Chairman of the Western Trust Gerard Guckian extended his warmest congratulations to Maureen Neely on her much deserved recognition in the Queen's New Year Honours List.  Maureen, a business support officer within the Western Trust’s Emergency Care and Medicine Division based at Altnagelvin Hospital receives the BEM (British Empire Medal) for services to healthcare and to the community in Northern Ireland.

Keeping Well and Warm in Winter

During a cold spell, when temperatures drop for more than a couple of days, older people and those with underlying health problems can be at a higher risk of developing serious illnesses. The Western Trust is advising the public on the importance for people to stay safe and healthy in their own homes.

Western Trust Enjoys Double Success at Healthcare Management Awards

The Western Trust enjoyed recent success at the Institute of Healthcare Management’s annual ceremony, held in Titanic Belfast.  Two of the Western Trust’s staff picked up top awards against strong competition from across Northern Ireland. Brendan Duffy Locality Services Manager for Fermanagh, won the Experienced Manager of the Year category and Dr Feargal McNicholl, Consultant Haematologist and Head of Haematology, won the inaugural Medical Manager of the Year award. 

Improved support available for Carers

Do you provide unpaid care for someone who is a relative, friend or neighbour who has a long term illness, disability, mental health problem or frailty due to age? The Western Trust Carers Support Team is available to carers across Limavady, Londonderry, Strabane, Omagh and Fermanagh. The team is led by Carer Support Coordinator, Cathy Magowan who is pleased to announce the appointment of two new Carer Development Workers, Laura Ritchie and Carmel Corrigan.

South West Acute Hospital Travel Survey

As part of promotion of sustainable modes of travel, DRD Travelwise NI is supporting the Western Trust to review our Travel Plan for the South West Acute Hospital. Travel plans are developed to maximise accessibility to our sites and to encourage sustainable or ‘green’ travel. The Trust has launched a visitor travel survey to collect information about people travelling to the site. The travel survey will help us to better understand the car parking demand and the travel needs of those accessing the South West Acute Hospital.

Public cooperation requested for infection control measures

The Western Trust is asking for the cooperation of the public with increased infection control measures and is requesting people not to visit their relatives at Rectory Field Residential Home, Londonderry.An increase in diarrhoea and vomiting has been experienced among patients at Rectory Field in recent days and the home has been temporarily closed to new admissions and to visitors.

Bee Safe Kids

Bee Safe Kids

An innovative scheme that promotes accident prevention and safety messages to Primary School children took place in the Station centre Omagh between 3rd and 7th December 2012. Over 700 Primary 7 children from 30 schools throughout the Omagh District Council area attended the Bee Safe initiative which is co-ordinated by the Western Trust Health Improvement Department and funded by the PSNI.

Western Trust Staff Celebrated

The sterling work and commitment of Western Trust staff has been celebrated at the Trust’s annual special staff awards ceremony. The fourth Western Trust Staff Recognition Awards were held at the South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen and were presented by the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSPSS), Catherine Daly, the Chairman of the Western Trust, Gerard Guckian and Chief Executive, Elaine Way CBE.

Travel Surveys Launched at the South West Acute Hospital

The Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) is raising awareness of the launch of a travel survey which will be taking place over the coming weeks at the South West Acute Hospital.

£5.43m contracts awarded to prepare the site for the Omagh Enhanced Local Hospital

The Western Trust is pleased to announce the award of two significant works contracts with a combined value of £5.43million to prepare the site for the new Omagh Enhanced Hospital at the grounds of the Tyrone and Fermanagh Hospital, Omagh.

The Western Trust at its December Trust Board meeting today (06 December 2012) paid tribute to the efforts of staff and the emergency services during the recent fire incident at Altnagelvin Hospital.

New pilot fitness programme for Diabetics launched

A new pilot exercise programme, coordinated by the Diabetes Team in the Western Trust for people with Diabetes is underway in Omagh.

Memory Tree of Lights for Those Bereaved by Suicide

The Northwest Bereaved by Suicide Support Group and Roe Valley Bereaved by Suicide Group are holding their annual ‘Memory Tree of Lights’ ceremonies on Sunday 9 December 2012 at 5.30pm at the Foyle Search ad Rescue Headquarters, Victoria Road, Derry and Tuesday 18 December at 7.00pm in the Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre, Limavady supported by the Western  Trust, Be Safe Be Well and The Big Lottery.

NI Chief Nursing Officer Visits South West Acute Hospital

Northern Ireland’s Acting Chief Nursing Officer, Angela McLernon visited the new South West Acute Hospital this week. This was the first time she had visited to meet with nursing and midwifery staff since the opening of the new hospital. 

Altnagelvin Radiotherapy Unit Stormont Briefing

Representatives from the Western Trust provided a briefing at Stormont today to MPs/MLAs on the new £50+million Radiotherapy Unit to be built at Altnagelvin Hospital.  This unit will offer an increased capacity in Northern Ireland for radiotherapy services and will cater for over half a million people living on both sides of the border.

