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$70m to kick-start a revitalised Repat

Specialised dementia facilities and a community hub at the centre of revitalised Repat Health Precinct plans will soon be a reality thanks to a $70 million joint funding agreement between the South Australian and Federal Governments.

An 18-bed dementia unit is part of a $70 million Government commitment to revitalise Adelaide's Repat Hospital. ( Source: Flickr)
An 18-bed dementia unit is part of a $70 million Government commitment to revitalise Adelaide's Repat Hospital. ( Source: Flickr)

The SA Government has committed nearly $40 million for the precinct, including $14.7m for an 18-bed specialised facility to care for some of the most vulnerable South Australians suffering extreme behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD).

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall says the Tier 7 dementia unit will be built in Ward 18 and is part of the solution in replacing the Oakden facility following the abuse scandal in 2017.

“Another $25 million will be spent on a state-of-the-art gymnasium for brain and spinal patients and athletes, as well as a “town square” in the heart of the Repat to create a community hub and open outdoor space. The town square redevelopment will also include a refurbishment of the SPF Hall and a new cafe,” Mr Marshall says.

The Federal Government has also committed $30 million for a new Statewide brain and spinal rehabilitation unit, which will provide a 26-bed specialist inpatient ward.

Federal Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt says the Government would also provide more than $1.3 million a year to fund operation of an 8-bed Specialist Dementia Care Unit (SDCU), in addition to the 18-bed unit.

“This unit will be one of 35 SDCUs nationwide and will allow for consolidation of high-quality, specialised dementia care within the Repat site,” Minister Wyatt says.

“SDCU care will focus on reducing or stabilising people’s symptoms over time, with the aim of helping these people to move to less intensive care settings.”

The Repatriation General Hospital at Adelaide’s Daw Park was officially closed at the end of 2017 after 75 years, amid protest from war veterans, volunteers, staff and the community.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade says strong endorsement for the master plan, which was released on February 17, was received during the public comment phase, and many suggestions, particularly around services to veterans, will be taken on board during the implementation stage.

“This is certainly not the end of the conversation about the Repat but confirmation that we are on the right track with the vision for the site, which will support focussed conversations with potential partners,” Minister Wade says.

“SA Health is in negotiations to partner with an NGO (non-Government organisation) to deliver what will be the State’s new dementia hub - a dedicated dementia village, including 60 places for people who have complex care needs.”

When launching the master plan earlier this month, Mr Marshall says the Government’s vision was a direct response to the community’s strong view that the Repat site needed to be reactivated to take pressure off the health system and provide world-class services for South Australians.

“The Repat has a long and important history in this state. It honours our veterans and embodies their values...we are one step closer to reactivating and revitalising what will be a critical part of South Australia’s future health system.”

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