THREE years in the building, Gwent’s newest hospital will be handed over to the NHS today, ahead of its opening to patients in November.

The pictures here show how the distinctive £172million Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr has been developed on a site just outside Ystrad Mynach, since work began in autumn 2008.

Contractor BAM Construction will hand the building over to Aneurin Bevan Health Board, so it can be made ready to take its first patients in around two months.

The hospital – the biggest single NHS project in Gwent in 40 years – will house more than 250 beds, and will trigger a major change in provision of secondary care services for patients across Caerphilly county borough.

The area’s existing hospitals, including Caerphilly District Miners’, will close and the new hospital will provide a wider range of services than previously available in the area, including a range of surgical procedures, such as orthopaedic surgery and cataract operations.

For many patients in places such as Blackwood and Newbridge, outpatient appointments, diagnostic tests and some operations that would previously have meant going to the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, will soon be provided at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr.

All patients will have single rooms, and car parking for several hundred vehicles will be tucked away underneath the building, with a system designed to direct patients and visitors to spaces nearest the departments they require.

The hospital will also include a 24-hour emergency centre, mental health unit, midwife-led maternity unit, dedicated stroke unit, children’s outpatient clinic, and a range of rehabilitation facilities, including a hydrotherapy pool.

MRI and CT scanning will be available, and the hospital will host the community dental service and the GP out-of-hours service.

Health board chairman David Jenkins said BAM and other contractors involved were to be congratulated for their hard work in ensuring the handover was happening on time and within budget.

“This has been a really exciting project and a considerable amount of planning has gone into the design to ensure the hospital will meet the needs of local people,” he said.