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Residents moved out of a care home in Derry so it can be used as a 'step down facility' for COVID-19 patients

Measures being taken to ease the pressure on hospital services during the coronavirus surge

Residents moved out of a care home in Derry so it can be used as a 'step down facility' for COVID-19 patients

A sign at St Eugene's Cathedral in Derry.

Residents of a care home in Derry have been moved out so it can be used as a 'step down facility' for COVID-19 patients.

A total of 35 beds at Rectory Field care home at Limavady Road are to be made available for patients who have been moved from hospital.

The Western Trust said this is being done to ease the pressure on hospital services.

A ward at Waterside Hospital is also to be used to treat COVID-19 patients.

A Western Trust spokesperson said: "These facilities will reduce pressure on hospital services by facilitating rapid discharge of medically fit patients and offering an alternative to hospital for palliative care, where necessary.

"In Omagh and Fermanagh the Trust will increase the capacity of Drumclay (22 beds), and intend then to move to access capacity in Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex rehab wards (30 beds).

"In the Northern Sector, we will maximise the use of residential homes, dedicate Rectory Fields (35 beds) as a Covid-19 (positive) step down facility, and will open ward five in Waterside Hospital to enable that unit to have expanded capacity for Covid-19 positive patients.

"The Trust will work to utilise all available nursing home spaces as we go through the surge."

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