Health board chiefs back £3.3m spend at Royal Gwent Hospital
IMPROVEMENTS to operating theatres will be carried out at the Royal Gwent Hospital, and new lifts installed, as part of an ongoing multi-millionpound investment.
More than £3.3 million will be spent on the two projects as Gwent health bosses try to maintain the area’s two main hospitals ahead of the building of a new Specialist and Critical Care Centre.
A programme of heating, drainage and other structural improvements at the Royal Gwent and at Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny, costing almost £2.75 million, is being prepared by Aneurin Bevan Health Board.
An outline business case for the care centre is still in preparation and set to be submitted to the Welsh government by the end of the year, but it will be 2018 before the new 450-bed hospital is completed.
In the meantime, the board must manage an increasingly elderly and overloaded infrastructure at the Royal Gwent and Nevill Hall.
The former in particular has suffered from problems with power cuts and water mains bursts, and last winter a major water main replacement was carried out there.
The health board has so far this year received just over £3 million of Welsh government money for preparatory work on the centre and is awaiting approval of a further £1.1 million.
Subject to the business case being approved, the board next year hopes to receive £19.2 million, with £37.5 million in 2014/15 and £72.4 million in 2015/16 as the project is developed on the site at Llanfrechfa Grange.
Meanwhile, funding for smaller repair and equipment projects, known as discretionary capital funding, will be reduced in future.
Earlier this year, £480,000 was taken from the £6.3 million annual discretionary capital funding awarded to Gwent, as part of a clawback across Wales of cash to ease budget problems.
And a further £209,000 will be taken from next year’s allocation, which at £5.6 million was already £700,000 less than this year’s original total.