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Aged care, education, and health sectors partner to benefit the north of Adelaide

A health and education hub developed by aged care organisation ACH Group will provide health services to Adelaide’s northern community and feature a state-of-the-art residential care home designed in line with key findings from the Royal Commission.

Healthia, a $40 million development adjacent the Lyell McEwin Hospital within the Playford Health Precinct, brings together ACH Group, Northern Adelaide Local Health Network (NALHN), University of South Australia, and City of Playford.

Over more than 15,000 square meters of land, Healthia will include a 96-place residential care home comprising 8 small-scale homes, each with 12 private rooms. The design incorporates findings from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and best practice in dementia care.

Healthia will be Australia’s first residential care home purposely built to limit the spread of infectious viruses such as COVID-19. Infection prevention measures include mechanical systems that increase provision of fresh air to indoor areas, and minimise recirculation and the spread of air droplets. Each bedroom will have direct access to the outdoors, and living and dining areas will be more spacious for greater social distancing.

UniSA will co-locate with a general practice and student-led allied health clinic open to the public on a full-time basis on weekdays. In addition, students will undertake placement in the residential care home.

ACH Group CEO Frank Weits said the aged care organisation was proud to lead the powerful partnership.
“Healthia will improve the health and lifestyle outcomes for Adelaide’s northern community and reimagine residential aged care,” Mr Weits said.

“The Royal Commission favoured the small-scale household model for residential care as the home-like design promotes better quality of life for residents especially people living with dementia.

“Healthia has been designed around a village model. Within each home there are spaces you typically see in every house, including a kitchen for residents to prepare and cook meals in, and a dining room and living area to come together in.”


NALHN CEO Maree Geraghty said Healthia’s location within the Playford Health Precinct will complement the Lyell McEwin Hospital’s role as a major provider of acute health care in the north.

“The establishment of a vibrant health precinct will allow us to increase collaboration with other service providers such as ACH Group, which in turn, will help ease pressure on our hospitals and reduce length of stay,” Ms Geraghty said.

UniSA’s Dean of Clinical Education and Equity, Professor Esther May, said Healthia will give students vital practical learning experiences during their degrees.
“We look forward to collaborating with ACH Group and the local community on innovative models of care. UniSA’s health clinic will offer student-led services under the supervision of practicing clinicians,” Prof May said.

City of Playford Mayor Glenn Docherty said he welcomed construction of Healthia, which is an important contributor to the Playford Health Precinct.
“We’re thrilled to have Healthia in the precinct to care for our older residents in a suitable home environment while creating new job opportunities in the expanding health sector,” Mayor Docherty said.

It is estimated the Healthia development will create up to 180 jobs during construction and a further 66 ongoing jobs in the City of Playford and surrounding areas.
Construction commences in early December 2021. Healthia is currently scheduled to be fully operational and welcome its first residents by June 2023.
Healthia is located on the corner of Mark and Coglin roads, Elizabeth South, adjacent the Lyell McEwin Hospital.

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