The Centenary Hospital for Children info-graphic

Figure 1. The Centenary Hospital for Children expansion project will deliver several elements.

13 August 2020

A brand new paediatric high care ward will be the first major project delivered as part of a $50 million expansion of the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children (CHWC).

The ward will include enhanced, state-of-the-art design to allow for better line of sight to the children being cared for on the ward.

The project is due to be completed in time to start taking patients from October 2020.

The remaining elements to be completed over the next three years include a new adolescent mental health inpatient unit and day service, an expanded maternity assessment unit, a new gynaecology procedure suite, and a new 16-bed postnatal ward.

Executive Director for Women, Youth and Children Katrina Bracher said the project is a fantastic opportunity for CHWC to grow into the future.

“With the growing ACT population, there are a lot more children, more women and more babies that need the services here at the hospital,” Ms Bracher said.

“We want to be a service that’s trusted by our community to provide high quality care, and this expansion project here will help us to do that.”

The CHWC is on The Canberra Hospital campus in Woden and the expansion will be constructed on the existing site, with a slight expansion towards Gilmore Crescent.

Figure 2. Artist impression of The Centenary Hospital for Women and Children - Adolescent Mental Health Unit viewed from Gilmore Crescent.

What will the upgrades involve?

The Adolescent Mental Health Inpatient Unit and Day Service will be integrated with the existing Adolescent Ward. The facility will include a six-bed Adolescent Mental Health Unit connected to the eight-bed Adolescent Ward, with some shared services.

The day service will provide a range of programs to support individual and group therapy, family therapy and psycho-education to assist with the continued recovery of adolescents.

The new gynaecological suite will provide treatment space for adolescents and adults who require gynaecological treatment.

The Maternity Assessment Unit will double in size, with eight treatment bays. It will share a central reception with Birthing, which will create efficiencies for women accessing the service they need.

A new postnatal ward will provide for 16 additional single-room postnatal beds. The single rooms are larger and will all include ensuites and day beds for carers and spouses. The remainder of the space in this area will be reconfigured to provide workstations for Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Midcall staff.

The Neonatal Family Support and Clinical Administration will provide an expanded new area to support ancillary services and families whose infants are being cared for.

Why is the CHWC getting an expansion?

The CHWC opened seven years ago, and, since 2012, Canberra has grown by 46,000 people.

With Canberra’s growing demand, the expansion project allows the ACT Government to review models of care and expand the range of services.

Since 2018, 65 percent of all public births in the ACT were at the CHWC. With significant population growth to be expected over coming years, births will also increase.

Additionally, there is a growing demand for adolescent and mental health services which means the addition of an Adolescent Mental Health Inpatient Unit and Day Service are needed.

The CHWC has helped thousands of babies to start their lives and cared for thousands of children and women. This new chapter will see thousands more benefit from its services.

For more information visit

All Canberra

Share this article:

Subscribe to the OUR CBR newsletter

Get the latest stories in your inbox