Robin Swann officially opens the Nightingale Hospital, Whiteabbey

Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann has officially opened Northern Ireland’s second Nightingale Hospital in County Antrim. The new facility at Whiteabbey Hospital will ultimately have up to 100 beds available to ease pressure on the region’s Covid-19 wards in the event of further surges in cases over the winter period.

TODD Architects was appointed as architect and lead consultant to the project, working alongside Beattie Flanigan, Doran Consulting and Currie & Brown as an integrated design team. The creation of this vital enhanced rehabilitation facility was only announced in September and had the dual challenge of being delivered within a tight programme and on the site of a working hospital. Drawing on its extensive and award-winning healthcare design experience from across the UK, the healthcare team at TODD Architects oversaw the process of delivering the 100-bed scheme at Newtownabbey safely and at speed, whilst also ensuring the facilities met the strict healthcare requirements of the Northern Health and Social Care Trust.

The new Nightingale will generally cater for low acuity/step-down patients who are well enough to leave an acute hospital but who would benefit from a period of intensive rehabilitation. However, the scheme has been designed and delivered to provide some flexibility to step-up care when and if required. In the immediate term, it will be managed as a regional resource to support the response to Covid-19, but in choosing to remodel an existing hospital facility it also provides a valuable longer-term asset for the provision of healthcare in the region.

Andrew Murray Director at TODD Architects said: “The successful delivery of this vital healthcare facility was the product of an incredible collaboration between the Design team, Main Contractor Dowds Group, the Northern Trust and CPD Health Projects on a ‘live’ hospital site. This monumental team effort has achieved the highest possible standard of healthcare services within a tight timeframe. It has been amazing to witness the whole construction industry come together with purpose to support the tireless work of the NHS in this time of crisis.”

Nicholas McKee, Build Manager at Dowds Group added: “We were delighted to once again partner TODD Architects on another landmark hospital project. The works necessitated completion to an exceptionally high quality and one of the tightest build programmes we’ve faced. We are very proud of the extended site team who went over and above to do their part to contribute to Northern Ireland’s fight against Covid-19.”