Statement regarding the Whiteabbey Nightingale Enhanced Therapies and Rehabilitation Unit

“The Whiteabbey Nightingale Enhanced Therapies and Rehabilitation Unit on the Whiteabbey Hospital site was first commissioned in Nov 2020 as a regional post-COVID stepdown service.

“The 23-bed unit has since transitioned to become a regional fractures / general rehabilitation facility and has been operating successfully as such, with evidence of strong outcomes and an average length of stay consistently below 14 days.

“Funding was allocated by the Department of Health (DoH) to retain the provision until the end of the current financial year. However, reflecting wider budgetary pressures, no recurrent funding source has been identified beyond the end of March 2023. As a result the unit now requires to be wound down on a phased basis, with final closure at the end of March 2023.”

“The NHSCT was honoured to host this regional service which was commissioned and funded by the DoH and we are proud of the outcomes achieved for the patients who availed of this service.

“Staff and their representatives will be met with under the Trust’ Management of Change process to consider alternative employment either on the Whiteabbey Hospital site or elsewhere within the Trust.

“Community beds are a vital part of our patient journey in that they afford the opportunity for patients to avail of a period of assessment or rehabilitation in bed-based facilities to maximise their personal abilities, often following a period of acute hospitalisation.

“Over the past few months we have been working up a long-term community bed model and we plan to go out to formal public consultation on this model early in the next financial year. We are committed to maintaining inpatient rehabilitation on the Whiteabbey site, and this will form part of the overarching community bed model.”


10th January 2023

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