Challenges of a new build

Ms Susan Harper1, Dr Monica Slavin1, Dr Leon Worth1, Dr Caroline Reed1, Mrs Jennifer Breen1

1Peter Maccallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Australia

Introduction:    Background

Construction of the $1 billion Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) commenced in 2011 and  completed in June 2016.

The building is a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between government and the private sector- Plenary Health Consortium (Facility Owner) and Peter Mac the (Facility Operator)


Methods & Results

The Infection Prevention Nurse Consultant (IPNC) was seconded to assist with operational readiness and then transitioning into the new facility. This involved multiple working groups.

The IPNC worked in close liaison with the Infectious Diseases team, referencing many of the local, national and international guidelines, applying those principles to the new build.

These included:

1.Placement of over 600 hand hygiene units

2.Testing of theatre air supply

3.Testing of equipment storage areas

4.Testing air quality in high risk Inpatient areas

5.Testing of ice making machines for Legionella.

6. Oversight of final clean/clinical clean, understanding responsibilities for cleaning of all areas,.

7.Ensuring the seven negative pressure rooms/ pressure gradients were set


New relationships – working with government, public/private partnership and understanding roles and responsibilities.

New learning’s – the type of testing/assay to be to be used (air v swab) and the principles to be applied for testing rooms

Final cleaning – effectively bringing together all final cleaning methodologies for the facility, as the timing of these activities and sign off was critical to opening the facility on the proposed date.

Mitigating risk for Legionella .

Conclusion:The role of the Infection Prevention Nurse Consultant is central to in the relocation of facilities.


Susan Harper, Manager Infection Control & Staff Vaccination at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne

 Susan has been working at Peter Mac for the last 18 years and has a Masters in Nursing – Infection Control (USyd), and Graduate Certificates in Cancer Nursing (Peter Mac) and Infectious Diseases (Fairfield Hospital). Susan is also an accredited nurse immuniser and HIV & Hepb counsellor. Awarded CICP 2010.

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