Bright Health Precinct | Alpine Health
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Bright Health Precinct


About the Project

The Bright Health Precinct aims to bring together through co-location a range of health and wellbeing services, including hospital, aged care, medical & aged services and health education services that will deliver a stronger set of benefits for the community by providing a ‘one stop shop’ for services,  This will strengthen the capability of all elements of the service offering; and enable our community to access the right service in the right place at the right time.

The Bright Health Precinct Development seeks to establish health service security for the Bright and district community, providing for the first time in Bright a residential care facility built to high care and ageing in place standards. 


How can the Community help?

Every voice counts, show your support and get the Bright Health Precinct into the next phase of development.  You can do this by:

Consumer stories of lived experience



Next Steps

In May 2023 a new project team and architects were appointed to compile the Masterplan and Feasibility Study for a new Residential Aged Care facility in Bright to high care “ageing in place” standards. The outcome of the Masterplan & study will be the Business Case for government consideration.

In September 2023 an application was made for $1.4m to the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund (RHIF) for the development of a palliative care suite with an adjoining private outdoor garden. This refurbishment will enable the Bright community to receive the best possible end-of-life care. Unfortunately in January 2024, we were advised that this application was unsuccessful. We will continue our efforts to attract funding to support hospital refurbishment initiatives.



If you have questions about the proposed Bright Health Precinct Redevelopment please direct your enquiries to the office of the CEO at [email protected] or 03 5751 9344.

How many new aged care beds does Bright need?

The Australian average supply of aged care beds is 51 beds per 1000 of the population aged over 65.

Based on the previous studies, the demand for high-care services at other Alpine Health facilities, the shifting pattern of demand in the sector and the operational considerations of a high-care facility, a new aged care development comprising 35-49 beds would meet the residential aged care needs of Bright for the next 20 years.


What were Alpine Health’s objectives?

To meet the future residential aged care needs of Bright and its surrounds for the next 20 years, and to do so in an affordable and timely way.   To bring the Bright hospital up to contemporary standards.

What work has been undertaken so far?

Funding efforts to upgrade the Bright’s Health services have been made by Alpine Health and its community over many of years. More recently in 2020, projects across aged care, the hospital and Hawthorn Village were assessed in a feasibility study led by Tectura Architects. This study led to further funding in the 2022 Victorian Budget with $1.5m being delivered to design a high care aged care service for Bright. In May 2023 a new Project team and architects were appointed to compile a Masterplan and Feasibility Study. This work is now being compiled into a Business Case for government consideration.

How has the work been funded?

Recent funding has been a combination of the Rural Health Infrastructure Fund and State Government.

What will it mean for the community?

Residential Aged Care

A new Residential Aged Care facility will give the Bright community a high-quality, high-care facility that is fit for purpose for caring for high-need clients, including those with dementia. This will mean:

  • Community members needing a high-care facility will no longer have to relocate to another town to receive the care they need, and so not be dislocated from their family and their community.
  • The health and well-being outcomes for our aged care residents will be significantly enhanced by the quality and amenity of the facility, the services provided, and their ability to stay connected with family, friends and community.

The Hospital redevelopment 

Bright’s hospital upgrade will provide significant improvements to the patient experience and outcomes; will increase the community’s access to a range of services; and deliver safety, efficiency and sustainability in the delivery of health care:

  • Providing private bathrooms to patient rooms will enhance patient privacy, dignity and respect in care; improve safety in terms of infection control and the risk of unnecessary movement of patients through the hospital; and efficiency as staff time can be reallocated to the acute health needs of patients rather than the movement of patients.
  • Development of a dedicated palliative care suite means the health service’s nursing and medical team, with families and carers, can deliver high-quality end of life services for patients.
  • A production kitchen that has sufficient capacity for the levels and quality of food we produce will mean we can continue to serve the current and emerging needs of our patients, our residents and the clients of our home-based services across all locations.
  • Replenishing the engineering infrastructure of the hospital, such as air-conditioning and water systems, that are at end of life and need renewal, significantly reduces the risk of failure in core services that can threaten the ongoing operation of the hospital.
  • Adding treatment rooms to the hospital means we can expand the delivery of specialist medical and allied health services for inpatients, outpatients and residents of our new aged care facility.

Hawthorn Village

Once the new aged care facility is complete, Alpine Health will consult with the community about how to repurpose Hawthorn Village. Possible functions include temporary housing for both students on placement and for health and medical workers relocating to live and work in Bright.  It could become the new home for the Alpine Institute, which runs education and training programs in health care, including nursing, providing a pathway for employment in, and skills for the sector.

