Cardiff: The University Hospital of Wales

Cardiff is Wales's capital and home to one of the busiest hospitals in the UK, the University Hospital of Wales. UHW treats over one million patients annually and trains nurses and doctors in collaboration with regional universities.

About the University Hospital of Wales

UHW in Cardiff is the third-largest hospital in the UK and the biggest in Wales. Originally called the Heath Hospital, when construction started in 1963, it was designed to be a fully integrated hospital and medical school with long parallel buildings designed by architect Stanley Wayman Milburn. After officially opening in 1971, UHW has around 1,080 beds and is a teaching hospital for Cardiff University's medical school.

UHW has seen a lot of development over the past decade. In 2009, a £16 million birthing and maternity medicine centre opened, with pools and a dedicated midwife unit. The following year, a new delivery suite was added. The busy A&E department, which treats 750 people each weekend, had a scheduled refit in 2013.

As the major trauma centre for South Wales, UHW delivers critical services to the community. One of the most recent additions is the 2020 Lakeside Wing, a modular 400-bed patient facility that treats adults and older children.

UHW's specialisms include:

  • Anaesthetics.
  • Audio-vestibular medicine.
  • Cardiology.
  • Dermatology.
  • Ear, nose, and throat surgery.
  • Endocrinology and diabetes mellitus.
  • Gastroenterology.
  • General (internal) medicine.
  • Neurosurgery.
  • Nuclear medicine.
  • Obstetrics and gynaecology.
  • Ophthalmology.
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery.
  • Trauma & orthopaedic surgery.

The HIW's latest report for UHW, released in April 2023, found staff were committed to providing high-quality care, and patients rated the service as good. The overall summary is of a high-quality hospital delivering patient satisfaction.

Life for Nurses in Cardiff

Cardiff is very walkable with pedestrianised areas in the city centre and bay. Cycling is popular on routes like the traffic-free Taff Trail, while trains connect Cardiff locally and regionally with Central and Queen Street main stations.

An extensive bus network reaches the suburbs and nearby towns, and driving is easy with major roads like the A48 linking other nearby towns and villages.  

There's an exciting array of events and entertainment options, from major sporting events like rugby, football, and WWE wrestling, to theatre productions, comedy shows, and concerts at bigger venues like the Motorpoint Arena and Principality Stadium and smaller, independent music venues like Clwb Ifor Bach.

Cardiff has an excellent food scene with many restaurants, from chains like Nando's and Wahaca to critically acclaimed independent eateries and street food vendors at venues like DEPOT, with dishes from around the world.

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Fun Facts About Cardiff

  • Cardiff has more castles than any other European city - 3 in total! Cardiff Castle, Castle Coch and St Fagans.
  • The River Taff used to flow past Cardiff Castle but was diverted by engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel to prevent flooding.
  • Cardiff grew rapidly during the 20th century due to the coal industry and was the world's largest coal exporter. The first ever £1 million business deal was made at the Cardiff Coal Exchange in 1907.
  • Cardiff Bay is home to a Norwegian Church built in 1868 for Norwegian sailors. Famous writer Roald Dahl was baptised there in 1916.
  • Spiller's Records in Cardiff's Morgan Arcade is the world's oldest record shop, established in 1894. Initially selling wax cylinders, it now sells vinyl records and CDs.