DATES for when North Wales rainbow hospitals are expected to close their doors have been revealed.

When the pandemic broke out in Wales, health boards made additional provision across the country to keep pressure off the main hospitals coping with

Today, March 23, BCUHB’s executive director of planning and performance Mark Wilkinson, confirmed that all three hospitals in North Wales will be handed back later this year.

He said: “Our three Rainbow Hospitals were established at the beginning of the pandemic to ensure that we were able to respond to the worst case scenario of our existing hospitals becoming overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.

“All three hospitals have since been utilised as COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Centres, but we have only needed to provide inpatient care at Ysbyty Enfys Deeside.

“Demand for beds at Deeside has reduced significantly in recent weeks, because of lockdown measures and the continued rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Because we are confident that we can accommodate demand at our existing sites, the inpatient beds at Ysbyty Enfys Deeside will close this Friday 26 March.

He adds that the announcement of this decision “should not be taken as a sign that any of us can let our guard down”.

He continued: “We are continuing to monitor and forecast demand across North Wales and we remain vigilant to the threat posed by COVID-19. As shown on Anglesey, cases can rise quickly, so it’s important we all still follow the guidance in place.

“As we look ahead to offering vaccination to all eligible adults by the end of July, we have agreed with our partners that the Mass Vaccination Centres at Ysbyty Enfys Deeside and Ysbyty Enfys Llandudno will be handed back by July 31.

“A gradual decommission of Ysbyty Enfys Bangor will begin in April and will be completed by September.

“We have plans in place to continue to provide vaccination through our network of Local Vaccination Centres (LVCs) after these dates, and I want to provide an assurance that the speed and safety of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout will not be compromised.”

Mr Wilkinson added that the health board remains “extremely grateful” for the support it was given by local authorities in Flintshire and Conwy as well as Bangor University to create the relief hospitals.

He said: “I would also like to say a special thank you to our wonderful staff, who have worked diligently to provide high quality, safe care to patients throughout this challenging period.”