NSW new modern, sustainable accommodation for health workers across Hunter New England

Visiting frontline health staff can access safe and contemporary accommodation with 44 new units now available across Hunter New England Local Health District.

NSW Regional Health Minister Ryan Park today opened the final eight units at Tamworth Hospital, marking the end of a two-year program to improve staff accommodation across the District.

“We know that having safe and comfortable accommodation is a key consideration for staff when accepting work in our rural and regional health facilities,” Mr Park said.

“These units are close to our hospitals and have been constructed with sustainable building practices, featuring solar panels and water tanks.

“I’ve seen a number of these units and it’s great to know that our visiting health staff have access to all the comforts of home, while they enjoy the unique and fulfilling experiences that come with working in rural and regional areas.”

Chief Executive, Hunter New England Local Health District, Tracey McCosker said the units would support recruitment efforts and enable the District to reinvest funds into frontline services.

“Our units have become an important incentive in attracting health workers to our regional and rural facilities to help fill short term staffing needs, with the locations chosen based on existing accommodation challenges,” Ms McCosker said.

“We’ve had staff return to some of our hospitals on numerous occasions, knowing that they have access to modern and secure accommodation while they provide an essential service.”

The accommodation units support visiting specialists, medical officers, nurses, midwives and allied health staff on short term contracts.

They will also be available to staff who have permanently relocated while they secure local housing.

The final 22 units were delivered this year to Boggabri Multi-Purpose Service, along with Moree, Muswellbrook, Tamworth and Singleton hospitals.

It follows last year’s successful roll-out across Gunnedah, Quirindi, Walcha, Armidale, Glen Innes, Inverell and Scone hospitals.

The District received $20 million as part of a $35 million Regional Housing Package, driving construction in regional areas and delivering critical health accommodation improvements for staff.

Hunter New England Local Health District was the first to implement the modular accommodation units, with Western NSW Local Health District following soon after.

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