South East Wales

Plans for final phase of children's hospital in Cardiff

Children's Hospital for Wales
Image caption How the new Children's Hospital for Wales will look once complete

Plans for the final phase of the £54.3m Children's Hospital for Wales, which include new operating theatres, are being discussed.

The planning committee at Cardiff council is due to examine proposals at a meeting on Wednesday.

If approved, they will also pave the way for an eye clinic and a private garden for patients and their families.

A £7m fundraising appeal to support equipment is under way.

Planning officials recommend backing for the development, which will see a new five-storey building next to the first phase of the hospital.

If it goes ahead, work will start in January next year with the main construction starting in August. It is hoped the full development will be completed in 2014.

The Noah's Ark Appeal has committed to raising £7m for equipment, including an MRI scanner and items for the new intensive care unit.

The £1.5m scanner has no sides, meaning a parent can lie next to their child during the scan, minimising the need for sedation.

'Delighted'

Chairman Lyn Jones said the charity was delighted with the way fundraising was going but urged more donors to come forward.

He said: "Thanks to everyone's hard work we will see the temporary building completed this week, which will mean that the children can be moved to the temporary building and the prefabricated buildings can be knocked down.

"This is a great step as the new structure can then begin.

"We are still very supported by the public, we thank them greatly and we hope this excellent support will continue."

Image caption Actress Catherine Zeta Jones and her husband visited the hospital to boost fundraising

The scheme was given a summer boost with a visit from Hollywood couple Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas.

The Swansea-born actress officially opened the Children's Hospital for Wales back in 2006.

Her return, alongside her actor husband, coincided with the 10th anniversary of the original Noah's Ark Appeal.

The first phase of the project included two 25-bed medical wards and one 16-bed paediatric cancer ward.

It cost £9m to deliver, with £4.5m provided by the assembly government and £4.5m raised by Noah's Ark.

The £54.3m unit is being funded by the assembly government while its running costs will be met by local health boards and Health Commission Wales.

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