Field hospital delayed as more deaths and cases recorded in south Wales hospital coronavirus outbreaks

Watch ITV Wales Correspondent, James Crichton-Smith live outside the field hospital with an update

The Ysbyty'r Seren field hospital in Bridgend will not be opening today as planned, the health board has announced.

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board said the hospital is taking longer than expected to get ready for patients but they will provide an update on progress "early next week".

The temporary hospital was due to be taking non-covid patients in the hopes it would relieve some pressure on services at the three Cwm Taf hospitals currently experiencing coronavirus outbreaks.

Three more deaths, bringing the total to 26, have been confirmed in relation to the outbreaks. Three more positive cases have also been identified.

All three of the new deaths occurred at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant.

There has still only been one outbreak-related death at each of the Prince Charles and Princess of Wales hospitals.

There are currently Covid-19 outbreaks at three hospitals under the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board Credit: ITV Wales

Cases and deaths linked to the outbreaks at each hospital:

  • Royal Glamorgan Hospital

Cases of Covid-19 linked to the outbreak – 129

Deaths linked to the outbreak – 24

  • Prince Charles Hospital outbreak

Cases of Covid-19 linked to the outbreak - 17

Deaths linked to the outbreak – 1

  • Princess of Wales Hospital outbreak

Cases of Covid-19 linked to the outbreak – 16

Deaths linked to the outbreak – 1

The health board have said that the outbreaks at each of the three hospitals are not connected to one another. Credit: ITV Wales

The health board are aiming to open the Bridgend field hospital "as soon as possible" but the site is not ready to take patients yet.

They said: "Our teams are working extremely hard to prepare the hospital for patients, with quality of care and safety being our top priority.

"Preparations have taken longer than anticipated, however the timing of the opening of Ysbyty’r Seren will be reviewed early next week when we will provide a further update."

When it is up and running, patients who do not have coronavirus will be relocated to the field hospital so they can be treated in a covid-free environment.

ITV Wales went inside Ysbyty’r Seren last week to see how preparations were going:

Medical Director for the health board, Dr Nick Lyons, again said that they are working with Public Health Wales to "closely" monitor the situations at all three hospitals.

Speaking to ITV Wales previously, Dr Lyons said part of the reason outbreaks had been identified at the Prince Charles and Princes of Wales hospitals was because of the "close scrutiny" they are using.

He explained that an 'outbreak' by definition constitutes as a minimum of just two patients.

The MP for Pontypridd, Alex Davies-Jones, said the outbreaks have left local people "scared" while the leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, Andrew Morgan, said he knows residents are "very concerned".

Mr Morgan explained that the health board and hospitals are now doing "everything they can" to stop further infections but there is a delay between contracting the virus and exhibiting symptoms.

He said that this means that more cases may well be identified but this is not to say that the measures health board staff are taking now, are not working.

Temporary changes to services at the Royal Glamorgan, who are experiencing the largest outbreak, remain in place.

A helpline has been set up for anyone affected by the outbreak at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital. Members of the public can call 01685 726 464 between 9am and 4:30pm, Mon to Fri.