North Wales’ three temporary hospitals have been renamed after the rainbow symbol of hope which has become synonymous with the response to the outbreak of COVID-19.
The temporary hospitals at Deeside Leisure Centre, Venue Cymru Llandudno, and Bangor University have been renamed Ysbyty Enfys Glannau Dyfrdwy (Rainbow Hospital Deeside), Ysbyty Enfys Llandudno (Rainbow Hospital Llandudno), and Ysbyty Enfys Bangor (Rainbow Hospital Bangor).
The three sites have been handed over to Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to provide a combined 1,000 additional beds to help meet increased demand over the coming weeks and months.
BCUHB is working in partnership with local authorities and military planners to rapidly establish the hospitals so they can begin providing care for patients by the end of April.
The Health Board has also enlisted the help of Integrated Health Projects – who are leading on the development of the Nightingale field hospital in Manchester – to support the delivery of the temporary hospitals in Deeside and Bangor.
Mark Polin, Chair of BCUHB, said: “It’s entirely fitting that our temporary hospitals should reflect the symbol of hope and solidarity with NHS staff and other key workers that has become so synonymous with the region’s response to COVID-19.
“Our staff have been incredibly moved by the outpouring of support from the general public, including the many images of rainbows displayed in the windows of homes across North Wales.
“We have also been inundated with very generous offers of help from partner organisations, businesses and members of the public.
“By working together we can meet the challenges of the difficult few weeks and months ahead.”
The three rainbow hospitals have been established to reduce occupancy in BCUHB’s main hospitals so that they can focus upon the care of the patients at greatest need.
As well as preventing admissions to BCUHB’s three acute hospitals, the rainbow hospitals will also help patients who have received treatment at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Glan Clwyd Hospital and Wrexham Maelor Hospital to recover in order to return home.
Patients receiving care in the temporary hospitals will not require intubation, so ventilators will not be required, but BCUHB is already sourcing all necessary additional medical equipment.
Significant work is also underway to increase the Health Board’s workforce capacity in order to staff the temporary hospitals.
The Health Board has processed hundreds of applications to join its staff bank. It is also recruiting former and retired health service staff and providing student nurses and doctors with paid NHS roles.
Many staff currently working in non-clinical areas have joined a database of employees who can be redeployed to support clinical areas when needed.
Local residents in the immediate vicinity of the three hospitals are being reassured that there is no risk to their health and that they should continue to follow the Welsh Government’s stay at home guidance.
BCUHB plan to introduce a further 143 beds at Deeside Leisure Centre in addition to the 293 beds announced last week. This takes the total number of additional beds in temporary hospitals to 1,000.