Hutt Valley District Health Board (HVDHB) has received a seismic assessment that has found the Heretaunga Block to be earthquake-prone. Under the legislation we have until 2029 to strengthen the building.
Our staff and patient safety, both clinical and physical, is our priority, so we are planning to shift staff and services from the Heretaunga Block over time. We have received expert engineering advice that the risk to people, while we take our next steps, is low.
At the moment it is business as usual for accessing health services. The emergency department is operating as normal, as it is located in a different building. It is important that people continue using their local service when they need to, as normal.
As planning progresses there will be some changes at the Hutt Hospital, like new signage and temporary barriers showing people where to go.
Some healthcare services will move over time. When we know when services will be relocated we will contact people who are affected, and share news through this webpage, Facebook and newsletters.
Other Formats Available:
Easy read translation – Word
Easy read translation – PDF
Patient information – NZSL
Community information – NZSL
Where do I go for my healthcare services?
Please continue accessing our health services as you usually normally do. The emergency department is operating as normal, as it is located in a different building.
As soon as we know when any services will move to new locations we will:
contact those people who are affected to let them know
update this web page with the new locations and dates they will move, and our Facebook pages
put up posters around the hospital
publish ads in the local community newspapers.
We will also aim to update our frequently asked questions each week – so check below for the latest news.
We will continue to share the latest news on this page, which will be listed below as more information becomes available.
If you have questions or concerns please email HeretaungaBlock@huttvalleydhb.org.nz. You can read the frequently asked questions (FAQs) available at the end of this page. These are updated as we receive more information and questions.
30 June 2022 - Yellow earthquake prone stickers
Today the Hutt City Council have confirmed that the Heretaunga Block at Hutt Hospital is earthquake-prone. Their decision confirms the advice we shared with the public based on earlier detailed seismic engineering assessments (DSA) we had requested as part of our ongoing network planning and maintenance works. These reports were presented at the final Hutt Valley District Health Board meeting on 22 June (below).
Our priority is the safety of our staff and patients, both clinical and physical. Engineers say the risk to people is low and we can continue using the building, while we find other places for people to receive treatment or access our services over time.
We are also awaiting further engineering advice on additional steps we can take (on top of the current fencing) to manage or potentially replace the facades in the interim.
On Friday (1 July) you will see yellow earthquake prone stickers as you enter the main entrances into Heretaunga Block, which we are legally required to display. 29 June – Staff update
PDF: Options for designing a prefabricated building onsite and update on Expert Advisory Group members
23 June 2022 - Board resolutions
On Wednesday 22 June we provided the Hutt Valley and Capital DHBs an update on the Heretaunga Block. This was the final Board meeting before the governance for the regional healthcare services will move to Health New Zealand on 1 July 2022.
Based on the resolutions from the previous meeting on 2 June the Boards were presented with:
In the presentation (below) we shared our medium and long-term plans for relocating services and emergency planning to keep our staff, patients, and visitors safe. These actions include:
The updated emergency evacuation procedures, response plans, and staff training we have put in place – including ordering additional evacuation equipment.
Requesting further engineering advice around additional steps to lessen or remove the risks the facades pose to peoples’ safety. This is in addition to the fencing that has already been installed.
Continuing negotiations with a range of providers to relocate services. As these discussions are commercially sensitive, we are unable to share details at this stage.
Investigating options to develop a business case for installing temporary prefabricated buildings onsite. This may be the quickest option to relocate some (not all) services on site.
Updated Master plan for the whole site to increase overall capacity for the long term.
The Chair of the expert advisory panel is organising workstreams for clinical teams to input into the project.
The Hutt Valley District Health Board agreed that in addition to the resolutions made on 13 May 2022 and 2 June to:
Request a further engineering assessment form an independent company that has not been involved in the assessment of the Heretaunga Block so far.
Obtain further advice on the Importance Level rating of the Heretaunga Block and determination process for IL2 versus IL4
Reaffirms the Hutt Valley DHB’s request to Health NZ that any services that are decanted from the Heretaunga Block are prioritized to venues in the Hutt valley and that all services return to the Hutt Hospital.
Request that Health New Zealand prioritises finding solutions for the Heretaunga Block as a matter of urgency.
To request that Health New Zealand and the Ministry of Health consider, as a priority, decisions regarding temporary building options on the Hutt Hospital site and community facilities, while options for a permanent building on the Hutt Hospital site that meets the current future healthcare needs of the community in the Hutt Valley are progressed.
Notes that any further decisions will be made by Health New Zealand once more information is available after 1 July 2022.
