Hospital Redevelopment

“Engaging United Outcomes was one of the best decisions we made on this project.” – Lisa Norman, CEO, St John of God.

The unique challenge

St John of God is one of Australia's largest health care providers.

Following a decision by their Board in 2014, they looked to further expand their clinical services, including the opening of the first intensive care unit in the region, and agreed funding for the development of a new, purpose built 190-bed in Berwick, Victoria.

St John of God have a stellar reputation for care, having had a presence in Berwick and the Casey region for over 100 years, and the hospital is an integral part of the local community and a source of pride.

The new hospital will offer a much larger and better equipped facility, opening the first intensive care unit in the region and offering an extension of cardiac services and a dedicated cardiac unit.

The new hospital will employ 400 staff, with the hospital creating an additional 200 new jobs for the area, with an additional 100 medical and surgical professionals expected to administer the new and expanded services – up from the 500 visiting doctors that previously worked with the hospital.

The new A$120 million facility provides:

  • 170 overnight and 20 day beds
  • Six operating theatres
  • A cardiac / vascular catheter laboratory
  • Two endoscopy theatres
  • Six birthing suites
  • Intensive Care Unit with a dedicated Critical Care Unit
  • A new rehabilitation unit

Tools & thinking

To support their national and local Executive Team, an implementation partner was sought to establish and support the delivery of the Operational Readiness and Transition Program to ensure all clinical operations, facilities management services, ICT and workforce (including recruitment, onboarding, orientation and training) would be fully operational, safe and within the necessary regulatory approvals for the new hospital to open in 2018.

Given the level of investment and the high-profile nature of the program, it was key to maintain staff and community confidence throughout the move, minimise any disruption to service provision, and maximise the availability of clinical services to the community.

Clinical risk was managed by maintaining quality and safe healthcare throughout the transfer.

To best support St John of God Berwick Hospital in achieving these aims, United Outcomes worked collaboratively with the Berwick Hospital Redevelopment team.

United Outcomes established a governance model, project structure and reporting framework to oversee the transition of services to the new facility, aligning operational workstream activities with the builders program.

The project framework appropriately reflected the needs of the Group, Regional and Local Executive whilst supporting the implementation program at the local level, led by Hospital Stream Leads and Caregivers.

Key to successful readiness was enabling the hospital and relevant support services to be ready on Day 1 for the launch of new clinical services and the change to their existing ways of working.

To help build a common view across the organisation, United Outcomes developed an Integrated Commissioning Plan that accurately incorporated the changes to existing workforce, models of care, facilities management and ICT. 

This plan informed the journey to the new facility and ensured it was clear and understood, and also addressed the needs of internal and external stakeholders.

Internally, the scale and scope of activity across the hospital needed to be broken down to clearly articulate what was going to change, how it would change, when the change would happen and who that impacted.

This plan allowed a change and communications strategy to be deployed that accommodated the needs of all stakeholder groups including workforce, clinicians, patients and the community, alongside what actions were required to achieve the required result.

Three independent Go/No-Go assessments were delivered through the governance committees up to Group CEO level to confirm readiness for Go Live and focus local teams on the activities required for the successful launch of the facility. 


The hospital opened safely and successfully in January 2018 and the program closed in February.

The redevelopment project has recently been recognised by Australian Healthcare Week as their 2018 Winner for Best Hospital Development Project.

St John of God CEO Lisa Norman said of the project:

“Working with United Outcomes to commission our new hospital was outstanding. They brought with them the experience and know-how to ensure we opened on time, on budget and with patient safety optimised. It wasn’t like dealing with consultants; they worked to ensure that they become one with my team. Engaging United Outcomes was one of the best decisions we made on this project.”