Draft Equality Impact Assessment on Belfast Trust Implementation Plan to close Muckamore Abbey Hospital

Closed 30 Apr 2024

Opened 30 Nov 2023


Following the outcome of a public formal consultation, the Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health announced the closure of Muckamore Abbey hospital in July 2023. Belfast Trust is responsible for leading on implementation of this decision. The planned closure date is June 2024, subject to all remaining Muckamore patients having been appropriately resettled in community settings.

This is a draft  Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) of the Trust’s proposed actions to ensure closure of MAH by June 24. This EQIA has considered the information available and has assessed the potential impact on current and future patients, families, carers and staff in terms of equality, good relations and human rights and identified measures to lessen any potential impact of the closure.

The draft EQIA provides the context and rationale for resettlement to improve the lives of people with a learning disability, who are living in an acute hospital setting by providing them with a home in the community and affording them the same rights as everyone else. The paper outlines what the future service model is to support these individuals to live full and meaningful lives in the community.


Why your views matter

The Trust is committed to make every effort over this thirteen-week consultation period to engage as widely as possible with those who use our services, carers and with our staff. The Trust will seek to consult with as many stakeholders including families, carers, and special interest groups and our staff. The Trust encourages as many people as possible to respond and have their voice heard in this public consultation process.  The Trust is consulting from Thursday 30th November until Tuesday 30th April 2024.

The Trust, mindful of its obligations under its Equality Scheme, has and will consider the accessibility and format of each method of consultation to ensure any barriers to the consultation process are removed, for instance, what it could do to best communicate with older people, disabled people, carers.  The Trust wants to ensure that disabled people  and their families and carers can engage in the process.   An easy read of this document has been produced by TILII Translates (a social enterprise initiative engaging adults with learning disabilities to transcribe information into an accessible format).

The Trust is also cognisant of its responsibilities under The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (as amended) i.e., to promote positive attitudes toward disabled people and to encourage participation of disabled people in public life.

The Trust welcomes any comments, which you may have in terms of the Equality Impact Assessment - in terms of equality, good relations, human rights or disability duties.

We aim to make this engagement as inclusive as possible so if you require the questionnaire in alternative formats or in a language other than English please contact Orla Barron on orla.barron@belfasttrust.hscni.net.

Finally, thank you for sharing your views with us.

What happens next

After the formal consultation period closes, the Trust will take time to pay due consideration to all the responses received and will amend or add to its plans, as appropriate


  • Anyone from any background


  • Improvement of health and social care services