Michelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)
Diggers on site for new extension at Antrim Area Hospital
Construction work has commenced on a new 48-bed extension at Antrim Hospital, the Northern Health and Social Care Trust board has been told.
Finance Director Owen Harkin confirmed at a board meeting on Thursday morning that diggers are currently on site.
He said that the contractor is “aware of our urgency” and the Trust will “continue to monitor progress”.
He also reported that recruitment of staff for the new wards has started.
The business case for the new £23m extension was approved at a meeting of the Northern Health and Social Care Trust board in August.
Members heard at that meeting how the development would bring “some much-needed” bed capacity to the hospital and the increase was described as “really welcome”.
Last October, the intensive care unit at Antrim Hospital relocated to a new ward after moving nine times during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The relocation to the former C6 ward at a cost of £2.38m follows refurbishment involving mechanical, ventilation and electrical requirements in a bid to meet “needs of any surge in the future”, Trust board members were told at the time.
The board has also heard that this is not a “long-term solution for ICU at the hospital” and a purpose-built ICU is needed to meet the demands of the Northern area population.