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First look at £33 million wing planned for UHW Cardiff

The new Lakeside Wing at University Hospital of Wales (UHW) in Cardiff.

Modular construction specialist Darwin Group will build the new Lakeside Wing at University Hospital of Wales (UHW) in Cardiff as part of a £33 million project led by the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (CAVUHB).

Following confirmation of funding support by the Welsh Government, the Shropshire-based firm will deliver a temporary surge facility to ensure sufficient capacity for patients in the event of second spike in COVID-19 cases.

The temporary U-shaped modular building will be located at the area outside of Lakeside at UHW and follows the decision taken by CAVUHB, in conjunction with the Welsh Government, to decommission the Principality Stadium as a Field Hospital from Autumn 2020.

Work is already underway on the new project, with Darwin Group on-track to deliver the Northern wing of the building as part of the development’s first phase by as early as 25 November 2020, owing to the company’s modern methods of construction.

Following the completion of the Southern wing of the short-term surge facility, Darwin Group expects to hand over the keys to UHW for the entire modular building by early February 2021.

The temporary facility will accommodate up to 400 beds – which is in addition to 200 beds that have already been developed across CAVUHB’s sites, meeting COVID-19 requirements set out by the Welsh Government.

Darwin Group’s skilled in-house team of designers, town planners, and construction professionals provide a unique turnkey service that covers all stages of design, planning and construction from start to finish – and were only appointed by CAVUHB in September 2020 to deliver the project following a thorough procurement process.

Charles Pierce, Managing Director at Darwin Group, said: “We are fully aware of the impact and importance of this facility, and how crucial it could be for the potential COVID-19 patients it may aid. Our team is experienced in working on a variety of projects and considerate of every client’s unique situation and needs.

“We’re a proud British company, always ready to help a local community, and were delighted to be appointed by the Health Board to deliver the Lakeside Wing for both the people of Cardiff and wider South Wales.

“We live in uncertain times and we understand the need to act quickly at a time when it is needed most. Our team is experienced in delivering quality builds under tight time constraints and will that the delivery and installation of this project is completed smoothly and with minimal disruption.”

Geoff Walsh, Director of Capital, Estates and Facilities at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, added: “We’re pleased to be working with Darwin Group on providing this temporary surge facility as part of the Health Board’s rapid and considered response to a second potential spike in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Although construction is moving at pace and we’re working to a tight schedule, every decision is made with our patients’ and staff members’ safety in mind. We anticipate no services, patient clinics or appointments will be affected by construction. If there are any temporary disruptions, we will communicate these in advance.

“We will keep our staff, patients and visitors updated on progress through our website, newsletters and social media channels. Please read our frequently asked questions which is continuously updated with the latest information.”

Construction will take place 24/7 throughout the duration of the project and CAVUHB, UHW and Darwin Group anticipate no interruptions to services, patient clinics or appointments. Any temporary interventions will be communicated in advance.

While temporary constructions such as the Lakeside Wing are something Darwin Group can offer, the modular construction specialist remains committed to the quality and longevity of its builds. Darwin Group offers financial payment plans and assists with funding applications to ensure client aspirations and budget constraints align.