Coronavirus: Field Hospital Opened At Cardiff's Principality Stadium

A new field hospital has been opened in Cardiff to help the NHS deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dragon's Heart Hospital at the Principality Stadium was built in just a matter of weeks, with the help of military personnel.

The facility, which will provide up to 2,000 additional beds for COVID-19 patients, was opened by the Prince of Wales on Monday.

In a pre-recorded video message from his Birkhall home in Scotland, Prince Charles said: "That this amazing undertaking should have been completed in such a short time is, rightly, a huge source of pride.

“I simply want to add my voice to the tributes that have been paid to all those involved, from so many different walks of life, who have made this possible."

He also paid tribute to "individuals and communities" for their courage, as well as health and public service workers who had lost their lives on the front line, saying their commitment had "come at a price".

Speaking of the opening ceremony, Major Theo Gill, Military Liaison Officer, said "it was really moving".

"The fact that this could be used for something up to 2,000 people recovering makes it a really moving place to be," he added.

Beds inside Cardiff's Dragon Heart Hospital coronavirus covid19 200420 CREDIT BFBS.jpg
Around 750 beds are on the pitch, with 250 on platforms around it.

The Dragon’s Heart Hospital is the largest temporary hospital in Wales and the second largest in the UK.

It will double the size of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board’s system, with patients being treated in large tent-like structures and the hospitality boxes.

Around 750 beds are on the pitch, with 250 on platforms around it.

There is also an on-site radiography unit, as well as laboratories and a pharmacy.

Mark Williams, manager of the Principality Stadium, said: “To witness the transformation of the stadium into a field hospital in just a matter of weeks is staggering.

“We frequently transform the stadium from sports arena to music venue and back again and have seen some of the world’s biggest bands perform here, from the likes of Coldplay to the Rolling Stones, but nothing has ever been done on this scale and at this speed.”

The stadium was turned into a field hospital in a matter of weeks.
The stadium was turned into a field hospital in a matter of weeks.

The temporary hospital has already opened its first 330 beds but has not yet welcomed its first patient.

"We’ve got another 1,150 beds to go – they need to be done by next Tuesday, so the contractors are working really hard and that’s why we’ve got the military in to get the job over the line to do the last bit of work," Major Theo Gill said.

It will care for patients who are coming to the end of their treatment for coronavirus and require rehabilitation and support, or end-of-life palliative care.

Facilities include mobile x-ray, CT scanners and care for people in the last weeks or days of their lives.

The adjacent Cardiff Blues stadium will offer a rest area for staff and a reception area for relatives.