A brand new hospital for Wales will open four months ahead of schedule the Health Minister in order to help deal with a potential second surge of Covid-19 cases.
The Grange Hospital will officially open mid-November this year, instead of the original planned date in March 2021, Health Minister Vaughan Gething said.
The new facility based in Cwmbran, which has received over £360m Welsh Government funding will provide emergency and urgent care, brings together services previously provided 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.
Judith Paget, Chief Executive of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board said she was grateful for the support we have received from Welsh Government, our staff, partners and the public.
“We are 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,” she said.
“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% 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.”
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.
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.
The aim is 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
Alongside the hospital providing state of the art facilities the build of the hospital has helped to create over 600 jobs during its build. The hospital will employ over 3,000 people when it opens, with circa 600 on shift at any one time.
Minister for Health, Vaughan Gething, said that he was pleased to announce the Grange would 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,” he said.
“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.
“The new facility is another example of key investments being made into the NHS here in Wales, which benefit both patients and staff. I’m positive that this fantastic new facility will also help us attract more people to working in the birthplace of the NHS.”