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Health Minister thanks staff on visit to Mater Hospital

11th March 2022

Health Minister at Mater Hospital

Health Minister Robin Swann met with staff at the Mater Hospital on Thursday 10 March to thank them for their huge efforts during the pandemic and their ongoing hard work.

Mr Swann visited the Nmabs team to hear about the new treatments available for Covid-19 and the impact this team has had during the pandemic. He also met with Dr Thelma Craig and her team at the respiratory ward before a visit to meet the team in the Mater Emergency Department.

The Mater Hospital became the designated Covid-19 hospital site for Belfast Trust in March 2020 and has cared for more than 3,000 patients to date.

At the height of the pandemic, every ward on the site was transformed to an area that provided respiratory care. In addition, specialist areas were adapted to provide enhanced respiratory support to the most critically ill patients.

Many Covid-19 patients participated in clinical trials, which helped in the development of new treatments for Covid-19. Alongside the vaccination programme, this led to fewer Covid-19 patients requiring hospital admission.

The Nmabs / antiviral OCT therapy service for clinically extremely vulnerable, Covid positive, non-hospitalised patients commenced on 16 December 2021. Since then, it has received 1,168 referrals, with 74 patients declining therapy.

Of these, 298 have been treated with IV infusion and 34 with anti-viral oral medication. Up to 21 January 2022, only two patients had been admitted with Covid-19.