Health Minister Robin Swann has emphasised his commitment to supporting people with learning disabilities to live sustainably in local communities.
The Minister today opened Bradley Court, a new residential nursing home in North Belfast for adults (18+) with learning disability and associated care needs, including behaviours that challenge.
Patients resettled from Muckamore Abbey Hospital will be among the residents of the home, which will also be open to admissions from the wider community.
Mr Swann stated: “I am acutely aware of the very real challenges and difficulties faced by people with learning disabilities, families and carers throughout this pandemic. As services restart, settings such as Bradley Court will play a vital role in keeping people with learning disabilities safe and living fulfilling lives.
“It is important that people with a learning disability are supported to stay in their own home as long as possible. For those that require additional support, it is critical that we provide a meaningful choice on accommodation, ranging from services delivered in the family home, supported living arrangement and nursing homes.
“Bradley Court will support people with learning disabilities through tailored, positive and person-centred care. It is a viable housing option as part of the Muckamore resettlement programme.”
Bradley Court has 11 private, apartment-style rooms with secure outdoor space and its aim is to provide a safe, homely and individualised living environment staffed by specialist nursing and care professionals.
The new facility has been developed by Gold Healthcare, part of the Healthcare Ireland Group. Gilbert Yates, Chief Executive of Gold Healthcare said: “We are focused on meeting the specialist needs of adults with learning disability, acute mental health and acquired brain injury through a person-centred and life-enhancing approach to their care.
“Bradley Court has been designed and specified in consultation with specialists who understand the very particular needs and challenging behaviours of these individuals and our aim is to create a safe, yet homely environment. Our mission is for our residents to feel a sense of value and respect, by providing them with accommodation and care to promote their independence and individuality.”
The Health Minister added: “I have made clear my commitment to continuing to reduce lengthy hospital admissions by supporting people to live sustainably in local communities – in line with the vision set by the Bamford Equal Lives report and more recently the Bengoa review.
“While resettlement is an important issue, the welfare of the patient is paramount. This means a one size fits all approach is not appropriate. The Learning Disability Service Model aims to develop a regionally consistent approach to supporting people with learning disabilities across all domains of life, including accommodation and housing support – this will require collaboration across government to be fully realised.”