The Waterford Hospital was first opened in 1854 as the Hospital for Mental and Nervous Diseases. It was renamed the Waterford Hospital in 1972 and is one of the oldest health-care facilities in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Waterford Hospital is a tertiary care facility for individuals who have complex mental health needs. It provides mostly acute care at the facility with numerous outpatient and community-based services.
Since 2010, there has been increasing conversation that a new mental health and addictions facility should be built to better meet the needs of patients, clients and families.
In 2016, the province committed $2.5 million to support further planning and design of a new facility to replace the Waterford Hospital.
In March 2017, the All-Party Committee on Mental Health and Addictions released Towards Recovery: A Vision for a Renewed Mental Health and Addictions System for Newfoundland and Labrador. The report acknowledged that the replacement of the Waterford Hospital is an urgent priority:
“The Provincial Government must investigate options for replacing the existing hospital with in-patient services as well as more services provided in community and closer to home. These in-patient and community services should be identified in a plan within the first year of this report’s release. Services delivered at the Waterford Hospital must continue until new service options are in place.” (Towards Recovery, 2017)
To view the full report, please visit http://www.health.gov.nl.ca/health/all_party_committe_report.pdf.
As part of Budget 2018, the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador announced funding of $6.1 million for a new state of the art facility in St. John’s. The facility, a 102-bed acute care hospital, was announced to be built on the Health Sciences Centre campus and would include a 1,000 parking-space garage and a new hostel on the fifth floor.
A Request for Proposals was issued in August 2019 followed by an announcement in July 2020 that Avalon Healthcare Partnership (AHP) was the successful proponent on the project.
Construction of the parking garage and site preparation and excavation for the new adult mental health and addictions facility started in April 2021. Staff, client and family advisors, key stakeholders, government officials and the contractor have since been working and the expected date of the completion is the fall 2024.