Up-to-date information about the fire incident at Altnagelvin Hospital.

Alcohol Awareness Week 2012

Alcohol Awareness Week (26th – 30th November 2012) will be highlighted throughout the Western Trust Area to increase awareness about alcohol and safer drinking at home. The Foyle, Omagh and Fermanagh Drug and Alcohol Forums, want to raise awareness of alcohol, the guidelines on weekly units of alcohol consumption, and how much we end up drinking at home.

The message is that drinking more than 21 units for a man per week (more than 3-4 units a day) and more than 14 units per week (2-3 units per day) for a woman puts your health at risk. There are 2-2.5 units in a pint of standard beer, 1.5 units in a PUB measure of alcohol and around 9-10 units per bottle of wine.

The Western Trust is asking for the cooperation of the public with increased infection control measures and is asking people not to visit patients in Altnagelvin Hospital if they have been feeling unwell themselves. An increase in vomiting and diarrhoea has been experienced among patients in an Orthopaedic Ward 8 at Altnagelvin Hospital in recent days and as an infection prevention and control measure, the ward is currently closed to admissions. The Trust's Infection Prevention and Control team is continuing to provide advice and increased infection control measures have been taken.

Bowel Cancer Screening is successful, but greater participation needed

The Western Trust is saying that though the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme has been a success, greater participation is still needed. To support awareness of this we are holding two awareness events, in Foyleside Shopping Centre, Londonderry on the 20 November and Erneside Shopping Centre, Enniskillen on the 29 November, where members of the public can find out more from a dedicated information stand manned by health professionals who will be able to give information and advice.

£10.4 million Grangewood opens

Service users and their families who use Western Trust mental health services will benefit from the highest quality care and treatment in one of the most unique, modern and patient centred facilities now available in Northern Ireland following the opening, Grangewood this week. Grangewood is the 30 bed new acute mental health inpatient unit in Londonderry.

Western Trust dispel myths about adoption during National Adoption Week

We are supporting National Adoption Week (5 - 11 November 2012), by highlighting the remarkable impact adoptive families can have on a child’s life. We are also trying to dispel myths about adoption which can cause people to be unsure of what it involves and encourage people to come forward to adopt those children who wait longer for placement – older children, children with disabilities and brothers and sisters.

New Outpatient Appointment Reminder Service Starts this Month

From 19 November 2012, patients attending outpatient appointments at Western Trust Outpatients Departments will get a SMS text or an automated voicecall to their landline, reminding them of their outpatient appointment. Appointment reminders will be conveniently delivered by text message direct to the patient’s mobile phone or if this is not possible the patient will receive an automated voicemail to their landline, one week prior to their appointment.

Your Life After Care

To mark Care Leavers Week, we have been delighted to be involved in the launch of a new website to help young care leavers with their transition to independent living. Developed with the help of care leavers www.yourlifeaftercare.com  offers tips and advice on a range of issues which young adults need to deal with such as health and wellbeing, housing and finances, education, training and employment.

Chargeable Car Parking at South West Acute Hospital Emergency Department

In line with a Trust Board decision made in August 2012, the Western Trust will implement charging for car parking at the Emergency Department at the South West Acute Hospital site from Monday 5 November 2012.

The car park at the Emergency Department has 49 spaces and charging will levied at 70p per hour.  Immediately adjacent to the entrance of the Emergency Department at the 24 hour entrance there is a drop off area to facilitate emergency drop off for patients.

New Challenging Behaviour Service Now Available

The Western Trust is this week officially launching a new Challenging Behaviour Service for older people in the districts of Omagh and Fermanagh. Following positive roll out of this service in the Londonderry, Limavady and Strabane areas, two Specialist Nurse Practitioners have now been employed to work within the Omagh and Fermanagh areas of the Trust. It is also good news for Londonderry, Limavady and Strabane as an additional Specialist Challenging Behaviour Nurse has also been employed to work alongside the established nurse already working in those areas.

Breakthrough Palliative Care Final Journey Conference

The Western Trust marked World Hospice and Palliative Care Day through a "Final Journey" Conference for healthcare professionals from across Tyrone, Londonderry and Fermanagh who work in end of life and palliative care services. The conference was held in partnership with Foyle Hospice and Macmillan Cancer Support.

‘Relax Kids’ running in Limavady Schools

A children’s programme designed to promote self-esteem, enhance self-confidence and create positive thinking is being delivered at primary schools throughout Limavady. ‘Relax Kids’ is a children’s relaxation programme aimed at helping children to feel confident and calm. It originated in the UK in 2001 to support and sustain the mental and emotional development of children.

Our Staff are hands on for ‘Clean Hands are Safe Hands’ - Infection Prevention Week 2012

This year International Infection Prevention week is being celebrated on October 14-20, 2012. To raise awareness our Infection Prevention and Control nurses have been out in force to encourage members of staff, patients and visitors to listen to the message ‘Clean Hands are Safe Hands’.

