Questions over £10m Covid hospital at holiday park

time:2023-06-10 21:48:03source:Al Jazeera author:Press center5

Setting up a Covid field hospital at a holiday park at a cost of about £10m will come under scrutiny.

Bluestone National Park Resort was judged to be the most suitable location by Hywel Dda University Health Board and Pembrokeshire council in 2020.

It was previously reported the holiday park received £6m, and 30 out of the 126 beds were opened up.

Councillors will debate whether the correct decision was made for the location and amount spent.

As Wales battled the coronavirus pandemic, field hospitals were planned in locations such as the Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Venue Cymru, Llandudno, and leisure centre in towns including Deeside and Cardigan.

The location of the Bluestone holiday park near Narberth, Pembrokeshire, will be discussed by councillors.

Milford Haven North councillor Alan Dennison will ask through a written question: "Given that Bluestone was the Pembrokeshire County Council recommended facility for the field hospital during the pandemic, does the cabinet member now consider this was the right choice, given the overall costs of over £10m to the Hywel Dda health board and the loss of income [and centre refurbishment] to the council by not utilising Pembrokeshire leisure centres as Carmarthenshire county council did?"

The Local Democracy Reporting Service previously reported the £6m figure received by Bluestone for the emergency hospital, known as Ysbyty Carreg Las.

In response to a Freedom of Information request (FOI), Hywel Dda has previously supplied a break-down of monthly costs at the site.

Bluestone received £3m capital funding from Pembrokeshire council and another £1m from the Welsh government to return it to its original use.

Additional funding was provided for health boards by Welsh government for Covid-19 responses, some of which "off-set" the cost of field hospitals.

In April 2021, a Bluestone spokesman said the company's hospitality sales had fallen by more than £17.5m in 2020 as a direct result of the pandemic, partially offset by a £6m commercial partnership with Hywel Dda for the use and restoration of Ysbyty Enfys Carreg Las.

A similar FOI to Pembrokeshire council revealed it did "not make any contributions to Bluestone Ltd or to the Hywel Dda" and did not contribute to the running costs of the facility, with any staffing cost connected to the establishment of the facility recharged to the health board.

Related content
Recommended content
Hot content