Posted: Tue 31st Mar 2020

Updated: Sat 18th Apr

Three temporary field hospital sites have been identified to cover North Wales for people living in or visiting the wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Mar 31st, 2020

North Wales health board has confirmed that three initial sites have been identified to convert into temporary field hospitals.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said it is progressing with plans to increase capacity to care for patients with COVID-19 across the region.

Bed numbers have been increased at all three of its main hospitals in Wrexham, Bodelwyddan and Bangor, helping to provide care over the coming weeks and months for those in the most need.

Yesterday we reported that a meeting was to be held to confirm sites, and the health board have said work is underway to develop field hospitals away from those hospital sites to further increase the number of beds available to them. Locations have yet to be confirmed, however understands locations in Bangor, Llandudno and Wrexham have been discussed for field hospital style use.

First Minster Mark Drakeford has said detailed discussions have been taking place with the armed forces who are assisting with logistics and the planning of field hospitals.

On Saturday reported how local businesses had been called upon to source industrial equipment for the development of a field hospital in North Wales.

In the south, Cardiff’s Principality Stadium will be used as a field hospital with capacity for up to 2,000 beds costing £8m, a further three makeshift wards will be set up in Carmarthenshire.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board spokesperson said: “We have a phased escalation plan in place to significantly increase the number of beds for our most poorly patients over the coming weeks, with plans in place to increase our capacity of ventilated beds.”

“We are also progressing opportunities to establish additional capacity within all of our hospitals. For example, construction work has already begun to install an additional 80 beds at Glan Clwyd Hospital, using void space left as part of the hospital’s recent redevelopment, which would be ready to use at the end of April.”

The health board has also revealed staff numbers could be bolstered by as many as  1300 people.

“We are also undertaking measures to increase the number of staff we have available to care for patients.  So far we have had more than 200 people express an interest in joining our staff banks or in a fixed term contract.

“The bank teams are working to get these nursing, midwifery, medical and dental staff registered and available to work as quickly as possible.”

“More than 1,100 staff currently in non-clinical areas have also joined a database of staff who can be redeployed to support clinical areas when needed.”

Trained healthcare staff wanting to join the staff bank can email the relevant bank team, see contacts below:

Any companies or organisations offering of supplies, including PPE can contact BCUHB procurement department via this email address

[Feature Image: Nightingale Hospital London for Covid-19. The Military and contractors build the Nightingale Hospital at the Excel in London for Covid-19 patients. Picture by Andrew Parsons]


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