Omagh people get advice on how to manage long term illnesses

People living with long term illnesses such as diabetes, depression, arthritis and asthma attended an event held in Omagh this week to learn about how best to manage their condition and to find out more about the support available to them. The Long Term Conditions Information Day was attended by people from Omagh and surrounding areas that live with conditions.

Pupils from Limavady High School cast on the stitches for Premature Babies

The Western Trust gratefully acknowledged the work of pupils and staff from Limavady High School who have donated knitted baby garments to the Neonatal Unit at the South West Acute Hospital.

Altnagelvin Sperrin Unit Donation

Mother and son, Elaine and James Catterson from Mountjoy, Omagh are pictured with Grandmother Noelle Graham from Limavady presenting a donation of £1700.10 to Helen Nutt (Western Trust Chemotherapy Nurse) and Caroline Oates (Sperrin Unit Manager) at the Sperrin Unit, Altnagelvin Hospital.

Public cooperation requested for infection control measures

The Trust is asking for the cooperation of the public with increased infection control measures and is requesting people not to visit patients in Altnagelvin Hospital if they have been feeling unwell themselves. An increase in vomiting and diarrhoea has been experienced among patients in Ward 43 Altnagelvin Hospital in recent days and as an infection prevention and control measure, admission to the ward has been restricted to high priority patients only.

Donation to Community Equipment in Fermanagh

Western Trust patients and clients in the Fermanagh area will reap the benefits of new equipment donated by a local family. Helen Finlay, Primary Community Care Co-ordinator with the Western Trust received the donation on behalf of the Trust of a Roma Riser Recliner Chair. This is one of the items of community equipment recently purchased by the Hamilton Family from donations they received in lieu of flowers in memory of the late Richard Hamilton of Tattymacall, Lisbellaw. 

First look at Exciting New Radiotherapy Unit at Altnagelvin Hospital

An event showcasing the new £50m plus Radiotherapy Unit planned for Altnagelvin Hospital was held today 8 October 2012.  The new unit is a unique cross border venture which will provide access to radiotherapy services to over a half a million people living on both sides of the border.

New Translink Bus Service linking South West Acute Hospital and Altnagelvin Hospital

Translink have launched a new pilot bus route in conjunction with Rural Transport Fund for Northern Ireland linking the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen to Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry.

The Western Trust are holding a Remembrance Service in memory of babies who have died following miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal and infant deaths on Sunday 21 October 2012 at 3pm.  It will take place in the lecture theatre at the South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen. The remembrance service provides an opportunity for parents and families to talk to others who have experienced the loss of a baby and to meet again some of the hospital staff who may have shared in that experience.

Trust asks women to “Be Breast Aware”

The Western Trust is asking women in Tyrone, Fermanagh and Londonderry to “Be Breast Aware” during October for breast cancer awareness month. All women irrespective of age will endeavour to look and feel well by taking care of their skin, hair and appearance. Equally being breast aware is part of caring for your body whatever your age. Breasts can be affected by age, pregnancy, the menopause and even the use of hormone replacement therapy. Find out more about two women who have shared their breast cancer stories to encourage others who are going through a similar experience

Adoption & Fostering unveil new website

Over 40 foster carers, kinship carers and adopters and staff came together to see the new regional adoption and fostering website showcased at a relaunch of the Regional Adoption and Fostering Service across Tyrone, Londonderry and Fermanagh.

The Regional Service was originally established to assist the five Trusts with the recruitment and training of foster carers. It has now expanded to become the Regional Adoption and Fostering Service, working with both adoption and fostering teams in all Trusts to recruit, train and support foster carers and adoptive families in Northern Ireland.

Students make Career Connections at Nursing and Midwifery Event

Sixth form and further education students interested in a career in nursing or midwifery gained an insight into the two professions this week at an open evening hosted by the Western Trust. Held at Altnagelvin Area Hospital and the South West College Campus in Omagh, the careers event was attended by over 80 local students, from schools across Londonderry, Strabane, Limavady and Donegal, hoping to study and work towards a career in healthcare.

Aron says thank you

Aron says thank you

We welcomed seven year old Aron Healy and his mum Julie from Drumquin, Co Tyrone to the South West Acute Hospital this week to meet with medical and nursing staff who played a pivotal role in helping him recover from a life threatening incident, when he was involved in a horse riding accident during the Summer holidays.

Children with asthma and parents from across Tyrone, Fermanagh and Londonderry, this week, attended a special family day, organised by the Western Trust, where they learnt vital information on how to manage asthma and take part in a range of fun activities. Asthma is often underestimated and believed by many to be a mild and harmless condition yet it can still be life threatening for some and in Northern Ireland more than 600 children are admitted to hospital every year as a result of their asthma.

Donation to Altnagelvin Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Pictured presenting a cheque for £1,811.50 to staff from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NNICU) at Altnagelvin Hospital is Emma Brolly, Liam Healy and baby Liam. Alongside the monetary donation, Emma and Liam donated equipment, including armchairs for nursing mothers, blankets and a digital camera.

