Demand for Whiteabbey Nightingale ‘starting to dwindle’

Demand for Whiteabbey Hospital’s Nightingale facility is “starting to dwindle”, the Northern Health and Social Care Trust board has been told.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 6:16 pm

Staff who were redeployed to the Doagh Road site in Newtownabbey are now being released and are expected to return to their “substantive” posts by the end of the month.

Speaking at the board’s monthly meeting, Wendy Magowan, the Trust’s Interim Operations Director told members that consideration is being given to how it can be used in a different way in the future while “maintaining its regional focus”.

“Outcomes at Whiteabbey Hospital have been exceptionally positive with rehabilitation and nursing support in that area. I look forward to seeing how we can use that in a different way to help the region.”

Whiteabbey Hospital. Image by Google

The Nightingale unit opened at Whiteabbey Hospital in November as a “step down” facility for recovering Covid patients.

It was established in response to “growing pressures on the system” as a result of the pandemic and opened following refurbishment of an existing building on the Newtownabbey site.

It has been accepting patients from across Northern Ireland. Seventy-nine beds were made available in the facility rising to 84 if required.

Meanwhile, a decrease in the number of Covid patients in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust has put a focus on “restarting elective activity” at Antrim Hospital, board members have also been told.

The number of Covid in-patients has reportedly “plateaued” at Antrim Hospital where there were 25 reported on Thursday  and have “tailed off” to four at Causeway Hospital in Coleraine. There was one Covid patient in intensive care at Antrim and none in Causeway and there is now a “stepping down of surge beds”.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

Click here to read: Whiteabbey Nightingale unit treats over 60 people inside first two months


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