22 June 2022 2DHB Board meeting Heretaunga Block presentation
22 June 2022 2DHB Board paper
22 June 2022 @DHB Board resolutions (note these are not minutes, the minutes will be confirmed by the Chair under delegation).
17 June 2022 – final draft detailed seismic assessment
The peer review process of the draft detailed seismic assessment (DSA) is now complete. The updated engineering advice suggests that while the building is still considered earthquake-prone (subject to determination by Hutt City Council), several of the structural elements are now considered earthquake risk (rather than earthquake prone). The advice also reiterates the building can continue to be used for a period of time while alternative or replacement facilities are found. This means that while we recommend the Board confirms our earlier decision to relocate services out of the building as soon as reasonably practicable, the timeframe around this may be longer than initially indicated.
On Wednesday 22 June 2022, the Hutt Valley and Capital Coast District Health Boards will consider the final draft detailed seismic assessment for our Heretaunga Block and receive an update on our approach for relocating healthcare services over the short and long-term.
The original draft DSA of the Heretaunga Block (issued on 8 March 2022) rated many structural and non-structural elements at 15% of the New Building Standard (NBS) at IL3.
Due to the importance of the Heretaunga Building and this rating, we engaged another external engineering company to carry out a peer review of the original DSA. This peer review process is now complete and as a result, the precast concrete façade panels are now the only part of the building rated at 15% NBS at IL3 in the final draft DSA.
The result does not change the overall status of the building. With one element still at 15% NBS at IL3, the building is still considered earthquake-prone under law. The other elements are considered earthquake risk. We are therefore recommending the Board confirms our earlier decision to relocate services out of the building as soon as reasonably practicable.
The timeframes for this process will be based on the steps we need to take to mitigate the risk to life safety which will be outlined in the health and safety risk assessment and further engineering advice. These additional mitigation steps to manage the life safety risk may allow for the timeframes to be longer than initially indicated. At all steps our focus is protecting the health and safety of staff, patients, and visitors in the building.
We have updated our emergency response training and evacuation plans based on this latest advice, so staff, patients, and visitors will be able to evacuate safely in the event of any emergency.
The precast concrete façade panels are on the building’s exterior and we are awaiting further engineering advice on how we can further mitigate or remediate this risk. We already have a fence in place around the Heretaunga Building, which is the first mitigation step.
We are also continuing discussions within the community and with providers on options for helping deliver our services over the medium to long-term, while decisions can be taken on strengthening the building. This includes H progressing plans for prefabricated buildings and revising and accelerating the Master Site Plans.
The Board paper is available below. The peer review report and final draft detail seismic assessment on Heretaunga Block will be available on our website over the next day as we are having technical issues loading it to the web page.
22 June 2022 2DHB Board Papers (PDF)
Why is the building rated as IL3?
Importance Level (IL) relates to the consequences of a building being damaged in an earthquake. IL3 buildings tend to have contents of high value to the community, or contain crowds, such as conference centres, stadiums, or airport terminals.
What is the risk to me given the new DSA report?
We have received expert engineering advice that the risk to people while we take our next steps is low, and the building has performed well in previous earthquakes.
The updated assessment does not change the overall status of the building. With one element still at 15% NBS at IL3, the building is still considered earthquake-prone under law. So, we are recommending that the Board confirms our earlier decision to relocate services out of the building as soon as reasonably practicable.
The timeframes for this will be based on the steps we need to take to mitigate the risk to life safety which will be outlined in the health and safety risk assessment and further engineering advice. These additional mitigation steps to manage the life safety risk may allow for the timeframes to be longer than initially indicated. At all steps our focus is protecting the health and safety of staff, patients, and visitors in the building.
In the meantime, we have updated our emergency evacuation procedures and plans tohelp mitigate the risk if people should need to leave the building in the event of an emergency.
We are awaiting further engineering advice on how we can further mitigate or remediate this risk of the precast concrete façade panels on the building’s exterior. There is a fence in place around the Heretaunga Building, which is the first mitigation step.
Why is the detailed seismic assessment still in draft if it has been peer reviewed?
The final peer review documents received from Silvester Clark this week have confirmed agreement with the findings in the final DSA. We have also received updated advice from the Ministry’s seismic advisor setting out their assessment of the peer review process and providing updated risk advice based on the findings. The final draft DSA is being shared with other agencies to confirm with them that it contains all the information that is required for their roles as future building owners, stewards of health infrastructure and regulators under the Building Act.
Are there changes in the final draft detailed seismic assessment?
