South East Wales

Cardiff Royal Infirmary £15.8m revamp approved by minister

An artist's impression of the infirmary, after its facelift
Image caption An artist's impression of the infirmary, after its facelift

A £15.8m plan to expand community health services at the Cardiff Royal Infirmary has been approved by the Welsh government.

The scheme unveiled last June offers a "one-stop shop" for key services.

It will include two GP practices and a pharmacy plus outpatient and sexual health departments.

Health Minister Lesley Griffiths said it would improve access to health care in Cardiff and ease pressure on acute hospital services.

'Iconic' building

She said: "Approval of funding for the Cardiff Royal Infirmary (CRI) means the people of Cardiff can look forward to this city centre hospital being given a new lease of life.

"The building itself is a Cardiff landmark and this investment will put it back on the map as a vital part of the area's health service.

"In time, local people will be able to access many of the most commonly-required services under one roof.

The minister, who will visit the hospital later, said the scheme was in keeping with the Welsh government's aim to promote patient-centred community services with prevention as a key factor.

David Francis, chair of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, welcomed the government's approval for their plans, which aim to convert part of the Victorian hospital into a "health and wellbeing centre".

"The redevelopment of the CRI provides a unique opportunity to deliver high quality health, social care and wellbeing services," he said.

"The CRI is an iconic building and it's great to be breathing new life into it.

Image caption The Victorian building when it was known as the old Glamorgan and Monmouthshire Infirmary

"We are delighted with today's announcement, which is a major step forward in helping us deliver on our commitment to provide services more locally whenever possible and appropriate."

Built in 1884, the future of the Grade II listed building had been in doubt since it closed as a district general hospital in 1999 and its casualty unit moved to the University Hospital of Wales.

In 2002 campaigners fought off plans to close the remaining facilities, and in 2009 the then health minister Edwina Hart agreed a plan to ensure the infirmary's future as a base for community health services.

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