THREE sites for field hospitals have been identified as work continues to increase healthcare capacity across North Wales.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) has increased bed numbers at Glan Clwyd Hospital, Ysbyty Gwynedd and Wrexham Maelor.

The locations for the makeshift hospitals have not yet been revealed.

BCUHB said it is working with its partners to finalise plans and will share further details in the coming days.

A spokesperson from BCUHB said: "We have a phased escalation plan in place to significantly increase the number of beds for our most poorly patients over the coming weeks, with plans in place to increase our capacity of ventilated beds.

"We are also progressing opportunities to establish additional capacity within all of our hospitals.

"For example, construction work has already begun to install an additional 80 beds at Glan Clwyd Hospital, using void space left as part of the hospital’s recent redevelopment, which would be ready to use at the end of April.

"At the same time, primary and community care services are working hard to keep people well and out of crisis. This will ensure that our specialist acute services are available for those people who need them.

"We are also undertaking measures to increase the number of staff we have available to care for patients. So far we have had more than 200 people express an interest in joining our staff banks or in a fixed term contract.

"The bank teams are working to get these nursing, midwifery, medical and dental staff registered and available to work as quickly as possible."

More than 1,100 staff currently in non-clinical areas have also joined a database of staff who can be redeployed to support clinical areas when needed.

The spokesperson added: "We are also making provisions available to keep all of our staff safe. Suitable and sufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is available and more stock is arriving for distribution over the coming days and weeks.

Denbighshire Free Press:

Military personnel at the ExCel centre in London which is being made into a temporary hospital - the NHS Nightingale HospitalPicture: PA /Kirsty O’Connor

"This week we took delivery of a significant supply of PPE which will bolster our stock for the immediate future."

The UK Government announced the acquisition of private healthcare facilities and is setting up Nightingale Hospitals at the ExCel Centre in London, the NEC in Birmingham and Manchester Central.

In Wales, there are plans to provide 2,000 emergency beds at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff and hundreds more at Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli.

Prior to the new details from BCUHB on Monday (March 30), Darren Millar, AM for Clwyd West, called on BCUHB to reassure patients that extra beds will be made available in the area to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Millar contacted Mark Polin, chairman of the health board, to ask what is being done in North Wales.

He said: "I've been contacted by many people over the weekend seeking reassurances that there will be extra beds for North Wales patients.

“Last Friday I contacted Betsi Cadwaladr’s Chairman, Mark Polin, and he has indicated that the health board is taking action to establish a temporary hospital for Covid-19 patients in North Wales and that an announcement on this will be made soon.

"But people are worried now and I therefore urge the Health Board to reveal details as soon as possible to reassure people and put their minds at rest."

The NHS Nightingale Hospital in London will initially provide up to 500 beds equipped with ventilators and oxygen.

The capacity will then continue to increase, potentially up to several thousand beds, should it be required.