Gwent super-hospital opens four months ahead of schedule


The £350 million Grange University Hospital (GUH) in Gwent, South Wales will open to patients on Tuesday 17th November – four months ahead of schedule, in a bid to help the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) respond to winter pressures and COVID-19. The hospital is a key component of the Board’s Clinical Futures Programme, which is transforming health service delivery across the Gwent region.


Images courtesy of Gleeds

The project has been delivered by Laing O’Rourke working in collaboration with project and cost manager, Gleeds, architect BDP and with engineering support from Aecom and WSP. Having been approached by the ABUHB at the start of the pandemic, delivery of several sections of the scheme was expedited to allow a partial opening in April, almost a year earlier than planned, in response to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases in the locality. 

Following the Board’s recent occupation of the remaining space, the hospital will now provide a centre of excellence to treat the region’s most seriously ill patients, or those with significant injuries, and it will also act as the Emergency Department (A&E) for everyone living in Gwent. In the past, the Royal Gwent and Nevill Hall Hospitals have both provided these emergency medical services, but from tomorrow these services will be centralised to ensure the very highest standard of care is provided.

Mike Lewis, Laing O’Rourke Project Director said: “I am extraordinarily proud of the team of people who have delivered GUH four months ahead of schedule amidst a global pandemic. Early hand over was possible because we used Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) from the outset and in doing so were able to deliver 50% of the building to Aneurin Bevan University Hospital Board back in April – a year earlier than originally scheduled. This project marks a pivotal point in healthcare delivery, paving the way for future hospital builds.”

“Being involved in a hospital build is always a privilege but the impact of COVID-19 truly galvanised everyone’s efforts. The men and women charged with completing the hospital felt a sense of personal responsibility to achieve early completion and as we hand over the keys to the Health Board I want to thank my own team and wish the clinicians and staff all the very best in their new hospital – and to thank them for the enormous efforts they make day in, day out to take care of us.” 

Victoria Head, Gleeds’ Head of Healthcare in the UK, added: “As work on the GUH project comes to a close and the building comes to life, welcoming patients and delivering first class healthcare services, I feel immensely proud about what our team has achieved – the provision of a fantastic facility, well ahead of schedule, and against the backdrop of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Our commitment to doing things differently has paid dividends, from a programme saving of 23% achieved through our use of MMC, to our pledge to collaborate with both Laing O’Rourke and the ABUHB throughout. The GUH has changed the rhetoric of how healthcare projects should be delivered; we must take this template into the future, striving for better in the construction industry and to support our wonderful NHS, to whom we owe so much.”

The ABUHB provides a complete range of services for patients in Newport, Torfaen, Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent and Monmouthshire and South Powys across 14 sites. The Health Board employs over 14,000 staff, two thirds of whom are involved in direct patient care. There are more than 250 consultants in a total of over 1000.

Watch how a super-hospital is delivered.


Image gallery courtesy of Gleeds.
Image 1: The Grange University Hospital 
Image 2: Emergency Department, The Grange University Hospital
Image 3: From left to right: Victoria Head, Project Director, Gleeds (Project Managers); Judith Paget, Chief Executive, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board; Nicola Prygodzicz - Director of Planning, Digital and IT, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board; Mike Lewis, Project Director Laing O’Rourke