Rhyl hospital development cost doubles

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Royal Alexandra HospitalImage source, Google
Image caption,
Rhyl's Royal Alexandra Hospital

The cost of a hospital development in Rhyl has almost doubled to £40.2m.

The capital costs for the refurbishment of the North Denbighshire Community Hospital and provision of new buildings alongside was estimated at £22.2m.

On Thursday, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board will be asked to approve an outline business plan for the complex on the site of the Royal Alexandra Hospital, known as the Alex.

If approved, the contract will take two years to complete.

The proposal is in response to a consultation in 2013 in which the community demanded that beds be provided to replace those closed at the Alex in 2010 and the 12 lost when Prestatyn Community Hospital closed.

Currently, some patients have to be accommodated in Colwyn Bay, Holywell, Denbigh or Ruthin.

The proposal includes the development of a "one-day service", which is expected to ease pressure on the emergency department at Glan Clwyd Hospital.

Other services provided at the new centre would include a treatment zone for community nurses to carry out more complex tasks in a community hospital setting, a wider sexual health service, an enhanced outpatient therapy service and extension of the dental and radiology services.

If approved and with Welsh Government approval, the building is expected to be ready by March 2022.

Ian Howard, assistant director of strategic and business analysis, said there were three reasons why the cost had increased, including the original scope being under-estimated and an increase in the size of the build required.

He also said that after re-examining the proposal to refurbish and extend the Alex for clinical use, it was concluded the issues within the original building "would significantly constrain the design and prove costly".

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