UOW and Lendlease to jointly transform health and aged care.
The University of Wollongong and Lendlease have signed contracts for the first stage of a $500M state-of-the-art Health and Wellbeing Precinct.
The agreement will see the partners jointly design, develop and deliver a 7.5 hectare Precinct at the southern end of the Innovation Campus which will be centred around the University’s ‘intoHealth’ Primary and Community Health Clinic, alongside a 126-bed residential aged care facility, 199 independent retirement living units, an 80-place childcare centre and recreation facilities.
Modelled on the renowned Mayo Clinic in the United States, ‘intoHealth’ will be Australia’s first University-led clinic offering intergenerational, patient-centred healthcare. It will deliver non-surgical care that complements the region’s existing health services, focusing on preventative health to maintain patients’ overall physical and mental wellbeing.
Public and private patients will receive a personalised continuum of services from health promotion and disease prevention to rehabilitation and palliative care services.
Through integrating non-surgical health care and aged-care facilities within a research and teaching environment, the Precinct aims to translate research into action—developing and delivering new models of patient-centred care while training the next generation of healthcare professionals and advancing health and wellbeing outcomes for the people of the Illawarra and beyond.
UOW Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Wellings CBE, said the close of commercial negotiations and subsequent contract signing was an important milestone for the ambitious project.
“This project demonstrates the community benefits that can result from close interaction between a major research-intensive university, industry and primary healthcare providers.
“The Health and Wellbeing Precinct is a transformative project that will focus on one of the great challenges of our time: an ageing population, and deliver novel research and education solutions.
“By fostering collaboration across higher education, industry, health care providers, government and the community, this project will enable education, research and service delivery that benefits local residents and influences how health and aged care is delivered far beyond our region.
“Having carefully selected our development partner via a transparent open market process and then explored every aspect of the project in our negotiations, the University is very confident we can work with Lendlease to deliver our shared vision for this ambitious undertaking,” Professor Wellings said.
Lendlease’s Tony Randello said that retirees now expect more from their retirement living experience.
“As well as enjoying a range of new facilities and a beachside location, our retirement living residents will benefit from the research taking place right on their doorstep. And, as our residents’ needs change over time, they can move into the on-campus aged care facility and continue to see the same doctor.
“Social isolation is one of the biggest issues facing older Australians. Our residents will have the ability to interact with people of all ages that will visit the precinct daily for classes, healthcare or childcare, in addition to the students living at the University full time.
UOW and Lendlease will now work together on detailed design work, geotechnical surveys, stakeholder engagement and site preparations while seeking planning approval for the development from relevant consent authorities. The partners anticipate the Precinct will become operational between 2022 and 2023.
Commercial negotiations have been underway since the University announced Lendlease as its preferred development partner in February 2018. That announcement followed a thorough, open-market expressions of interest process that began in November 2016.
The Innovation Campus Health and Wellbeing Precinct is a pivotal part of the University’s extensive Health and Wellbeing Strategy, which aims to address local, national and global health challenges.