Yes, there are. As a result of the peer review process, the precast concrete façade panels are now the only part of the building rated at 15% NBS at IL3 in the final draft DSA.
This does not change the overall status of the building. With one element still at 15% NBS at IL3, the building is still considered earthquake-prone under law. The other elements are considered earthquake risk. We are therefore recommending the Board confirms our earlier decision to relocate services out of the building as soon as reasonably practicable.
As these panels are on the outside of the building, we have asked for further engineering advice on how we can mitigate or remediate the risk. To begin with, we have installed a fence around the perimeter of the building which is the first step in mitigating this risk.
Why has part of the engineering assessment changed?
We commissioned an independent peer review to ensure we are taking all reasonable and practicable steps to ensure the health and safety of staff, patients, and visitors in the Heretaunga building.
How has the NBS rating increased from 15% to 34 or above for the main structural elements, including the stairs?
The peer-review process involved Silvester Clark reviewing the structural drawings, and analytical models and calculations prepared by Aurecon, and discussing them in detail. Aurecon summarised the findings of these discussions in agreement with Silvester Clark.
The revised NBS ratings and final draft DSA supersede the previous guidance. They also reiterate the building can continue to be used for a period of time while alternative or replacement facilities are found. The rationale for the increased ratings included:
·more specific consideration being given to the columns of the perimeter seismic frames, these were found to hold much more resilient details than those typical of early/mid-1970s buildings
·further analysis of the detailing of the reinforcing in the columns provided increased confidence in their strength and therefore an increase in their overall performance
·more detailed analysis which considered the design of the floor diaphragms and stair flights and how they would perform overall, rather than the previous reporting of the minimum score for the first point of failure.
Will this delay the planning and relocation process?
No. We are updating our emergency response and evacuations plans and while we await further engineering advice on options for mitigating the risks of the facades cracking or falling, we are continuing our discussions within the community and with providers on options for providing our services over the short to long-term. We are also progressing plans for prefabricated buildings and revising and accelerating the Master Site Plans.
What is the plan?
This additional demand on our already stretched healthcare sector is constraining our ability to relocate services so we:
·are continuing our discussions with key stakeholders, the community, and providers on temporary and permanent options for providing our services over the short, medium, and long-term.
·are updating our project structure to reflect the scope of work and resources required
·have set up a clinical task force to provide advice to the project, who met for the first time last week
·are progressing plans for prefabricated buildings and revising and accelerating the Master Site Plans.
7 June 2022
The decision to take a precautionary approach and relocate services from the Heretaunga building at Hutt Hospital was supported by a range of expert advice.
The following documents are posted at the bottom of this web page:
Hutt Valley DHB Board Paper and Resolution from 13 May 2022
Technical advice as at 13 May 2022
Hutt Valley DHB Board Paper and Resolutions from 2 June 2022
2 June 2022 - Board Meeting
On Thursday 2 June 2022, a special meeting of the Hutt Valley DHB Board was held. This was at members’ request to continue discussions about the Heretaunga building at Hutt Hospital, and to receive an update on implementation planning and processes.
RESOLUTIONS FROM HVDHB Board meeting dated 2 June 2022
The Hutt Valley District Health Board agreed that in addition to the resolutions made on 13 May 2022 to:
(a) Request that Health NZ and the Ministry of Health commit to rebuilding on the Hutt Hospital site, a fit for purpose building that meets the current and future healthcare needs of the community in the Hutt Valley.
(b) Request that the Executive continue to work with facility providers to progress our service continuity plans for the relocation of patients and services, including maternity services, from the Heretaunga Building at Hutt Hospital – noting that:
i. as we are still in the early stages of our planning, decisions have not yet been made as to how any facilities will be used;
ii. this will be agreed as we work through the planning process and manage the relocation while ensuring service continuity and access to healthcare for our community.
iii. all decanted services from the Heretaunga Block be retained as a priority in the Hutt Valley.
(c) Request that all current services provided at the Hutt Hospital be returned to the Hutt Hospital after the rebuild.
(d) Request an update from the Executive on progress made, including any decisions, on (a), (b) and (c) at the Board meeting on 22 June 2022.
The Hutt Valley District Health Board note:
(e) The update from the Executive on the work being undertaken to give effect to the Board decision of 13 May 2022 and that a further update on next steps will be provided at the Board meeting on 22 June 2022.
Note: The minutes for this meeting will be considered for confirmation at the HVDHB meeting on 22 June 2022.
Hutt Valley DHB Board Paper and Resolution from 13 May 2022
Technical advice as at 13 May 2022
Hutt Valley DHB Board Paper and Resolutions from 2 June 2022