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Grange University Hospital to open early

The Grange University Hospital, a new specialist and critical care centre in Gwent, is scheduled to open a year early in order to provide vital beds for the coronavirus pandemic.

The hospital was commissioned as part of the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board’s Clinical Futures Strategy and will officially open this month. It was developed to centralise specialist and critical care services into purpose-built facilities for critically ill patients who require the most urgent, complex diagnostics, treatment and care pathways.

Our Cardiff and Bristol teams have supported main contractor Laing O’Rourke in accelerating the partial and temporary opening of the hospital, delivering a cutting-edge design approach that has helped make the early opening possible.

Adrian Hitchcock, director and lead architect said “We are pleased to be supporting Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and Laing O’Rourke in facilitating the early opening of part of The Grange University Hospital to help in Wales’ battle against COVID-19.

Our design concept means the hospital is divided into three distinct zones, which can 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.” 

The board said that the “challenges facing our Heath Board and the NHS in Wales due to coronavirus COVID-19 are unprecedented.” It hopes that this will provide up to an additional 350 beds by the end of April.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething said “We are doing everything possible in Wales to increase the capacity of our NHS in these exceptional circumstances. As such, I have approved immediate funding of up to £10m to speed up construction of sections of the Grange, which will provide up to 350 additional beds for use by the end of April 2020.”

Health Board Deputy Chief Executive, Glyn Jones said “We welcome the support from Welsh Government and Laing O’Rourke in enabling us to make earlier use of the new hospital, which will be an important part of our local plans in responding to the coronavirus outbreak."

Other UK hospitals have been delivered in an effort to combat coronavirus, including NHS Nightingale Hospital in London, for which the ExCeL centre in London was converted into a specialist facility. We published the NHS Nightingale Hospital instruction manual which outlines the fit-out strategies and processes adopted by this project, in order for information to be shared quickly. BDP is also helping to deliver the conversion of both Manchester Central's G-MEX conference centre and Harrogate Convention Centre into NHS hospitals.