New main entrance coming to Nepean Hospital 

October 2023

Patients and visitors can look forward to improved access, navigation and travel time across the Nepean Hospital campus when Stage 2 of the $1 billion Nepean Redevelopment is complete. 

Nepean Redevelopment Stage 2 Program Manager, Leonie Weisbrodt says one of the key improvements will be a new front of house for the hospital. 

“Having a single main entrance for the hospital provides a central point where patients and visitors can begin their journey and easily find their way around the hospital. 

“Nepean Hospital currently has three main building entrances at various locations around the campus, which can make it difficult to navigate, especially for new visitors and people with mobility issues,” said Leonie.  

“When the new building opens in 2026, the main entry will be accessed from Barber Avenue, with a dedicated undercover drop off zone.  

The covered walkway and steps leading to the main doors will feature artwork that celebrates the cultural diversity of the Nepean Hospital catchment area. 

As a hospital volunteer who helps guide visitors around the hospital, Estelle Godkin is looking forward to an improved patient and visitor experience. 

“Visiting a hospital is often very stressful, and I think providing a main entry and front of house area with clear directions will lessen some of the anxiety people experience when they are lost and can’t find their way around,” says Estelle. 

“I think the dedicated drop off and pick up zone at the front will also significantly help the elderly and less mobile patients coming to hospital. Connecting the front of house with well-designed linkways will also improve travel times. No longer will you have to detour or go around a certain building or area. I think the new signage will also significantly help people find their way around the hospital.” 

Leonie said that once people are inside, they will enter a large atrium-like space with a front reception desk, seating area and retail spaces.  

Hanging from the ceiling will be suspended sculptural provide a calming and uplifting entry experience. 

People with high support needs have also been considered in the design of the front of house. A key example is the new purpose-built Changing Places toilet facility, which was informed by feedback from people with lived experience. 

The facility is large enough to fit a patient and their carer, and will feature a height-adjustable adult-sized change table, a hoist, a centrally located peninsula toilet, additional circulation space, an automatic door and a privacy screen. 

Penrith resident and passionate disability advocate, Kevin Finlayson says having an all-abilities toilet will significantly improve the experience of visiting Nepean Hospital, not only for people with high-support needs, but for their carers and their families. 

“I can’t tell you how much seeing an all-abilities toilet at Nepean Hospital means to me on a personal level,” says Kevin. 

“We are helping members of our community – this will literally change their lives when they come to the hospital.” 

Another important consideration in the design of the front of house was ensuring it was culturally appropriate for Aboriginal people and their families. 

Following extensive user consultation, the front of house will feature an easily identifiable Aboriginal Liaison Office and Aboriginal health space that will be connected to an outdoor green space.

Nepean Hospital’s Aboriginal Health Unit Director Rachel Scobie says the Aboriginal health space will make the front of house area much more culturally welcoming and inclusive for Aboriginal families. 

“Having a dedicated space that is easily identifiable and accessible in the main entrance of the hospital will improve the experience of coming to hospital for Aboriginal patients and their families, because culturally responsive help and support will be seen as soon as they enter through the door,” she said. 

Leonie is confident the end result is well worth the challenges the Nepean Hospital campus is currently experiencing during construction.  

“While the new front of house will have a very positive impact on the overall experience of patients, visitors, and staff, constructing a new building in the middle of a hospital campus is not easy,” she said. 

“We are doing everything we can to minimise the impact of construction on staff, patients and visitors, and thankfully, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The redevelopment team appreciates everyone’s patience and understanding while we deliver this important project.”