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Field Hospital takes shape Work to increase bed capacity at Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB

Written by on 31st March 2020

Significant work is underway to increase bed capacity across Cwm Taf Morgannwg as the Health Board responds to the COVID19 pandemic.

Teams have been working hard with partners to identify areas for additional beds both within our own services and in our communities.

Through strong partnership working with local authorities we have managed to identify around 450 additional beds by repurposing some of our community hospital wards and using locations such as nursing and care homes in our communities.

Our critical care capacity has also increased to 75 beds and in coming weeks our aim is to increase this to 150. 

As of today a field hospital is being set up at The Vale Resort, thanks to the generosity of Leekes and the WRU. This will provide 290 additional beds for us as the numbers of people with COVID19 increases. It is being established with the support of our local authorities and the military, and some fantastic contractors. A further two fieldhospital sites are being worked on and we hope to confirm these shortly.

Dr Sharon Hopkins, CEO for Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB, said: “We are very gratefulto everyone who has supported the response to the challenge of COVID19. The response continues to be amazing.

“The WRU and Leekes have kindly let us usetheir facilities, which is greatly welcomed asrapid work takes place to increase available staff, beds and equipment. The support of the military and local authorities is just so vital in transforming the spaces and making the changes happen.

“The field hospitals will be vitally important in providing care to patients and communitiesin the coming weeks and months.  It is an inspiring example of organisations working collaboratively to provide urgent new environments to respond to COVID19.

“As this work progresses, some patients will receive their care in a different location to their usual hospital to reduce the level of risk of exposure to COVID19.  We remain very grateful to our patients and wider community for their support and understanding at this time.” 

Stephen Leeke, Managing Director of the Vale Resort, said: “As a proud Welsh family business, and key player in the local community, we are really keen to step up to the plate and do what we can to assist Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB in providing additional capacity during this time of national crisis. 

“This has included working with the WRU to allow 290 additional beds to be set up our indoor training arena.

“Everybody – from businesses to individuals – has a responsibility to play their part in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, and to support the NHS, who is doing an incredible job under enormous pressure and extremely difficult circumstances.” 

Martyn Phillips, WRU Group CEO, said: “We’ve worked with Leekes in partnership for many years at the National Centre of Excellence. We’re more than happy for the facilities there to be used by the Health Board at this challenging time and to support the wider communities of Wales.”

County Borough Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council said: “Local authorities welcome the positive steps taken by the Health Board and the respective Councils across the region, which will provide a vital increase in bed capacity across Cwm Taf Morgannwg in response to the COVID19 pandemic. Social care working with our colleagues in the health board will play a vital role in the response to Coronavirus.

“Residents can play their part by following the public health advice and by staying at home to reduce the rate of spread of this virus, and in doing so reducing the impact upon our hospital, health professionals and social care services.”