Talking to Children about Tough Issues

We recently launched new materials to help parents support their children through their teenage years. Talking to your Children about Tough Issues (TATI) is a three session workshop for parents aimed at supporting parents and prevents problems as their children move toward adolescence. Developed mainly to prevent alcohol misuse, Talking to your Children about Tough Issues has been running  in Northern Ireland since 2004.

Local students learn what it takes to be a Doctor in the Western Trust

The Western Trust, this month, hosted opening evenings in Altnagelvin and the South West Acute Hospital to give local students an insight to medicine as a career and how best to apply to a medical course. Students were be able to participate in practical workstations and interact with senior doctors and consultants.

Western Trust gets Caloriewise

The Western Trust is getting ‘Caloriewise’ by announcing its participation in the Caloriewise pilot scheme developed by The Food Standards Agency (FSA) in Northern Ireland. Caloriewise aims to encourage consumers to make more informed choices when eating out or on-the-go by displaying calorie information on menus and takeaway food for the first time in Northern Ireland. 

Health Committee Visit South West Acute Hospital

The Western Trust today welcomed representatives of the Northern Ireland Assembly Health Committee on a visit to the South West Acute hospital in Enniskillen.  During the visit the Committee met a range of staff from a number of hospital departments including a presentation from Dr Ian Crawford and Dr Campbell Brown, Consultants in Emergency Care. 

Appointment of Executive Director of Social Work / Director of Women & Childrens Services

The Western Trust is pleased to advise that Mr Kieran Downey has been appointed to the post of Executive Director of Social Work / Director of Women and Children's Services. Kieran has worked in the Health Service for 30 years and was Assistant Director of Children’s Mental Health and Disability with the Western Trust since April 2007.

The Women and Children’s Directorate brings together a comprehensive range of Acute and Community, Health and Social Care Services. The Directorate has three sub directorates: Family Support; Healthcare; and Children’s Mental Health and Disability Services. Sub-directorates work together to develop and deliver services in the community and in a hospital setting.

Walking for Health


The Western Trust Health Improvement Department are promoting Walking for Health, a regional initiative supported by the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland. Walking for Health aims to encourage people who are inactive to participate in local led health walks in order to increase their levels of physical activity and benefit their physical and mental health and wellbeing.

The Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust), this week, hosted an opening evening which was devoted to understanding medicine as a career and how best to apply to a medical course.

In the Garden Art Donation

Pictured recently Genna Logue, the 20 year old Medical student from Eglinton, accompanied by proud mum Veronica, presents her stunning ‘In the Garden’ themed painting to Anne Love, Volunteer Services Manager and Wendy Doherty, Volunteers Administrator as a symbol of thanks for her volunteering experience with the Western Trust.

Meet and Greet treat for patients and visitors at the South West Acute Hospital

Volunteers are providing a friendly welcome as they meet and greet patients and visitors at the South West Acute Hospital.

Local events to promote Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

We have planned a series of events to mark both World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September 2012) and World Mental Health Day (10 October 2012). The events will bring together a range of people from the community, voluntary and statutory sectors who are committed to the promotion of positive mental health and the prevention of suicide in our community. 

Marking World Suicide Prevention Day

People involved in suicide prevention and providing mental health and wellbeing services across the Western Trust area attended a seminar this week on global suicide prevention and postvention. The seminar marked the lead up to World Suicide Prevention Day (10th September) and gave 120 local health professionals and community and voluntary workers an opportunity to hear from two world renowned suicide prevention experts, Dr Jerry Reed and Ms Jill Fisher.

Putting Men’s Health on the Agenda

Dr Ian Banks will be Putting Men's Health on the Agenda at a conference on 14 November 2012 from 9.30am - 12.30pm at the Waterfoot Hotel, L/Derry. This event will raise the profile of men’s health issues in the Western Trust area. It will highlight key facts and statistics on men’s health, explore ‘what works’ with men and give opportunities to comment on men’s health issues in the west.

Launch of Internet Safety Resource for Young People in Care

Most people use a computer and mobile phone these days. Using these devices can be fun and let you keep in touch with friends and family. But have you ever thought about what can go wrong? Children and young people, especially those in care, can be particularly vulnerable and this new resource outlines what they can do to keep safe online. We have launched a new ‘Be Internet Safe’ booklet for children and young people in care.

Turning the Curve Celebration

People with autism and their families attended a special event recently to mark their participation in a unique cross border autism project called ‘Turning the Curve.’ In total 250 people attended from counties Tyrone, Fermanagh and Derry/Londonderry and also from across the wider border region. The Turning the Curve project has been assisting young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Western Trust area.

Volunteers Spruce up Garden

Six sporting over 50’s donned their gardening gloves and rolled up their sleeves to volunteer their time ‘sprucing’ up the garden area at the Western Trust’s Spruce House at Altnagelvin, on Thursday 9th August 2012.

