HUNDREDS of extra beds being readied at the as-yet-unopened Grange University Hospital to help meet demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic, are unlikely to be needed in the next few weeks as the lockdown continues, Gwent's health board has confirmed.

And that is due to the vital work being done by staff in Gwent's other hospitals, and also to people observing social distancing and 'stay at home' restrictions.

The hospital, at Llanfrechfa, near Cwmbran, is not due to officially open until next Spring, but the Argus revealed last month that part of the partially-completed site was to house 350 beds from the end of April, as part of plans to ramp up capacity in south Wales, to help meet an expected influx of patients.

Those beds will be ready by the end of this month - but a review by Aneurin Bevan University Health Board has concluded that that are "unlikely" to be required, at least in the next few weeks, though they will remain available should the situation change.

“This is great news as it means that the lockdown measures on social distancing and staying home (other than for essential work, medicine, exercise and caring) are working in Gwent," said a health board spokesman.


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“Thankfully, as a result of this - as well as the efforts of our staff - the pressure on our health board bed capacity has not been as great as initially forecasted.

“We will keep this under constant review and are very pleased the 350 extra beds are available at the Grange University Hospital, 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.

“We continue to be grateful to our communities and partners for their active encouragement and we would urge people to keep following the government’s lockdown advice to make sure we do not see a dangerous spike in Coronavirus cases.”