COVID-19: Statement from the Chief Executive of ABUHB on The Grange University Hospital

(Dated 17 April)

Dear AMs & MPs

 

You will be aware that Vaughan Gething AM, Minister for Health and Social Services recently approved the early and partial opening of The Grange University Hospital to be part of the Health Board’s response to Covid-19.

 

Yesterday, following the COBRA meeting, the Government announced an extension to the lockdown arrangements for a further 3 weeks.

 

We know that public compliance in Gwent to the messages on social distancing and staying home, other than for essential work, medicine, exercise and caring, is working. We are grateful to our communities and partners for their active encouragement and, when needed, the enforcement action taken by Gwent Police.

 

It is reasonable to assume that public compliance will remain high and these actions will continue to suppress virus transmission within our communities.  The Health Board has reviewed community compliance and decreasing Covid-19 admissions to our hospitals and is confident that we have sufficient bed capacity for at least the next few weeks within our existing hospitals to meet the expected demand. Today we have a significant number of empty beds available within our acute and community hospitals.

 

Based on this assessment, the Health Board has reviewed the need for The Grange University Hospital to partially open at the end of April. We have concluded although the 350 beds will be ready and available as planned, we are unlikely to need them in the next couple of weeks while the lockdown continues.  We will keep this under constant review and are very pleased the beds will be available to enable us to open at pace as a key component of our bed capacity plans as we continue to respond to Covid-19 over the coming months.

 

The additional staff recruited will be deployed to support our existing services. This will enable our new recruits and our staff who are being redeployed to receive further training and hopefully for our staff to take some rest following an exceptionally demanding time.

 

I trust this is a helpful and reassuring update but please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any queries.

 

Kind regards

 

Judith

 

Judith Paget

Prif Weithredwr / Chief Executive

Bwrdd Iechyd Aneurin Bevan Pencadlys/ Aneurin Bevan University Health Board