Wales politics

Premature baby unit at UHW Cardiff in £7.5m revamp

Hand holding a baby's foot Image copyright Photodisk

More space to treat premature babies will be created at Wales' biggest hospital in a £7.5m modernisation plan.

The expanded neonatal unit at Cardiff's University Hospital of Wales will have room for an extra six cots.

Currently closed to new admissions due to infection, a new layout is designed to limit such problems in future.

Health Minister Mark Drakeford said the Welsh government funding would allow staff to provide the best possible care for babies and their families.

'Modern environment'

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board closed the unit in early December after three babies tested positive for Acinetobacter baumannii bacteria, which tends to infect those who are already sick and have a weakened immune system.

Typically it manages to attack the lungs leading to a form of pneumonia.

The same infection forced the closure of the unit in August for several weeks.

"We are investing £7.5m of new funding to completely modernise the neonatal unit at the University Hospital Wales so that staff are able to provide the best care possible for babies and their families in the most modern environment possible," said Mr Drakeford.

"This investment will increase the space available around each cot and improve infection prevention and control.

"The refurbishment has been planned with the future in mind, with space for six more cots."

The work is due to be finished by summer 2016.

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