Work to commence on the Clinical School and Research Institute

An artist’s impression of the new facility at Gosford HospitalAn artist’s impression of the new facility at Gosford Hospital

Gosford is on its way to becoming a world class health, research and education precinct, with work starting this week on a new $72.5M facility at Gosford Hospital.

The facility has been a long time in the planning and will be jointly funded by the State and Federal Governments and the University of Newcastle. It will include a Clinical School to support the education and training of doctors and nurses, and a Research Institute to develop new approaches to integrated care. Federal Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks, Member of the Legislative Council, Taylor Martin, and University of Newcastle Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement and Partnerships), Professor Kevin Hall, were on site on Wednesday, September 4, to announce the beginning of construction. Wicks, who has been at the forefront of negotiations on the facility, said it would help position the Coast as a region of choice for education, training and clinical research.

This is a huge achievement for our region, boosting our local economy, creating more jobs for people on the Central Coast and giving our students the opportunity to study and live in Gosford, she said. We know that universities can transform local economies and help drive future job growth and opportunities.

Martin said the Institute would drive further investment in health and research and be a key part of the regions economic growth. The facility will help attract and retain healthcare professionals, offering opportunities for training and clinical experience closer to home, while improving health outcomes through research conducted on site, he said.

The Central Coast Clinical School and Research Institute is a partnership between the University of Newcastle and the Central Coast Local Health District, and Prof Hall said it was just one step in a staged approach by the university to develop the region as a centre of excellence in education. Students who are training to become the next doctors, nurses and allied health clinicians will learn the most modern techniques and well researched clinical practices, working alongside world leaders in their field, Hall said.

Director of the facility will be Professor Nicholas Goodwin, a social scientist who has worked for the past 25 years in the field of health services research, management and policy. In 2011, he founded the International Foundation for Integrated Care (IFIC) and became its first CEO in March, 2013.

The public benefit organisation is dedicated to improving the science, knowledge and adoption of integrated care worldwide. Goodwin was instrumental in writing the World Health Organisations Global Framework on People-Centred and Integrated Health Services Delivery, which was ratified at the World Health Assembly in 2016. In January 2016, he received the Avedis Donabedian International Award for his contribution to Healthcare Excellence.

Goodwin said the Central Coast Research Institute would aim to translate research into practice to enable better health outcomes. We will explore innovative ways to better coordinate care for key issues such as ageing, obesity, Indigenous health, chronic disease and mental health, he said.

The Research Institutes overall book-to-bedside goal is to improve peoples care experiences and outcomes in sustainable ways. Our research will lead to better care planning and delivery across health and other sectors. That in turn will lead to a future where people are better able to manage their health, recover more quickly from illness and injury, and live longer, more satisfying and independent lives.

Source: Media release, Sep 4 University of Newcastle media