HEALTH Secretary Vaughan Gething AM today cut the first ground on the £350 million building of a brand new hospital in Llanfrechfa, Cwmbran.

The Health Secretary also announced that the new hospital, which has been known as the Specialist and Critical Care Centre (SCCC), would be known as ‘The Grange University Hospital’.

The vast programme of works will see the state-of-the-art hospital developed on the Llanfrechfa Grange site over the coming years.

Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport, Vaughan Gething, said: “It is a real pleasure to be here today.

“I’m really pleased 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 secretary said the hospital is a “significant” investment and is about “redesigning” the healthcare system.

Welsh Government funding for the new 471-bed hospital was confirmed in October 2016 and Aneurin Bevan University Health Board expect its doors to open to patients in the Spring of 2021.

A spokeswoman for Aneurin Bevan Health Board said: “The Grange University Hospital forms a key part of the Health Board’s wider Clinical Futures Strategy, launched in 2004, to modernise health services in Gwent and will create a highly specialised environment to support the treatment of patients who need complex and acute emergency care.

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

“The new hospital will deal with all major emergencies, and will treat and care for those needing complex emergency or critical care.

“It will be home to more than 40 specialist services, and will have a helicopter pad for patients who need to arrive by air ambulance.”

Judith Paget, Chief Executive of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, said everybody associated with the Health Board is “extremely excited” that work has now started on this state-of-the-art facility.

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.”

Six hundred people will be employed 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 kilometres of cables.