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First Minister Conducts Official Opening Ceremony at The Grange University Hospital

Friday 27th August 2021

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board’s new Specialist and Critical Care Centre, The Grange University Hospital, was officially opened today by Rt Hon Mark Drakeford, MS First Minister of Wales.

The Grange University Hospital, which was originally due to open in Spring 2021, opened its doors to patients almost six months ahead of schedule on Tuesday 17th November 2020, in response to the ongoing pressures of the Covid-19 Pandemic and the additional demand during winter months.

The Grange University Hospital is one of the key components of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board’s Clinical Futures Strategy, which aims to revolutionise healthcare services in the Health Board area by providing care as close to patients’ homes as possible.

The £370 million Hospital, which took three years to build, was constructed by main contractors, Laing O’Rourke, supported by project managers, Gleeds, and funded by Welsh Government.

To mark this momentous occasion in the Health Board’s history, the First Minister officially opened the new facility today at a ceremony held outside The Grange University Hospital, before an audience of invited guests and the construction team from Laing O’Rourke, together with representatives and staff from the Health Board.

Since opening its doors in November, the Hospital has already seen 2,380 babies born, 45,654 Emergency Department attendances, 3,919 emergency operations and 56,620 scans performed.

First Minister, Rt Hon Mark Drakeford, said: “The pandemic has clearly shown us all how important our hospitals and health facilities are to communities across Wales. The Grange University Hospital has already proved its value to the local community.

“My thanks go to everyone who has worked so hard to open the Hospital earlier than planned. I’d also like to pay tribute to those NHS staff who work here for all their hard work during these difficult times.”

Judith Paget CBE, Chief Executive of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, said: “We are delighted that after 16 years of planning, our vision has finally come to life and we have a purpose-built critical care centre in the heart of the Gwent area. The Grange University Hospital represents a significant component within our Clinical Futures strategy, to enable us to deliver a sustainable healthcare system that is adaptable to the needs of a changing population and can provide high quality care to our patients.”

“Staff across the Health Board, our partner organisations and our contractors have worked tirelessly to get us to this day, and being able to open the Hospital almost six months earlier than planned to support our winter response to the pandemic is a true testament to their commitment and dedication.”

“I’d like to thank all of our partners for their continuing help and encouragement throughout this process, including our construction partners, Laing O’Rourke and Gleeds, for working exceptionally hard to complete the building not only on time, but ahead of schedule- we really couldn’t have done this without them.”

”We are very fortunate that our Contractors, partners and staff members have all gone the extra mile to allow us to open ahead of schedule, and to complete this whilst in the midst of a Global Pandemic is nothing short of incredible.”

Laing O’Rourke’s Project Director, Mike Lewis, said: “It is an honour to be back at The Grange University Hospital nine months after handover, and to hear staff and clinicians describe how the hospital has improved healthcare provision in the region. Early hand over was possible because we used Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) from the outset and in doing so were able to deliver 50% of the building to Aneurin Bevan University Hospital Board in April 2020 – a year earlier than originally scheduled.

“I am extraordinarily proud of the team of people who delivered the Grange University Hospital ahead of schedule. Being involved in a hospital build is always a privilege but the impact of COVID-19 truly galvanised everyone’s efforts. The men and women charged with completing the hospital felt a sense of personal responsibility to achieve early completion and provide vital NHS facilities and to support all those working in the NHS, to whom we owe so much.”

(Pictured l-r: Nicola Prygodzicz, Executive Director of Planning, Digital and IT, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board; Mike Lewis, The Grange University Hospital Project Director, Laing O’Rourke; Rt Hon Mark Drakeford MS, First Minister of Wales; Ann Lloyd CBE, Chair, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board; Judith Paget CBE, Chief Executive, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board.)

(Pictured- Rt Hon Mark Drakeford MS, First Minister of Wales unveils plaque and declared The Grange University Hospital officially open.)