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Planned changes to go ahead for move to CBD

Changes to the models of care for mental health and diabetes services coupled with the likelihood of increased construction costs in the current environment, have resulted in Waikato District Health Board (DHB) deciding to modify its proposals for the CBD building (old Farmers) in Hamilton.

Interim Chief executive Derek Wright told the DHB board, at its meeting on Wednesday, the project had to stay within its $14.7million budget so accommodating the changes in the CBD building was not an option.

It would have cost at least $23 million and could see a further two-year delay because of Ministry of Health approvals.

“That’s simply not an option,” he told the board.

Much of the original project scope could be delivered within budget and could be completed by August next year.

About 700 staff will still move into the CBD building; some moving from the Waiora Waikato Hospital site to make room for clinical expansion and to allow ambulatory (walk in) services to be given priority at the hospital.

Other staff are currently working out of leased space elsewhere in the city and would move in a staged process, said Mr Wright.

Consolidating staff from several services in one place was always part of the original business plan because of the savings in rent, a reduction in the car fleet and improved interaction between staff groups.

Once the CBD is fitted out, surplus space and leased space on Level 9 KPMG Tower can also be vacated resulting in more savings, said Mr Wright.

Diabetes and Adult Mental Health services will remain in their Clarence and London Street sites to allow for their new models of care which could not be clinically delivered from the CBD building.

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