The Western Trust has been commended for work to ensure patients do not have to share wards with others of the opposite gender. A report issued by the Regulatory and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) looked at all five Health and Social Care Trusts, how each Trust manages patient care in mixed gender accommodation and how the patient experience can be improved.

International Perspectives on Suicide Prevention and Postvention

As part of events to mark World Suicide Prevention Day this year the Western Trust has invited two international keynote speakers: Ms Jill Fisher and Dr Jerry Reed to present on international perspectives and stategies on suicide prevention and postvention. Both are international experts in the field of suicidology and this event will be of interest to anyone working in the fields of suicide prevention and postvention in a range of settings.

Photography Competition: celebrate positive mental health

The Western Trust Health Improvement Department is encouraging applications from budding local photographers to enter our first ever photography competition to mark World Mental Health Day, 10th October 2012 on the theme “Celebrate Positive Mental Health.”

Positive Mental Health is how we think, feel and relate to ourselves and others and how we interpret the world around us. Having good Mental Health affects our capacity to manage, communicate, and form and sustain relationships. It also affects our ability to cope with change and major life events such as the birth of a new baby, bereavement, job loss or divorce. Anyone can suffer from mental health issues. In fact, statistics show that one in four people in Northern Ireland will experience Mental Health problems at some point in their lives.

Get to know Midwife Tracey McEvoy

Tracey McEvoy Western Trust Staff Midwife based in the South West Acute Hospital delivered the first baby at the new South West Acute Hospital on 21 June 2012 shares a bit about her life as a health professional.

Additional Car Parking for South West Acute Hospital

The Trust will increase car parking spaces at the South West Acute Hospital site. At the Trust Board meeting on Thursday 2 August car parking arrangements at the new hospital were considered. A review of car parking was undertaken given the demand for parking spaces at the hospital since it opened on 21 June 2012.  Trust Board considered in detail the outcome of the review and have decided actions, including creating additional spaces and delay introducing car parking charges.

Creche at South West Acute Hospital Open Day

Are you looking for childcare near the South West Acute Hospital?

The 'Toddle in 2' Creche based on the South West Acute Hospital is holding an open day on Saturday 4th August 2012 from 12noon - 3pm.

Public cooperation requested for infection control measures

The Trust has reopened the Rehabilitation Ward at the Tyrone County Hospital to phased admissions after a recent increase in diarrhoea and vomiting among patients and staff. The Trust's Infection Prevention and Control team is continuing to provide advice and infection control measures remain in place. The public has an important role to play by not visiting the hospital if they are feeling unwell, particularly if they have diarrhoea and/or vomiting.

Investing in Volunteers

The Western Trust is the first health Trust in Northern Ireland to receive a Volunteer Now ‘Investing in Volunteers Award’. The coveted award recognises the Trust’s longstanding and positive promotion of volunteering and support to volunteers.

Beware of Bogus Callers

Most people who call to your home will be genuine but somtimes somone may turn up unannounced with the intention of tricking you to let them into your home. These are bogus callers.

Summer Activities take place for young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Western Trust area

Families in the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) area with young people between the ages of 14 to 19 years old have received support, as the summer holidays start, through a number of structured summer activities.

Opening the Door to Change in the North West - Change a Little Change a Lot Accessibility Awards Announced

A significant move towards accessibility for all, takes a first step this month with the official launch of the inaugural Change a Little, Change a Lot Accessibility Awards.

Local artistic talent on display at the new South West Acute Hospital

Patients, visitors and staff are benefiting from the beautiful ceramic panels and artwork produced by local artists and students which are on display at the Western Trust’s new South West Acute Hospital.

McGuinness praises innovative clinical research centre

The deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MP, MLA recently visited the Clinical Translational Research and Innovation Centre (C-TRIC) at Altnagelvin Hospital, Derry.

Health Trust officials visit local Lifeline helpline office

Several representatives from the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust), led by Trevor Millar, Director of Adult Mental Health and Disability, recently visited the Lifeline Therapy Centre in Strand Road to get first-hand information on the Lifeline service and the contribution that the local team makes to this important regional service.

Trust nurses commended for improving patient safety

The work of a Western Trust nurse with respiratory patients has been recognised at the sixteenth annual Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Nurse of the Year Awards.

Her Majesty opens the South West Acute Hospital

Health Minister Edwin Poots welcomed Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh to the official opening of the new state-of-the-art South West Acute Hospital on Thursday 26 June 2012.

Anne thanks volunteers who assisted with new hospital move

The Western Trust is hugely appreciative of the contribution made by many volunteers who helped out with the move from the Erne Hospital to the new South West Acute Hospital.  More than 100  local people of all ages (16 years +) gave up of their time to assist.

Trust Celebrates Wheely Successful Bike Week

The Trust marked annual Bike Week by encouraging staff, clients, patients and members of the public to ‘Get a Bike, Get Active’.

Thursday 21 June 2012 was a momentus day for the Western Trust and staff of the Erne Hospital and the climax of 7 years of planning and working towards opeing the new South West Acute Hospital.