Facilitation of complementary privately funded and operated facilities

Alpine Health is also seeking to facilitate the development of complementary private medical, allied health and social housing facilities on its available land in Bright. 

This includes making available land for the development of a medical and allied health facility adjacent to the hospital and land for social housing adjacent to Hawthorn Village. 

I live in the vicinity of the hospital – should I be concerned about how this might affect the liveability of my neighbourhood?

The planning work has addressed the planning needs and the particular planning frameworks of the Alpine Shire – such as building setbacks, building heights, parking, significant trees, stormwater and sewerage.

Alpine Health, in undertaking the development, also aims to greatly improve the amenity of the local environment.  There will be plenty of parking, the buildings will be designed in a way to be sympathetic to the Alpine village theme promulgated by council, and these will be building finishes and gardens that will greatly add to the amenity of the area

What is a high care residential facility?

A high care residential aged care facility provides high-level care for people who require a lot of assistance with activities of daily living, such as feeding, dressing, cleaning and mobility. 

High care facilities have rooms that enable access to mobility devices such as wheel chairs and lifts, and corridors, doorways and rooms need to be wide enough for beds to be wheeled in and out.  They have more highly qualified staff, equipment and facilities for specialist medical care.  They also have a warm communal homelike environment, with spacious rooms with sitting areas and attached bathrooms, a range of dining and recreation facilities, and accessible gardens. 

The planning work has followed the contemporary design guidelines for residential facilities developed by the Victorian State Government.  Importantly, we are planning for a facility that can cater for the higher needs of people with severe psychological symptoms of dementia.

Hawthorn Village is important to the community, what is wrong with it?

Hawthorn Village is dear to the community and Alpine Health, and it will remain a key feature of health services in Bright into the future. 

As an aged care facility, it does not and cannot provide for residents that need higher care services and is not suitable for ageing in place.

It was designed as a hostel and the cost to alter it to a facility that can offer a continuum of care as residents age would be prohibitive.   The unmet demand for aged care services in Bright is in a facility that can provide low through to high care.  Similar towns, such as Mansfield and Myrtleford have facilities that can accommodate up to 100 residents, providing for low through to very high care, including dementia care.  Bright’s Hawthorn Village has no capacity to meet that demand.

What is going to happen to the people who live at Hawthorn Village?

All those who live at Hawthorn Village will continue to live there, and the valued staff who work there will continue to work at serving our residents’ care and support needs.  The project is in its planning phase and any changes to our services will need government funding support and we have a commitment to all our residents at Hawthorn Village to care for them now and into the future.

Is this a cost-cutting exercise, will you still employ the same number of people?

There will be no decrease in funding with any proposal we develop.  Rather, we are planning for our services to increase, including  in-home care and hospital care.  Our services in residential aged care will increasingly be directed to high care, which takes a significantly higher level of staffing and resources.

What is wrong with the provision of aged care services in Bright?

Bright has been well served by Hawthorn Village as a hostel, but with ageing in place, we know that the demand for high care residential aged care will increase, and we needed to take steps to understand and plan to meet that need.

There are no comparable communities to Bright in regional Victoria that do not have access to a significant number of high care residential aged care beds.

What will this mean for me as I age?

The projects address the current and emerging needs of all residents of the Bright community.  The plans that Alpine Health has developed and hope to enact in collaboration with the community of Bright and the State and Federal Governments, means Alpine Health can service those needs as and when they arise..

I want to stay in my own home as I age, what is in this for me?

Alpine Health is committed to supporting the community to remain in home as long as is practicable.  alpine@home's Home Support services provide a range of home care services to help frail aged people living in the Alpine Shire to live safely and independently in their homes, and we intend for this program to grow and to continue to serve the community into the future.

What does the Aged Care Royal Commission mean for the project?

Many aspects of the areas of inquiry of the Commonwealth’s Aged Care Royal Commission are complementary to this work.  Alpine Health also expects that aged care funding reform, and new capital funding programs to support high level care, including dementia specific care, will only help to facilitate the implementation of the plans.

Funding Support

Alpine Health continues to lobby a broad range of stakeholders for funding support including Federal, State and Local government representatives and officials 

Community Engagement

  • Open and transparent communication with the Bright community is a key component of ensuring that we have the right answers to the right questions and needs
  • A Bright Health Precinct Project Manager has now been engaged to ensure that the community is kept informed on Project Progress through staff and resident meetings, community drop-in sessions and club and organisation meetings
  • The Bright Community and Health Advisory Group (CHAG) will play a key role in advising Alpine Health during the detailed design phase following a funding announcement.
  • If your community group is interested in meeting to discuss the Bright Health Precinct please get in touch:
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