Coronavirus patients in north Wales must not be 'overlooked' by temporary hospital plans, say politicians

North Wales must not be "overlooked" in the fight against coronavirus, according to some Welsh politicians.

Stadiums, leisure centres and even a holiday park are being repurposed to help treat coronavirus patients however work is yet to begin on any site in north Wales.

Several MPs and AM for Clwyd West, Darren Millar, said there needs to be urgent action from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to "provide clarity" on any plans for a field hospital.

Betsi Cadwaladr, said three potential sites have been earmarked, with one named as Venue Cymru, but they are still working to "finalise" the plans.

The Principality Stadium, Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli and Bluestone National Park Resort are all sites that will be converted into treatment or recovery centres.

Work has begun on the Scarlets training ground in Llanelli and on Friday 27 it was announced that the Principality Stadium in Cardiff will become a 2,000 bed temporary hospital.

Work is already underway at Parc y Scarlets to create up to 500 extra beds. Credit: Carmarthenshire County Council

Meanwhile, Bluestone National Park Resort in Pembrokeshire is also set to become a recovery centre for coronavirus patients.

Dr Phil Kloer, The Medical Director and Deputy Chief Executive at Hywel Dda University Health Board, said having these extra beds at Bluestone will "be essential" over the coming weeks to help "manage patient flow".

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The holiday resort in Pembrokeshire will offer extra hospital beds for coronavirus patients. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales
According to the Welsh Government £248 million is to be invested in the NHS Covid recovery fund. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

However, Clwyd West AM Darren Millar has raised concerns about any plans for similar sites in north Wales.

Mr Millar has urged Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to "provide clarity" about their plans to combat COVID-19. Seven Welsh Conservative MPs in the region echo these concerns, saying it is vital that their constituencies are not "overloooked".

Three sites have been earmarked for conversion in north Wales but Betsi Cadwaladr said the plans are still being finalised. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said they are "progressing plans to increase capacity" for coronavirus patients by increasing the numbers of available beds at their main hospitals. They are also undertaking measures to increase staff numbers so that they have more available to care for patients.

An extra 80 beds are being created at Glan Clwyd Hospital by using space that was leftover after the hospital's recent redevelopment. These beds should be ready to use at the end of April.

They added that three sites have been identified as the first places to be converted into temporary care facilities. On Tuesday 31, one of these was named as Venue Cymru in Llandudno.

The health board are now working "to finalise plans for these" and said they will provide more details on this "in the coming days."

Health Minister Vaughan Gething said on Tuesday at a press conference that in north Wales, they are "definitely having conversations about a variety of sites" that could be used.

He emphasised the difficulty of getting these sites up and running in a number of days but also said that on Thursday, he expects to be able to talk in more detail about the designated temporary care sites across the whole of the country.

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know