In the space of around 7 hours, 78 patients were successfully re-located from the Erne Hospital to single ensuite rooms in the spectacular new South West Acute Hospital. The move commenced just before 7am and involved a dedicated fleet of ambulances and their crew; nursing, medical and support staff; and volunteers.

History is made as New Hospital opens to Patients

History was made today as Northern Ireland’s newest major acute hospital (the South West Acute Hospital) opened its doors to patients for the first time. The new £276million hospital project started in 2006 and took six years to complete from planning to building to handover.  It was completed on time and within budget.

South West Acute Hospital Shuttlebus

A new shuttle bus service will commence on Friday 22 June 2012, provided by Translink in partnership with the Western Trust, to connect public transport to the new South West Acute Hospital.

In Sickness and In Health - 2012 Annual Carers Week

Carers from across the Western Trust took time out of their caring responsibilities last week to enjoy a welcome break. Special events entitled ‘In sickness and In health’ were held at Lusty Beg, Fermanagh and the Whitehorse Hotel, Londonderry to mark annual Carers Week 2012.

First patient seen at the new hospital

The Western Trust Radiology Department were delighted to welcome the very first patient to be seen at the new state of the art South West Acute Hospital last week. Members of the public who required plain film x-rays were referred for x-ray to the new Radiology department and were the first patients to receive clinical interventions in the new hospital.

Queen's Birthday Honours List

Elaine Way Chief Executive of the Western Trust commented at the weekend at the announcement of being awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen's Birthday Honours: "I am both humbled and delighted to receive this honour. It is a privilege to work in health and social care, and I am particularly proud to have had the opportunity to serve in the West for over 30 years. Throughout my career I have worked closely with and been supported by committed staff at all levels, who share the aim of improving services for patients, clients and the public. I believe that this honour recognises all our efforts, and I therefore wish to share this accolade with them."

Get on your bike to celebrate Bike Week

To mark bike week (16-24 June 2012) the Western Trust Health Improvement Team is encouraging everyone to get on your bike! The Trust is hosting a number for staff and the public to encourage you to get on your bike as part of their overall health and well-being agenda.

Breastfeeding Awareness Week Events

The Western Trust is supporting a range of activities throughout the Western area to promote Breastfeeding Awareness Week (24 – 30 June 2012) and to highlight the importance of breastfeeding as the best possible way to feed your baby.

Cardiology Event in the Heart of the South West Acute Hospital

Cardiac patients across the Western Trust area, Northern Ireland and further afield are to benefit from the 28th anniversary Cardiology Update which is the first major event for clinicians to be held in the New South West Acute Hospital Enniskillen, this week, in advance of the hospital opening on 21 June 2012.

Methodist Church in Ireland visit the new South West Acute Hospital

Leaders from the Methodist Church in Ireland visited the new South West Acute Hospital during their annual conference weekend hosted in Enniskillen recently.

 Car parking at the South West Acute Hospital

The Western Trust Board members considered the proposal for car parking at the South West Acute Hospital on meeting on Wednesday 13 June 2012.

Trust Social Worker scoops prestigious award

Western Trust Social Worker Julie Armstrong has been awarded the Children’s Services Individual Award at the Northern Ireland Social Care Awards last week. Julie is part of the 16+ Pathway Team based in Omagh and has been working as a social worker for over 20 years.


Excitement Grows as Opening of Hospital Draws Nearer

With only one week to go to the opening of the new South West Acute Hospital and the excitement is building.  Members of the local community had the opportunity for the very first time this week to view what has been described as ‘one of Europe’s most modern hospitals’. The new Western Trust hospital will open its doors to patients on the 21 June 2012 at 8am.

Parents in the west want more help when it comes to weaning their infants. That is the message from a survey undertaken by the Western Trust's Community Food and Nutrition Team, the results of which are to be shared at a “Sharing a Solid Start” Networking Session on Weaning held in Londonderry this week.

Are you a Carer? The Western Trust invites you to take some me time during Carer’s Week 2012

The Western Health and Social Care Trust are inviting carers to take some time to themselves this Carer’s Week through a series of events being held across the Trust.

Fostering Fire Engine Tour of the West

The fire engine made several stops in the West during Fostering Fortnight including Omagh, where the public were encouraged to come out and show their support and find out more about fostering.

CHOICE: New diabetes services for children and young people

With Diabetes Week approaching (10-16 June 2012), a new diabetes education and support programme is proving to be a great success with children and young people who have diabetes in the Western Trust area. The CHOICE programme is helping families and children to manage their diabetes more effectively.

Michael Finnegan gets ready for Olympic Torch relay

21-year-old Derry man Michael Finnegan proudly showing his confirmation letter ahead of the Olympic Torch Relay event he will be running in this weekend.  Michael will travel to Portrush on Sunday to take part in the Olympic Torch Relay, touring Northern Ireland from 3 to 7 June visiting over 60 towns and villages.

