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Blacktown and Mount Druitt Hospitals Expansion Project

Health InfrastructureWestern Sydney Local Health District
Project Added:
21 November 2014
Last updated:
13 November 2015


This project implemented consumer engagement activities including steering committees, working parties and community forums involving consumer representatives, clinicians and architects, to seek input into the design and development of the Blacktown Mount Druitt Hospital (BMDH) Expansion Project.

Visit the project website

This project was the recipient of the Patients as Partners category in the 2014 NSW Health Awards as 'Building Our Future Together'. Download a poster from the 2014 NSW Health Awards (opens in a new window).

Blacktown Mount Druitt Hospital artist impression


To deliver state-of-the-art new facilities for BMDH that accommodates the needs of communities, patients and clinicians.


  • Collaboration with consumers allows their insights, concerns and ideas to be heard and incorporated into healthcare services.
  • Increases collaboration and engagement between clinicians and consumers, resulting in higher workplace satisfaction for clinicians.
  • Consumer partnerships encourage a new approach to healthcare redesign.
  • Consumer partnerships create a consumer-centric culture across the organisation.
Group planning for cancer services

Group planning for cancer services

Group of people during consultation for stage 2

Consultation for Stage 2

Project status

Sustained: the project has been implemented, is sustained in standard business. 


There is a growing demand for healthcare services in Western Sydney. The population is expected to increase by 22% by 2026, with the number of people aged 65 and over set to double. The area is a diabetes hotspot, with forecasts that predict diabetes will increase by 204% in men and 147% in women by 2025.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is currently 1.2% in greater Sydney and 2.7% in the Blacktown local government area. There are over 170 languages spoken in the WSLHD, with 36.9% of the population speaking a language other than English at home, compared with 22.5% in NSW.

These factors will place a huge demand on healthcare services, with acute separations set to increase by 91% and bed days expected to increase 78% by 2026.

The BMDH Expansion Project was initiated to address the challenges posed by one of the fastest-growing and culturally-diverse communities in NSW. From the outset, it was recognised that staff alone could not understand the needs of such a diverse community and that community involvement in planning was essential. Therefore a redesign approach underpinned the BMDH Expansion Project, ensuring that community engagement was at the heart of everything.


  • A systematic, comprehensive and ongoing program of community and consumer consultation was implemented. This encompassed all elements of the project, from the early stages of planning right through to post occupancy evaluation.
  • Community partnerships were established, comprising WSLHD consumer representatives, community members, staff and architects. The partnerships allowed new healthcare facilities and models of care to be considered that would address the needs of the community.
  • Community members were asked to determine the factors that would improve their experience. In-depth interviews and field notes were recorded from meetings and conversations relating to the project. These were analysed to glean the overall benefits and processes that could support other parts of WSLHD as it grows and adapts to local community requirements.
  • Specific methods of ongoing community and consumer consultation included:
    • patient interviews
    • focus groups
    • community forums
    • online surveys and direct feedback through the project website
    • volunteer assisted patient experience trackers
    • consumer representation on project governance, working groups, design sessions and transition groups
    • established ongoing consultative groups for key communities in the Blacktown Local Government Area including Aboriginal and Multicultural Advisory groups.
  • The consumer engagement undertaken by the project has been at multiple levels:
    • where possible consumers have been directly involved in decision making such as in the design of reception desks, allocation of parking and mix of retail offerings
    • consumers have informed planning and design activities including clinical services planning and design concepts. This input has led to significant innovation in design including the creation of discrete overnight carer spaces in all single rooms
    • consumers have contributed to the review of design and service models which have led to the incorporation of some innovative patient initiated changes such as the chemotherapy lounge.
  • The depth and breadth of collaboration extended to:
    • consumer representation on project governance committees and the Project Planning Team
    • consumer involvement in strategic decision making and planning processes including master planning, concept design and clinical services planning
    • consumer involvement in architectural design both directly and through review
    • consumer engagement in project working groups including way finding, arts, heritage, retail, car parking
    • consumer participation in transition working groups including direct input into model of care and service model development, implementation planning for current and future operational procedures.
  • In recognising the opportunity for consumer engagement to be strengthened across health capital works projects across the state, Health Infrastructure incorporated components of the BMDH Expansion Project Consumer Engagement model into its Consumer Engagement Toolkit (February 2014). This document aims to assist projects with implementing consumer engagement strategies.


To ensure the project was evaluated rigorously, a case study methodology was used. Rigour was assured by member checking, reflexivity, triangulation, peer debriefing and thick descriptions to enhance transferability. Design changes that took place as a result of this community consultation process included:

  • a unique cafĂ©-style environment in the Cancer Centre with a courtyard outlook, where patients can relax during infusion treatment
  • additional free parking spots for patients undergoing cancer treatment, with drop-off points for patients who arrive at the Cancer Centre by community transport or lifts from family and friends
  • attractive images on the ceiling for patients in radiation therapy
  • overnight carer accommodation for adult patients in hospital, to improve their experience without compromising space or patient care
  • accessible interpreter services for non-English speaking patients
  • repositioned sharps bins and whiteboards in rooms, to allow additional room for patient movement
  • toilets that accommodate patients with intravenous drip stands
  • seating changed from institutional rows to intimate casual groups, making the most of courtyard views and outdoor access
  • a culture and arts project identified themes and commissioned artworks that influenced the appearance of the hospital.

Carer zone, showing hospital bed and alcove with day bed
Carer zone



  • Centre for Healthcare Redesign
  • Blacktown Council
  • NSW Cancer Council (Parramatta and Penrith Regional Offices)
  • Blacktown Cancer Network
  • Mt Druitt Cancer Support Group
  • SydWest Multicultural Services Inc.
  • Philippine Australian Community Services Inc.
  • Mission Australia Mt Druitt Community Hub, Families NSW
  • Service for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS)
  • Aboriginal Elders Group
  • Jacobs
  • Appian Group

Lessons learnt

  • Events such as hospital expansions and redevelopments provide an opportunity to work closely with local communities who add great value in the co-design of models of care aligned with new bricks and mortar, at no additional cost. Staff do not experience models and bricks and mortar in the same way as consumers.
  • Despite initial staff reluctance to engage with their consumers, strong executive sponsorship and the application of redesign methodology proved essential to ensure clinician uptake of consumer engagement.
  • It was found that staff communication improved when consumers were part of the team.


Peter Rophail
Transition Manager
Blacktown Mount Druitt Hospital Expansion Projects
Health Infrastructure
Phone: 0408 788 234

Dr Coralie Wales
Manager Community and Consumer Engagement
Executive Medical Services
Western Sydney Local Health District
Phone: 02 8838 6378

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