PLANS for a new £350million hospital in Cwmbran are to take a step forward as construction is due to start today.

Health secretary Vaughan Gething will visit the hospital today to official launch the start of work on the site in Llanfrechfa, which will be known as The Grange University Hospital.

The vast programme of works, confirmed last year, will create a state-of-the-art, 471-bed hospital and Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) expect its doors to open to patients in the spring of 2021.

The new hospital will also deal with all major emergencies and patients needing complex emergency or critical care alongside 40 specialist services and a helicopter pad for patients who need to arrive by air ambulance.

Cabinet secretary for health, wellbeing and sport, Vaughan Gething, said: “I’m really pleased to be here today to mark the construction process of what will become a state-of-the-art hospital in Gwent.

“I am pleased to announce that the hospital will be known as The Grange University Hospital, and it will bring together complex and more acute services onto one site. This will improve the quality of care for the very sickest patients.”

The project forms part of ABUHB’s wider Clinical Futures Strategy, launched in 2004, to modernise health services in Gwent with a focus on treating patients who need complex and acute emergency care.

The Welsh Government also confirmed it will have a key regional role, working as part of the wider major acute hospital system across south Wales.

Chief executive of ABUHB, Judith Paget, said everybody associated with the health board is "extremely excited" that work is due to start at the hospital.

She said: “It will help us to create a much improved care environment, timely access to emergency care, and ensure patients get the best outcomes from their care.

“We have received fantastic support from local people living in the health board area as they understand the benefits this hospital and a new 21st Century model of healthcare will bring”.

She added: “I would like to thank our staff for their hard work in getting us to this point and we will continue to work closely with our staff, our local communities, and with Gleeds and Laing O’Rourke to ensure this new hospital is one we can all be proud of.”

Laing O’Rourke, along with cost and project managers Gleeds, will be helping to deliver the project on time and within budget.

The works will see 600 involved in the construction of the hospital - a process which will involve the moving of 150,000 cubic metres of soil.

There will be 30,000 cubic metres of concrete required and, once completed, the hospital will contain 10,500 voice and data points, 13,500 light fittings, and 190 km of cables.

For more information, search #GrangeUniHospital on Twitter.