Deeside Rainbow Hospital now treating the highest number of patients since first opening
The number of people being cared for at Deeside Rainbow Hospital has reached the highest level since patients were first admitted.
The temporary hospital, built within Deeside Leisure Centre, has been treating a small numbers patients since mid November.
Constructed at the start of the pandemic, ‘Ysbyty Enfys Deeside’ is looking after those who’ve contracted Covid-19 and were initially admitted into one of North Wales’ three acute hospitals.
The hospital is helping to ease some pressure on Wrexham Maelor which is currently seeing the most inpatients admitted weekly within the North Wales health system.
Patients admitted to Deeside Rainbow Hospital are in the last phase of recovery and rehabilitation before being able to go home.
The leisure centre site is also doubling as a mass vaccination centre (MVC).
NHS staff and volunteers have been administering hundreds of doses of vaccine daily, it’s expected to continue as an MVC throughout the summer.
The original capacity at the site was over 240 beds, but with a large part of building now dedicated to the vaccine roll out, that has reduced the number of beds to around 110.
Up to 30 beds were initially made available for use in November, though the number of patients admitted to the hospital reached no higher than 20 up to January 16.
On Friday the figure reached 30, on Monday capacity was “slightly increased” with 34 people now occupying beds at the hospital.
A further increase in capacity is possible in the next few days Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) told Deeside.com.
Gavin Macdonald, Chief Operating Officer at BCUHB, said: “We have been carefully monitoring bed capacity at all of our hospitals in recent weeks as they have come under increasing pressure due to COVID-19.”
“As a result, we have slightly increased the number of beds at Ysbyty Enfys Deeside, and a further increase in capacity is possible in the coming days, if required.”
While the numbers being treated at the hospital may appear relatively low, the ability to increase capacity is reliant on the health board being able to deploy enough staff to the site.
The prolonged pandemic is affecting BCUHB staff numbers, last week around 280 were affected by shielding advice, many of those in the eastern region which covers Flintshire and Wrexham.
Occupation of the leisure centre site by the health board has been extended and “may run throughout summer 2021.” According Aura Leisure, who operate the site on behalf Flintshire Council.
An Aura spokesperson said it is anticipated “the return of the building for reinstatement as a leisure centre at some point during the summer.”
“Allowing for the necessary de-commissioning of the hospital and the reinstatement period, Aura is hopeful that the leisure centre will return by autumn.”
Flintshire Council confirmed that leisure services will restart at site once Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board vacates it.
A tender notice issued on behalf of the council late last year showed the near 50-year-old building could be replaced by a new, smaller facility due to its ageing condition.
That led to concerns within the community that the leisure centre would not reopen once the pandemic ends.
The council chief executive confirmed leisure services will restart at the council-owned site once BCHUB vacates it.
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