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Home / Sporting Events / Fishing / Take a look inside the massive new field hospital at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium

Take a look inside the massive new field hospital at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium

Huge stacks of metal and scaffold at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff, which is being turned into a 2,000-bed hospital to help fight coronavirus. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

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A contractor wears a face covering while building scaffold sections at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff, which is being turned into a 2,000-bed hospital to help fight coronavirus. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

On Thursday the finishing touches were being made to convert hospitality suites into hospital wards erected in just four days, ready to accommodate the first 330 beds to be taken up by patients from Sunday.

Contractors were busy laying the foundations for wards on top of the stadium’s famous turf, which in two weeks’ time will be ready to accommodate 2,500 staff members and thousands of volunteer runners at what is officially now known as Dragon’s Heart Hospital.

Contractors build scaffold sections at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff, which is being turned into a 2,000-bed hospital to help fight coronavirus. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

The British Army help move medical supplies at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff, which is being turned into a 2,000-bed hospital to help fight coronavirus. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Officials say the stadium will double the size of Cardiff and Vale Health Board’s health system, and will see 18,000 meals being provided every day, as well as an equal number of bedpans needing emptying and three and a half tonnes of clinical waste needing to be disposed of every day.

Covid-19 patients at the hospital will be treated in large tent-like structures, with around 750 beds on the pitch and 250 on platforms around it, while there will be on-site radiography, laboratories and a pharmacy.

The British Army help move medical supplies at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff, which is being turned into a 2,000-bed hospital to help fight coronavirus. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Contractors build scaffold sections at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff, which is being turned into a 2,000-bed hospital to help fight coronavirus. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Patients will all be in the recovery phase of treatment to allow existing hospitals to concentrate on critical care.

Len Richards, the health board’s chief executive, said reduced infection rates within the area meant beds will be also available to other health boards, and praised the the Welsh Rugby Union, the stadium’s owners, the council and his colleagues for readying the site at “breakneck speed”.

A man moves a pallet of medical supplies labeled covid-19 inside the Principality Stadium, Cardiff, which is being turned into a 2,000-bed hospital to help fight coronavirus. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

No grass can be seen as a floor is laid inside the Principality Stadium, Cardiff, which is being turned into a 2,000-bed hospital to help fight coronavirus. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

He said: “We commissioned this about 12 days ago.

“We’ve worked really well together.

A contractor wears a face covering while building scaffold sections at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff, which is being turned into a 2,000-bed hospital to help fight coronavirus. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Boxes of medical surgical gowns inside the Principality Stadium, Cardiff, which is being turned into a 2,000-bed hospital to help fight coronavirus. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

“We’ll open up the beds as we need to.

“If, as we think now, we won’t need all of those beds for Cardiff and Vale we will offer them out, so they will be used.

Boxes of medical nitrile gloves inside the Principality Stadium, Cardiff, which is being turned into a 2,000-bed hospital to help fight coronavirus. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

No grass can be seen as a floor is laid inside the Principality Stadium, Cardiff, which is being turned into a 2,000-bed hospital to help fight coronavirus. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

“My sense is it will be a significant player and play a significant part in the health service going forward.”

Mr Richards admitted having “anxieties” about running the facility, but was confident there were enough resources, including personal protective equipment and oxygen tanks, to keep staff and patients safe.

A mobile medical x-ray machine is wheeled into the Principality Stadium, Cardiff, which is being turned into a 2000-bed hospital to help fight coronavirus. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Instructions on how to assemble a medical bed inside the Principality Stadium, Cardiff, which is being turned into a 2,000-bed hospital to help fight coronavirus. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

He said the hospital would be available to the health board as long as the lockdown and lack of sporting fixtures continued.

Dr Jonathon Gray, who as director of transformation at the health board has helped oversee the hospital’s creation, expected it to be “extraordinarily busy” when it is fully operational and spoke of his pride at being part of the effort.

The British Army at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff, which is being turned into a 2,000-bed hospital to help fight coronavirus. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

No grass can be seen as a floor is laid inside the Principality Stadium, Cardiff, which is being turned into a 2000-bed hospital to help fight coronavirus. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

He said: “This is going to be an amazing facility, and somewhere I’d be proud to bring my family if I were unfortunate enough to need to do so.

“The degree of volunteering and commitment and people stepping outside of their roles day after day to make this happen is amazing.

The British Army help move medical supplies at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff, which is being turned into a 2,000-bed hospital to help fight coronavirus. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

The British Army help move medical supplies at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff, which is being turned into a 2,000-bed hospital to help fight coronavirus. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

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“After this, I actually think nothing is too difficult to solve.”

He said there was no figure yet on the cost of the work, and while there was not a “blank cheque” available to the health board it was spending “whatever it takes to save lives”.

The British Army help move medical supplies at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff, which is being turned into a 2,000-bed hospital to help fight coronavirus. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

He said the neighbouring Cardiff Arms Park, home to Cardiff Blues rugby team, would house a staffing area for workers to eat, dress and shower.

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