South East Wales

Cardiff Royal Infirmary to receive £16m revamp

Cardiff Royal Infirmary
Image caption Built in 1884, the CRI, Newport Road, closed as a district hospital in 1999

Health officials have drawn up £15.8m plans to provide more services at Cardiff Royal Infirmary (CRI).

They want to convert part of the city's Victorian hospital into a "health and wellbeing centre" for people living locally.

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (CVUHB) plan to relocate two GP surgeries and improve outpatients' services at the building.

It stopped being a casualty hospital for the city in 1999.

The proposals will now go to the Welsh Government for approval.

"This is really exciting as it will breathe new life into the hospital and bring in new medical services," said Paul Hollard, the health board's executive director of planning.

"This is not about recreating the CRI of old because we have moved on from those days, it's about giving the hospital a new lease of life."

Ease congestion

Board members agreed to submit the proposals to ministers at a meeting on Tuesday.

In 2009, the assembly health minister first announced wide-ranging plans for the CRI, a grade II-listed building on Newport Road, after its future had been in doubt for some time.

Phase one of the plans includes a new integrated sexual health department with the current facilities redeveloped as a new outpatient department along with the GP services and an associated out of hours service.

Image caption The hospital was used for filming TV's Doctor Who

Built in 1884, it closed as a district general hospital in 1999, when its former accident and emergency department was moved to the University of Hospital of Wales.

Campaigners battled against plans to close the remaining facilities in 2002.

Those proposals were abandoned but the future of the site remained uncertain until a report commissioned by the health minister in 2008 paved the way for redevelopment.

It recommended using CRI to ease congestion at the University Hospital of Wales and improve access and waiting times.

Officials say developing "integrated health and social care services" will improve health services in the south and east of Cardiff "to strengthen local services to meet local need".

They hope phase one could start this summer.

More than £8m is being spent on conservation works on the historic and atmospheric building.

It was used as the location of the so-called Albion Hospital in an episode of BBC cult TV programme Doctor Who.

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