Gwent super-hospital opens four months ahead of schedule

The £350 million Grange University Hospital (GUH) in Gwent, South Wales has opened to patients – four months ahead of schedule, in a bid to help the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) respond to winter pressures and COVID-19. The hospital is a key component of the Board’s Clinical Futures Programme, which is transforming health service delivery across the Gwent region.

AECOM, the world’s premier infrastructure consulting firm, was the building services engineer for the scheme, working for project contractor Laing O’Rourke. With its engineers an integral part of the design team from the start of the project, it delivered a full range of mechanical, electrical and public health (MEP), fire engineering, specialist security, information technology and BREEAM services. Its IT infrastructure design focuses on resilience, availability and future flexibility to enable the hospital to operate within the rapidly evolving digital hospital environment.


Grange University Hospital – image courtesy of Gleeds


Richard Mann, Director – UK and Ireland Healthcare and Science Sector Leader, AECOM, said: “The GUH’s opening four months ahead of schedule really exemplifies the success of collaboration that was present across the entire design and construction programme. Our engineers’ involvement from the outset of the project has resulted in modern methods of construction (MMC) being at the heart of the design approach, providing flexible systems and spaces that not only support the immediate clinical requirements but also the future ambitions of the Board.”

AECOM worked closely with Laing O Rourke and their team, having been approached by the ABUHB at the start of the pandemic to accelerate opening several sections of the scheme to allow a partial opening in April, almost a year earlier than planned, in response to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases in the locality.


Emergency Department Grange University Hospital – Image courtesy of Gleeds


Following the Board’s recent occupation of the remaining space, the hospital will now provide a centre of excellence to treat the region’s most seriously ill patients, or those with significant injuries, and it will also act as the Emergency Department (A&E) for everyone living in Gwent. In the past, the Royal Gwent and Nevill Hall Hospitals have both provided these emergency medical services, but from today these services will be centralised to ensure the very highest standard of care is provided.

Mike Lewis, Laing O’Rourke Project Director added: “I am extraordinarily proud of the team of people who have delivered GUH four months ahead of schedule amidst a global pandemic. Early hand over was possible because we used MMC from the outset and in doing so were able to deliver 50% of the building to Aneurin Bevan University Hospital Board back in April – a year earlier than originally scheduled. This project marks a pivotal point in healthcare delivery, paving the way for future hospital builds.”

The ABUHB provides a complete range of services for patients in Newport, Torfaen, Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent and Monmouthshire and South Powys across 14 sites. The Health Board employs over 14,000 staff, two thirds of whom are involved in direct patient care.

The project delivery team for the GUH was led through a collaboration of Gleeds, Laing O’Rourke and BDP, with engineering services delivered by AECOM and WSP and with NEC supervisor, Arup.