Lift off at new South West Acute Hospital

There was ‘lift off’ at the Western Trust new South West Acute Hospital as the helipad was tested. An Emergency Helicopter simulation training exercise took place at the new hospital to familiarise medical, nursing, ambulance and support services staff on the operational procedures in the event of an emergency.

The Western Local Adult Safeguarding Partnership (LASP) is raising the awareness of safeguarding our Vulnerable Adults  by organising awareness events across the Western area to coincide with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on 15 June 2012.

Mens Health Week 2012

To mark Men's Health Week 2012, the Trust has coordinated and is supporting a series of focused events and activities to highlight health opportunities specific for men. Activities including health drop in sessions for trust staff, mens health screening and a 'Days Day' event.

Dr Jim Kelly receives Prestigious President’s Medal for outstanding service to Older People

A senior doctor in the Western Trust has been honoured for his outstanding service to older people. Dr Jim Kelly, a Consultant Geriatrician who is based at the Erne Hospital, Enniskillen has been awarded the prestigious British Geriatrics Society (BGS) President’s medal. This medal is awarded to an individual member who has made an outstanding contribution to the aims of the BGS, which is to promote the health and healthcare of older people.

COOK-IT on the menu for local Autism group

Cooking healthy meals and safe food preparation was on the menu recently for a bunch of local teenagers with Autism.  The young people, from the Omagh and Fermanagh areas, successfully completed the six week ‘Cook-It’ programme designed to give a better understanding of food hygiene, nutrition and how to enhance independent living skills.

Your Heart in Your Hands

The Cardiac Assessment Team from Altnagelvin this week hosted an information stand at the front entrance to raise awareness about heart rhythm disorders. Clinical Physiologists and Cardiographers were providing information to staff and the public about heart rhythm disorders and simple thing anyone can do to check if they have symptoms.

Trust accept ‘keys’ to new South West Acute Hospital

The Western Trust is delighted to accept the keys to the new £276m South West Acute Hospital. Northern Ireland Health Care Group (NIHG) completed their three year construction programme this week and have formally handed the building over to the Western Trust.

Avalon House Officially Opened

Health Minister Edwin Poots today officially opened Avalon House in Omagh, a new short break facility for children with disabilities, autism and complex needs.

Foster carers and social workers from the five Health and Social CareTrusts will take to the roads in a novelty fire engine this Foster Care Fortnight (14-27 May 2012) to emphasise how a regional shortage of foster carers is reaching emergency levels.

Western Trust Urges Public to Act FAST

Acting FAST is critical when you suspect someone is having a stroke. This is the message from the Western Trust as we urge the public to be aware of the common signs associated with the illness.

Supporting Children with Learning Disability

The Western Trust and Belfast Trust have helped to bring the Annual Child and Adolescent Learning Disability Psychiatric Network (CALDPN) conference to Northern Ireland for the first time.

The conference took place on 10 -11 May 2012, in Riddell Hall in Belfast with over 70 clinical experts attending from across the United Kingdom - all in agreement that children with learning disability need access to specialist services.

The Western Trust is offering Me Unltd's award winning 8 week ‘It’s All About Me’ personal development programme for carers of individuals with of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Starting in May, the programme will focus on carers health and wellbeing following the "Me Time" group events programme.

EMERGENCY! Foster Carers Urgently Needed

More foster families are urgently needed to provide safe, stable and nurturing homes for vulnerable children and young people across Northern Ireland.

Launch of Clean Hands - Safe Hands

Four simple words ‘Clean Hands - Safe Hands’ is the message from the Western Trust today, 5 May 2012, as a new initiative is unveiled at Altnagelvin hospital to encourage staff, patients and visitors to practice good hand hygiene.

50 days to opening of the South West Acute Hospital

With only 50 days to go to the opening of the new South West Acute Hospital on 21 June 2012 Western Trust staff helped launch 50 helium balloons outside the main entrance to the Erne Hospital in celebration.

The Western Trust today (2 May 2012) welcomed the publication of the Phase Two of RQIA Independent Review of Reporting Arrangements for Radiological Investigations report.

Get Brain Injury Aware

Brain injuries are increasing each year across Northern Ireland. It can happen in seconds but the effects last a lifetime. In response to this, the Western Trust is running local events during Action for Brain Injury Week (14 May -  20 May 2012), a week set aside for brain injury awareness.

The Western Trust’s annual Remembrance Service in memory of babies who have died following a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal and infant deaths will be held this year on Sunday 13 May 2012 at 3pm and will take place at the MDEC Building in the large lecture theatre at Altnagelvin Area Hospital.

Western Trust Celebrates Foster Carers as local heroes

Foster carers from across the Western Trust area have been praised for their invaluable service to children and young people during a Celebration for Foster Carers Awards Ceremony.

The Western Trust can confirm that a number of residents at Seymour Gardens Care Home, Londonderry are currently being treated for flu-like illness. The Trust has informed the families of the residents and is discouraging all visiting at this stage.

We Asked, You Said, We Will - Involving You

Having your say when it comes to your healthcare is important to the future planning and delivery of local healthcare services. This was the message this week at the launch of the Western Trust’s three year Personal and Public Involvement (PPI) Strategy.

