Deeside Rainbow Hospital ready to start accepting patients ‘when needed’
Deeside’s temporary hospital is ready to take patients as and ‘when needed’ the Chief Operating Officer of the health board in North Wales has said.
The 250 bed temporary hospital built at Deeside Leisure Centre has remained unused during the pandemic but is ready to start accepting patients at anytime.
Three temporary hospitals have been established in North Wales, Deeside, Llandudno and Bangor giving the health board added capacity during the pandemic.
They were designed to help “step-down” patients, who had received treatment for respiratory illnesses as a result of COVID-19 at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Glan Clwyd Hospital and Wrexham Maelor Hospitals,
The aim is to enable patients to be discharged in quicker once their condition improves.
Nineteen field hospitals were created in Wales in response to the first wave of COVID-19, these doubled NHS bed capacity and while nine have been decommissioned, ten have been retained as part of the Welsh government winter resilience plans.
Along with the three temporary hospitals in North Wales, a number of additional beds have also be made available in existing NHS hospital sites to secure an overall total of 1,198 additional beds in the region.
Gavin Macdonald, Interim Chief Operating Officer at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: “We are closely monitoring rising numbers of COVID-19 cases across the region and our temporary Rainbow Hospital at Deeside remains available and ready to start accepting inpatients when needed.”
One of the key issues around bringing additional capacity online is having enough medical staff to run the temporary hospitals.
First minister Mark Drakeford said, during an interview with North Wales based media on Friday, “you can have all the money you need but if you haven’t got the people, you’ve still got a bottleneck in your ability.
He said: “There’s been lots of extra training that went on over the summer to make sure we got more people with the skills needed to be able to operate in Coronavirus contexts.”
“But in the end, these are people we have relied on ever since the start of the pandemic in February, they’ve had a very tough time, there is a limit on asking people to go on doing more and more.”
The first minister said: “We did get a very good response earlier in the year from asking people who have recently retired to come back and fill all sorts of jobs.”
“We allowed them to go back to their retirement back around July, it may well be that we need to go back and see if some people are willing to come back and help.”
Mr Drakeford added: “The demands we are making on our health and social care staff are extraordinary.”
A Consultant at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital has spoken of his concern around rising number of coronavirus cases locally and warned the second surge is getting “worse.”
Consultant Chest Physician Dr James Kilbane said: “I think it goes without saying that we’re seeing more positive test results in the community, which then unfortunately down the line, then translates into increased hospital admissions.
“Now we are seeing increased positive results in all age groups.”
“It’s not just a particular subset of of the local population, but unfortunately the older population that is more likely to be admitted as a consequence of a positive test or have complications of a covid illness.”
“We are beginning to see those positive tests in the community being translated into an increasing number of positive patients requiring admission into the Maelor Hospital.”
“I would stress that this second surge is happening, and at the moment, I would say that day by day, week by week, it’s getting worse.”
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