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Mater Hospital designated as the Belfast Trust COVID-19 Hospital

23rd March 2020

Mater Hospital

Belfast Trust and the wider HSC sector continues to examine all options as we adapt to the challenges posed by the outbreak of Covid-19. To ensure we can effectively protect the safety of our patients and staff we have designated the Mater as the Belfast Trust Covid-19 Hospital.

From Tuesday 24th March at 12pm, we plan to divert all respiratory ambulance admissions within the Belfast Trust area to the Mater Hospital. The Mater Hospital Emergency Department will close to walk in admissions from 8am on Tuesday 24th March. Additional resources, including experienced medical staff will be redeployed from other areas in the Trust to support the anticipated higher level of activity on the Mater site.

To support the Mater we will divert all other ambulance categories to the Royal Victoria Hospital. We would also advise all patients seeking medical treatment for urgent and non-respiratory problems to attend the Emergency Department at the Royal Victoria Hospital.

Emergency Department Consultant Dr Eoghan Ferrie said, “This is the vital next step in adapting our service to respond to the Covid-19 virus. Whilst we anticipate many people who contract the virus will experience mild symptoms that can be managed through self-isolation, we have taken the decision to ensure we are best prepared to treat patients who may need acute care.”

“It has been noted that there has been a downturn in emergency and unscheduled demand in recent weeks, demonstrating to us that the public are choosing wisely and using other routes to access medical treatment and support. We would like to thank the public for consciously trying to release the pressure on our services and urge them to continue to follow government and PHA advice in relation to Covid-19.”

“The healthcare community is united in fighting Covid-19 and I would like to thank all of our staff for the excellent work they are carrying out to protect public health.”

“We look forward to services returning to normal in the Mater and the Emergency Department once these measures are no longer required.”