UHW Lakeside Wing officially handed over to health board

Construction on the Lakeside Wing, which is based on the grounds of the University Hospital of Wales (UHW) site, has finished with the building officially handed over to Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (CAVUHB).

As of Monday 8 February, building work on the new surge facility has been completed, just 20 weeks after construction first started. This means that the ownership of the modular build has been given to the Health Board from the primary contactors, Darwin Group Ltd.

UHW Lakeside Wing

Delivering an additional 234 beds, the completion of the Southern Wing of the site by Darwin Group brings the total capacity of the modular building to 400 patients; this, with the additional 200 beds available across the Health Board’s sites, will allow CAVUHB to provide 600 beds in total which meets the capacity requirement as predicted by Welsh Government and local intelligence data and modelling in the event of another COVID-19 spike.

Len Richards, Chief Executive, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, said: “This is a significant milestone for the project and it is a fantastic achievement to have the building finished so soon after work started on 12 September 2020.

“A lot of work has gone into the planning, build and operational running of the Lakeside Wing. I extend my thanks to all of my colleagues from the Health Board working on this project as well as the contractors who have worked so diligently on site, ensuring minimal disruption was made for our staff, local residents and our patients.

“We will continue to monitor and transfer patients across to the Wing from our main site as safely and comfortably as possible as we continue to navigate our way through this pandemic.”

Darwin Group were appointed by CAVUHB in September 2020 to deliver the U-shaped modular wing in anticipation of a second spike of coronavirus cases which have subsequently triggered the need for a further lockdown. The high-quality, temporary build will support UHW throughout the remainder of the pandemic, with plans already being drawn up for it to be repurposed in due course.

Darwin Group’s in-house team provided a unique turnkey service across all stages of the project from start to finish.

Charles Pierce, Managing Director at Darwin Group, said: “The delivery of this facility has only heightened in significance following the latest peak in coronavirus cases and the subsequent lockdown we now find ourselves in. Darwin Group has therefore worked tirelessly throughout night and day to ensure that the patients who need these additional beds will be able to access them.

“We are supported by a fantastic in-house team of designers, engineers, and various construction professionals who have come together to deliver each phase of this project within extremely tight time constraints. As a proud British company, I am delighted that we have been able to deliver on CAVUHB’s requirements and hope that UHW’s new build helps them through these difficult and unprecedented times.”

The Wing, which was funded by a £33m investment from Welsh Government, acts as a step-down facility where patients are undergoing essential rehabilitation after a period of acute illness, which may not necessarily be Covid-19. To date, 62 patients are currently being cared for at the Lakeside Wing.

Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething said: “Our investment has helped Cardiff and Vale University Health Board to manage the increase in admissions in what is proving to be an incredibly challenging winter for health and social care services.

“I look forward to seeing the Lakeside Wing at the University Hospital of Wales fully operational so that it can provide high quality rehabilitation for the people of Cardiff.”

As the Lakeside Wing adopts a multi-disciplinary model of care, staff including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, pharmacists, healthcare support workers and registered nurses are all working in the Wing.

A Staff Haven has been located inside Lakeside Wing, thanks to a generous donation made by Welsh professional footballer Gareth Bale and his wife Emma.

Cardiff & Vale Health Charity and the Employee Health and Wellbeing Service worked together with the Capital, Estates and Facilities Team to create a peaceful, tranquil space for all staff to use as an area of rest and recuperation. Staff, including those based at the Lakeside Wing, were asked to contribute to the design, look and feel of the space which is a mobile-free zone and boasts calming artwork, a break-out kitchen, quiet seating areas and shower facilities.

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