beds in Recommendation 11(3), to support people living with mental illness whose treatment, care and support requirements cannot be, or are unlikely to be, safely and effectively met in other extended rehabilitation settings.
What are the opportunities?
Thomas Embling Hospital is a secure forensic mental health hospital. It provides care and treatment for people living with a serious mental illness in, or at risk of entering, the justice system.
There has been significant growth in forensic patients and increasing demand for mental health beds in the justice system. The Thomas Embling Hospital project will ensure that Victorians most at risk can access mental health services in a secure, contemporary and recovery-focused environment.
What are we doing?
The $349.6 million upgrade of Thomas Embling Hospital will deliver an additional 82 secure mental health beds and help transform Victoria's forensic mental health system.
The expansion of the hospital will include a new precinct dedicated to women, with 34 beds. It will also have 48 beds in the medium security facility for men, as well as clinical administration facilities.
Construction of the Thomas Embling Hospital expansion will start in mid-2022 and due to be completed in 2024.
The project is the first stage of a major rebuild and will fulfil a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System.
The project is being led by the Victorian Health Building Authority.
The Department of Health is also currently planning where the extra beds - up to 20 - mentioned in the second part of Recommendation 38 will be based.