Health Minister visits the District Nursing and Fire services on Rathlin Island

Date published: 05 August 2015

Health Minister Simon Hamilton has commended the work of the District Nursing and Fire service teams on Rathlin Island during a visit today.

The Minister met with Rathlin’s award winning District Nurses, Ann Lywood and Patricia Laverty, who brought Minister Hamilton on a tour of the island, a visit to the treatment room and a meeting with patients who use the 24 hour, seven days a week district nursing service.

Speaking after the visit, the Minister said: “The District Nursing Service on Rathlin Island is a prime example of innovation and excellence and embodies the forward-thinking policies of my Department.

"Firstly it is ‘Transforming Your Care’ in action by keeping patients at home on the island. Secondly it is ‘Making Life Better’ by empowering healthy living on the island and proactively encouraging individuals on the island to take responsibility for a healthy lifestyle and their health.

"I know Ann and Patricia facilitate regular healthy living forums, smoking cessation clinics and exercise classes.”

Minister Hamilton continued: “The District Nursing service on Rathlin Island is an invaluable service to the islanders and I recognise and appreciate the care, commitment and dedication that the Nurses have in delivering high quality patient centred care to the islanders and their families on Rathlin Island.”

During the Minister’s visit to Rathlin Island, he also met with Rathlin’s Fire and Rescue Service. The Minister commended the volunteer firefighters for giving up their time and when required, risking their lives, to tackle fires and other incidents on the island.

The Minister said: “I wish to commend the volunteer firefighters for giving up their time and for risking their lives when required to tackle fires and other incidents on the island. It is reassuring to know that we have such a well trained and capable fire and rescue crew here to protect and serve both the residents and the many tourists who visit the island each year.” 

Notes to editors: 

  1. Fire and rescue cover on Rathlin Island is provided by eleven volunteer firefighters who jointly operate from premises shared with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).
  2. The station was opened on 1 June 2007 and is the first of its kind in the UK between a fire and rescue service and the Coastguard, providing a single, dual-use premises from which operational emergency response by FRS or MCA can be affected in isolation or as a joint response.
  3. Rathlin Island District Nurses Ann Lywood and Patricia Laverty jointly won the N.Ireland RCN Nurse of the Year Public Health Award 2015 for the service they provide on the island.
  4. The nurses are on call 24 hours a day for clinical interventions, attendance at emergency call outs and also there for confidential help and support and advice to the islanders.
  5. Media queries to DHSSPS Press Office on 028 9052 0579, or out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and calls will be returned.

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