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Health Minister Robin Swann visits Whiteabbey hospital Nightingale facility

Health Minister Robin Swann and Chief Nursing Officer Charlotte McArdl have visited the new Nightingale intermediate Covid care facility at Whiteabbey Hospital

First phase will provide additional 23 beds and will be available to patients from across NI.

The first phase of the new facility opens to patients this Friday, 20 November.

It will provide enhanced rehabilitation “step down” care for Covid patients who are well enough to leave an acute hospital but who would benefit from a period of rehabilitation that cannot be provided at home.

This first phase will provide an additional 23 beds with further expansion to follow. It will be run by the Northern Health and Social Care Trust and will be available to patients from across Northern Ireland.

Care will be led by a highly skilled and experienced Advanced Nursing and Allied Health Practitioner team. Medical care will be provided by doctors from primary care.

Health Minister Robin Swann said: “I am very pleased to be able to visit the new facility today and very impressed that it has been so rapidly established.

“This is yet another example of our health service adapting at speed to the challenges created by this pandemic.

“This new model of nursing and enhanced therapy care is about providing the right care in the right place at the right time by the multi-disciplinary team – one of the cornerstones of the transformation agenda for health and social care.

“The new Whiteabbey Nightingale should also ease pressure on acute hospitals by facilitating discharges of people who are no longer acutely unwell, but need further support before hospital discharge.”

The Health Minister was accompanied on the visit by Chief Nursing Officer Professor Charlotte McArdle.

He was welcomed to the facility by Bob McCann, Northern Health Trust Chairman and Jennifer Welsh, Northern Health Trust Chief Executive. 

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