Healthcare / Quality improvement
Welsh hospital to open four months early in boost for winter planning measures
By Andrew Sansom | 01 Sep 2020 | 0
A brand-new hospital for Wales – the first major facility to be built in the country for more than two decades – will open four months ahead of schedule, the Health Minister Vaughan Gething has confirmed.
The Grange Hospital will officially open mid-November this year, instead of the original planned date in March 2021. Based in Cwmbran, the new facility, delivered by Laing O’Rourke, has received more than £360m Welsh Government funding. It will provide emergency and urgent care, bringing together services previously delivered at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport and Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny.
Parts of the hospital were made available to the NHS early as a field hospital to assist with the coronavirus pandemic.
The 60-acre site will have a 471-bed capacity and feature a 24-hour specialist assessment facility, intensive care facilities, and comprehensive diagnostic facilities, inpatient beds for major emergencies and complex surgery, and theatres. The hospital will employ more than 3000 people when it opens, with about 600 on shift at any one time.
A consolidated list of services will remain at the Royal Gwent and Nevill Hall Hospitals with inpatient and outpatient care, including diagnostic tests, therapies, minor injuries treatment, and midwifery-led birthing services. It’s envisaged that these will join Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr, Ysbyty Aneurin Bevan, Chepstow and County Hospitals to provide a network of hospitals able to provide the majority of care for their local communities.
Minister for Health Vaughan Gething said: “It’s with great pleasure that I’m able to announce the Grange will open ahead of schedule. It’s testament to the hard work of everyone involved that this has been achieved, and even more so during these challenging times.
“The new date gives us the opportunity to now include the facility in winter preparations and provide more capacity and resilience. It can also assist with any possible future waves of the coronavirus.”
According to architects BDP, the hospital is designed to be flexible, adaptable and expandable. The use of universal rooms allows operational flexibility and blurring of departmental boundaries to deal with changing demand. Beds are divided into operational clusters of eight, with decentralised supplies to minimise travel distance and maximise bedside nursing time.
The new facility has been conceived as a ‘hospital in a garden’, with the landscape purposefully brought up to the building along the full western frontage to connect with the landscape. The hospital uses the topography and existing tree belt to shelter in the landscape, and blends with the westerly views from the Monmouthshire hills.
As a workplace, the hospital is said to offer a highly connected environment with high-quality staff spaces. The building has been designed to level 2 BIM with extensive use of digital technology through the supply chain. Off-site manufactured components have been installed on site to enable programme efficiencies and offer improved health and safety in construction.
Other project partners include Gleeds, AECOM and WSP.
Judith Paget, chief executive of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, said: “We’re delighted that our new hospital will open four months earlier than planned to help us respond to winter pressures and a potential second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The centralisation of our specialist and critical care services at the Grange University Hospital will provide increased resilience for our services, extra flexibility of having 75-per-cent single rooms to treat seriously ill or infectious patients, additional capacity to ventilate patients requiring critical care, and make better use of our staff resources to deliver the highest quality of care to our patients.”