News & updates

7 April 2020: COVID-19 Update
6 April 2020: Conolly Building taking shape

6 December 2019: Rebuild Underway

25 September 2019: Demolition
5 September 2019: Redevelopment news
Recreational outings


COVID-19 and Continuation of Inpatient Services

7 April 2020

Ashburn Clinic is an essential service and we will be doing all that we can to continue providing care to our patients during, and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.  The number of inpatients has been largely unaffected with the majority choosing to complete the lock-down period and continue their treatment at Ashburn Clinic.  Obviously a significant number of changes have needed to be made to adhere to health and safety requirements (in particular physical distancing) and minimise the risk of transmission into Ashburn Clinic.  Our staff maintain their strong commitment to their work and have been generous in supporting the continuation of services. 



Conolly Building Taking Shape

6 April 2020

6 April pic 1Amalgamated Builders Limited (ABL) have been making excellent progress on the rebuild according to the building programme schedule.  However it is difficult to predict the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and what this means for the timing of the project.

6 April pic 2

Removal of asbestos and the required enabling works were completed before the pouring of the concrete foundation in December.  The Archaeological Authority monitoring has also been completed.  And, in recent months the steel and wooden frame installation has been underway and the building is really starting to take shape!




Conolly Building

6 December 2019

6 Dec pic 1 4MPAmalgamated Builders Limited (ABL) formally signed the contract to complete the rebuild, and took over the building site in mid-October.  Since then significant progress has been made - as well as clearing the demolition area, asbestos testing has been completed in the existing building (Pinel Unit) adjacent to the building area, to ensure any necessary removal is completed safely before structural work is undertaken.  As additional spaces are exposed, there continue to be interesting discoveries of past building features, e.g. window frames and wallpaper.

6 Dec pic 2 MPThe concrete platform for the new inpatient unit was poured at the beginning of December.  Enabling works continue, as the older areas are joined with the new, eg. additional fibre installation and electrical upgrades. 

6 Dec pic 3 MPDecanting and continuation of inpatient services
When the rebuild began, it was necessary to separate off part of the inpatient facility (Pinel Unit) that adjoined the demolition area and building site.  To reduce the negative impact of the building activity on patients and staff, some inpatients were relocated to other parts of the hospital.  In typical Therapeutic Community fashion, patients joined staff to carry personal and lighter items, alongside hired professionals brought in to do the heavy lifting!  A shared morning tea and lunch also brought the Ashburn community together to share their experiences of the day.  We are confident that we will continue to provide a safe environment for people to address their mental health problems at Ashburn, and that the number of inpatient beds that we have available will remain largely unchanged.


Demolition of the Conolly Building

25 September 2019

Demo pic 1The scheduled demolition of Conolly Wing began on 18 September and progressed rapidly throughout the week.

Demo pic 2

Although it was business-as-usual at Ashburn in terms of patient services, many staff and patients took the opportunity to have a ‘birds-eye’ view from the upper levels of the hospital.  It was a surprisingly quiet process, safely cordoned off by the painted hoardings. 

Although the demolition marks significant progress in the Ashburn Capital Building Programme, it also was a poignant moment as the old building holds special memories for staff who cared for inpatients there (some of whom are still working at Ashburn).   

The rebuilding is due to begin by the end of October. 



Ashburn Clinic Redevelopment Underway

5 September 2019

Mural 60919

Anyone who has visited Ashburn Clinic recently will have noticed the fences (and attractive murals painted by patients) around the front part of the main building.  The Conolly Wing (an extension of the inpatient unit) is presently unusable due to its earthquake rating and is due for demolition.

The planned demolition and replacement of the Conolly Wing at Ashburn Clinic is part of a larger project to strengthen and improve the whole complex in terms of treatment purposes and the quality of resident living.  The Conolly Wing dates back to 1891 and its layout reflects more traditional hospital design and modes of treatment. 

IMG 0664 Full muralRebuilding provides the opportunity to upgrade the life, utility and potential of the building and wider campus for years ahead.  As well as bedrooms, lounges, ensuites and laundry facilities, the new unit’s design creates new spaces where the majority of the Clinic’s therapeutic programme activities will take place, eg. occupational therapy and art spaces, group therapy and community meeting rooms, and a sensory modulation room. The new design reflects the “equally-well” principle in the Health Strategy that promotes the same standard of facilities for people with mental health difficulties as physical health services. 

Community supportBuilding pic 3 60923
This is a significant project to undertake and while we have worked hard to generate savings, we are also seeking community support.  We are very grateful to the Otago Community Trust, Alexander McMillan Trust and AAW Jones Trust for the financial support they have already committed.  If you wish to donate please click here.

JH 60920Other works
We are very pleased to have just completed the earthquake strengthening and refurbishment of the James Hume building which includes meeting rooms, individual offices or bedrooms, kitchen, bathrooms, lounge and OT room.  The building can be used for programme activities during the day and residence at night.  This flexibility will enable us to maintain the inpatient programme and bed capacity as the Conolly building works progress. 



Recreational Outings

Here at Ashburn we take a little time off from the programme every now and then because we do like to have fun, and it provides an opportunity for patients and staff to come together for various events.  We also like to get off the premises from time to time - as they say, a change is as good as a holiday!  So have a look below at some of the things we've been up to in the last couple of years.   

Spring Day 2019
Keen to take advantage of the improving weather, the Ashburn Rec Committee organised a day out at Aramoana in September.  It was another successful day at the beach although the weather decided to show us all seasons in the time we were there.  Walks on the beach, dogs, games and great food provided by kitchen staff and patients. 

Summer Day 2018
After a cyclone thwarted our first attempt we managed to get a stunning day for a trip to Brighton. A great day of relaxation, sun, surf and food.  

Summer Day 2017 
We headed out to a sun-soaked reserve along Otago Peninsula for relaxation and games.  The weather was perfect and an enjoyable day was had by all. 


Winter Day 2016
An ice skating rink in the Maniototo was our destination.  The rink proved the biggest challenge, and a recent snowfall added to the classic winter theme. 

Summer Day 2016
Road trip to Karitane! 

Knitted Tree 2015
Some of our patients decided one of the grand trees on site at Ashburn needed to be dressed for Winter - and rightly so, it can get chilly up here!