384 extra beds now available at The Grange University Hospital

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board now has 384 extra beds available and ready for patients, should they be needed during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Contractors building the new Grange University Hospital at Llanfrechfa, Cwmbran, handed over a number of finished ward areas yesterday (Monday 27th April) – months ahead of schedule.

Laing O’Rourke and Gleeds worked around the clock to get the extra capacity at the new hospital ready in just four weeks. Fortunately the Health Board has not yet seen the surge in cases it expected so the beds do not need to be opened at present.

Chief Executive Judith Paget thanked residents of Gwent for their support and said she hopes the extra beds at The Grange University Hospital will not need to be opened early.

“At the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak we needed to plan for the worst case scenario,” she said.

“I would like to thank Laing O’Rourke and Gleeds for the great amount of effort and skill they have shown to get these areas of the hospital ready for us to use.

“Thankfully the general public have observed the advice on staying at home and social distancing, so we don’t need to open the extra beds just yet.

“I would urge people to keep following the government guidance to protect themselves, to ease the pressure on our NHS services, and to save lives.”

Mike Lewis, Laing O’Rourke project director said: “Aneurin Bevan University Hospital Board had the foresight to ask us to bring our construction programme forward, creating 384 bed spaces as part of their preparations to tackle coronavirus in Wales.

“I am humbled by the tremendous effort shown by all in our project team and I thank them for their commitment. Our motivation to deliver key parts of The Grange University Hospital for use a year ahead of schedule has been driven by our determination to provide vital NHS facilities and to support all those working in the NHS, to whom we owe so much.”

Victoria Head, Project Director at Gleeds, said: “Since its inception The Grange University Hospital project has always had a true collaborative ethos at its heart – working together for a shared goal and we’ve stuck to that, proudly tackling every challenge to complete the hospital in record time by adopting a solution- based approach.

“With the best will in the world, fundamentally, had this been a traditional build with the same start date we would not have been in a position to offer support to this national pandemic and the NHS. We’ve always been proud of the modern methods of construction (MMC) involved at The Grange University Hospital and the programme savings which it offered compared to a traditional build but never have the benefits been more apparent than during this crisis.”

The Cardiff and Bristol-based studios of global architecture practice BDP have supported main contractor Laing O’Rourke.

Adrian Hitchcock, lead architect for The Grange University Hospital at BDP architects, said: “We are pleased to have supported Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and Laing O’Rourke in bringing forward the completion of wards at The Grange University Hospital to help in Wales’ battle against COVID-19.

“Our design concept means that the hospital was divided into three distinct zones, which could be progressed with a degree of autonomy from one another. Together with the extensive adoption of off-site fabrication and Laing O’Rourke’s exemplary construction management and delivery, this approach has helped to make early opening possible, if required.”