18 Jul 2016

The site of Christchurch Hospital's new outpatients building has been blessed ahead of working starting on the multimillion-dollar project.

Leighs Construction won the construction contract for the build and will be soon starting site preparation works for the five storey, 10,500m2 outpatients facility.

The project team and consumer groups are working through the final stages of detailed design, ahead of the main build starting. The project is expected to be completed in 2018.

The new outpatient facility is located in the Health Precinct on St Andrew's triangle, directly opposite Christchurch Hospital and close to a proposed Bus Super Stop.

The land was formerly the site of the Presbyterian St Andrew’s Church that first opened in 1857. The church was relocated to Rangi Ruru School in 1987 and because of the historical significance of the location, an archaeologist will be on site during the initial ground scraping works.

Murray Cleverley, Canterbury DHB Board chair and member of the Hospitals Redevelopment Partnership Group, said he was delighted with the progress of the Christchurch Outpatients.

"A completed new facility will be major achievement as part of the bigger Christchurch Hospital redevelopment picture," Mr Cleverley said.

“The new outpatient facility will finally bring together again a number of general consultation clinics and provide for the delivery of a range of services that have been dispersed across Canterbury DHB sites since the Canterbury quakes significantly damaged a number of our health facilities," he said.

Currently most outpatient clinics are temporarily housed in Hagley Outpatients, a facility built in just 100 post-quake days. Once the new outpatients' facility is open, part of the Hagley Outpatients building will be relocated, as planned, to find a second lease of life as part of Rangiora's new Health Hub.

Dr Rob Ojala, Canterbury DHB clinical lead for facilities redevelopment, said the emphasis was for the new outpatients facility to support integrated specialist community care.

"This will help patients gain access to the specialist care they need outside of the more traditional hospital-based care environment," Dr Ojala said.