THE Mater Hospital is beginning to return to normal business following its role as a Covid Hospital for Belfast.

At a meeting of the Mater Hospital Community Forum this week, Bernie Carey, Mater Hospital Service Manager told members that pre-Covid services are in the process of being fully restored.

In March 2020, the Crumlin Road site was chosen by the Department of Health to be the city's designated Covid hospital.


Ms Carey also addressed recent pressures on Emergency Departments across the North, which has also affected the Mater.

"It once again is becoming extremely busy with a 24/7 ED and 171 beds working to full capacity" she said.

"There have been delays in ED's across Northern Ireland on and off-loading ambulances and this has also been occurring in the Mater ED, at times with long delays. 

"The Mater has been designated by the Department Of Health as a hospital for complex Elective Surgery with the facility for overnight stays.

"Preparations are ongoing to have this up and running with some general surgery returning – ENT, Eyes, Endoscopy, and Gynae. 

"The Respiratory Unit in the Mater Hospital was further expanded with two respiratory wards during Covid. This now is treating many other respiratory complaints as Covid numbers are now small. 

"GPs in North Belfast are developing pathways that hopefully will allow direct access of their patients to these specialty units without going through the ED. 

"There has been a successful recruitment of international nurses and they are currently employed and flourishing, delivering safe and compassionate care to our patients."