THE ANEURIN Bevan University Health Board has explained how the opening of the new Grange University Hospital in Cwmbran will impact Abergavenny's Nevill Hall Hospital.

Today the £350 million new hospital opened for the first time, and will become the region’s only hospital for accident and emergency care.

People can however still go to Nevill Hall for minor injuries – which the health board says covers most things people visit a traditional accident and emergency for.

Other services at Nevill Hall remain largely unchanged. The facility will focus on delivering general and routine care, including:

  • A 24-7 nurse-led minor injury unit
  • A medical assessment unit
  • A day surgery – where you are operated on and discharged on the same day
  • Rehabilitation and therapy services – such as physiotherapy and speech therapy
  • Diagnostic services – such as assessment and scans
  • Specialist outpatient clinics
  • An enhanced frailty unit for the elderly
  • 213 inpatient beds
  • Children’s outpatient appointments
  • Maternity services
  • Haematology day car

The health board also assured patients who would ordinarily go to Nevill Hall that longer ambulance journeys to the Grange will not affect their care.

Dr Chris Chick, lead clinician for the health board’s Clinical Futures programme, said: “It is important to remember that the vast majority of patients who need the emergency department at the Grange will arrive by ambulance.

“In such circumstances the paramedic will decide on the best place to take a patient depending on their needs.


“There is also a dedicated helipad at the Grange for the Welsh Air Ambulance.”

Emergency department consultant at Nevill Hall Alastair Richards – who is heading to the Grange to take on the same role there, said he and many others making the move had “mixed feelings”.

He said: “It (Grange Hospital) is a fantastic facility and we want people to be seen with the right care at the right time.”

He said enabling the other four settings in Gwent to work on minor injuries would “allow us to concentrate skills on the sickest patents” at the Grange.

“It’s been a really mixed day,” he added on Monday evening. “People transferring to the Grange are excited, but nervous about becoming one new team.

“People are very fond of Nevill Hall and many have worked there all their careers – some for 30 years. Understandably they’re anxious about colleagues not going with them.

“It’s important we make sure Nevill Hall continues to be the happy hospital at the heart of the community that it always has been. It struck me in my three and a half years there how much the community loves Nevill Hall.”

Posts on social media flooded in from former patients praising staff who were making the move.

South Wales Argus:

(Showpiece: The Grange University Hospital)

Among them was minister at the Gateway Church Abergavenny Christopher Vaz.

“Saying a word of prayer for our NHS staff at Nevill Hall,” he said. “There have been lots of tears yesterday and today, understandably, because of the years of friendship that have been established.

“Now many say their goodbyes to one another, as they separate after many years of being a family.

“They recognise though that all these changes are for the benefit of the patients, and it is amazing how sacrificial they still are, even at this time.

“On behalf of us all in Abergavenny, a huge salute and tribute to our amazing staff – both those staying on and moving to the new facility. God bless you abundantly.”

MP David Davies, who visited the Grange on Friday, said on concerns around ambulance travel times: “Senior medical staff were keen to assure me that the extra travel time will be offset in several ways.

“The plan is to ensure teams of specialists who are needed for dealing with serious injuries and illnesses are all available in one place.

“Local councillors and I will be closely monitoring the situation to make sure extra journey times do not cause issues for people.”

  • If you are unsure of where to go for treatment you can call 111.