Council office accommodation in Abercynon will be utilised as a field hospital, creating 150 extra beds to support the response of the local health board to COVID-19.
The Council is providing further support to Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board (UHB) by providing the use of Ty Trevithick, Abercynon, for the foreseeable future. The office accommodation is required to create additional emergency bed capacity for the region, in preparation for the demand Coronavirus will create in the coming weeks. The Council will work in partnership with the UHB to make this facility operational by mid-April.
County Borough Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said: “There is an urgent need for our local health board to create the emergency bed capacity necessary to respond to the COVID19 pandemic.
“It is estimated that Cwm Taf Morgannwg will require 1,000 emergency hospital beds to respond during the peak of this pandemic, and this therefore requires the local health board to think outside the box in its approach to create this vital capacity in a very short space of time.
“Our Ty Trevithick offices are suitable for a number of reasons; the space is flexible and modern, and can be converted quickly to create capacity for up to 150 field hospital beds. For these reasons I have agreed to take an urgent decision to provide this facility for use by the health board, in the best interest of our communities at this unprecedented time. The Council will continue to explore other options with our colleagues in health to create emergency bed capacity for the region.
“Residents can play their part by following the public health advice and by staying at home to reduce the rate of spread of this virus – and in doing so reducing the impact upon our hospital, health professionals and social care services.”
The majority of Council staff working at this facility are already working remotely. The services provided from this location will be relocated to other Local Authority premises.
Dr Sharon Hopkins, CEO for Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB, added: “We are pleased to announce that a second field hospital for CTM will be developed at RCT Council’s offices in Abercynon, and are grateful to everyone who is supporting the amazing response to COVID-19.
“Our partners at RCT Council have kindly let us use their facilities, which is greatly welcomed as rapid work takes place to increase available staff, beds and equipment. The support of the military and local authorities is just so vital in transforming the spaces and making the changes happen.
“The field hospitals will be vitally-important in providing care to patients and communities in the coming weeks and months. It is an inspiring example of organisations working collaboratively to provide urgent new environments to respond to COVID-19.
“As this work progresses, some patients will receive their care in a different location to their usual hospital to reduce the level of risk of exposure to COVID-19. We remain very grateful to our patients and wider community for their support and understanding at this time.”