Donation of two heart monitors at Tyrone County Hospital

The Western Trust's Cardiac Assessment Unit (CAU) in Tyrone County Hospital, Omagh has received a substantial donation of two beside heart monitors from Marks and Spencer Omagh store in affiliation with The Children’s Heartbeat Trust.

Service of Thanksgiving & Celebration at the Erne Hospital

A service of thanksgiving and celebration organised by the Hospital Chaplaincy Team and Western Trust to mark the life of the Erne Hospital was held on Sunday 22 April 2012. The service provided an opportunity to reflect on the commitment and dedication of staff past and present in providing care to patients and their relatives over the past fifty years.

Your Guide to the New South West Acute Hospital

The Trust has confirmed that plans remain on track for the opening of the new South West Acute Hospital on the 21 June 2012. To mark this significant event, we have launched a public information guide on the new South West Acute Hospital. Nearly 64,000 residential homes and businesses in the Fermanagh and Tyrone areas will receive a copy of the guide this week.

‘Look after Your Mental Health’ during Mental Health Action Week

The Trust is marking Mental Health Action Week 2012 (4 - 10 April 2012), through the official launch of the ‘Look after Your Mental Health’ poster and pen.

The messages in the resources remind us that we all need to take a moment to think about our own mental health and take active steps to nurture our mental health.

Trust gets creative to celebrate World Autism Day

The Western Trust marked World Autism Day this year by holding an art competition to showcase the creativity of young people with autism and related conditions. The competition project, ‘my special interest’, was open to children and young people aged three to 19 living in the Western Trust area, who are formally diagnosed with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

£800,000 MRI Scanner arrives at the South West Acute Hospital

Western Trust’s commitment to delivering a high quality service to patients is highlighted this week with the arrival of a new £800,000 MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) Scanner at the new South West Acute Hospital.

Young people from Derry have come together to showcase their creative skills by designing and painting a mural to mark World Autism Awareness Day. It is hoped that the colourful and vibrant mural, which will be attached to the Derry Corner, will help increase local awareness of Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

Poots see at first hand best practice in health during a visit to Londonderry

Seeing at first hand models of health and social care that put individuals and families first was a key aspect of a visit to Londonderry made today by Health Minister Edwin Poots.

During his visit Minister Poots saw the site of the next phase of the Altnagelvin re-development plan. Phase 5.1 will include six new 24 single bedded wards to replace outdated wards in the Tower block.

McCausland and Poots open new residential facility for people with learning disabilities

Social Development Minister, Nelson McCausland and Health Minister, Edwin Poots have officially opened a new residential unit in Londonderry for adults with a learning disability.

The £3.3m Ralphs Close scheme provides purpose built accommodation for 16 Western Trust patients who previously lived in Mourne House, Stradreagh Hospital.  The closure of Mourne House brought an end to the many years of care of people with a learning disability within Stradreagh Hospital.

Western Trust asks service users-

Service users and carers have been offered a greater say on the future provision of Primary Care and Older Peoples Services across the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) area through a series of service user workshops held in Londonderry, Tyrone and Fermanagh.

Erne Hospital launches Queens University Teaching Status

The quality and high standard of education provided for medical students at the Western Trust has been recognised with the launch of Queen’s University Teaching Status at the Erne Hospital, Enniskillen.

 Western Trust Training Highlights Adult safeguarding

The Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) has this week been involved in an innovative way of educating staff about adult safeguarding through the Western Local Adult Safeguarding Partnership (LASP).

 ‘Take the leap’ with the Western Trust on No Smoking Day

This year the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) are encouraging people to “take the leap” and break the habit on Non Smoking Day.

 100 days to opening of the new South West Acute Hospital

With only 100 days to go excitement is building to the opening of the new £276m South West Acute Hospital on 21 June 2012.

Local Woman Appointed to Radiotherapy Unit Manager

The Western Trust has announced the recent appointment of Una Cardin as Radiotherapy Unit Manager. Una who has been working in Cancer Services in the West most of her career, and is a Foyle area local, is to head up the work on the future development of the new £50 million Radiotherapy Unit at Altnagelvin Hospital, which is to be complete by 2016.

No butts about it, Trust Stop Smoking Team win again.

The Western Health and Social Care Trust’s (Western Trust) service for helping smokers to quit has enjoyed success for a second year running at the Northern Ireland Healthcare Awards.

Major enabling works contract awarded for the Omagh Hospital Complex

The Western Trust today announced that Fox Contracts (Omagh) has successfully secured a major contract to widen the Donaghanie Road, and create the new entrance layout to the facility, as part of the Omagh Hospital Complex enabling works programme. 

Pre-Pregnancy Clinics Launched for Women with diabetes


The Western Health and Social Care Trust in partnership with Co-operation and Working Together (CAWT) have recently launched a new clinic service for those women with diabetes that are planning a pregnancy. The clinic service is part of a cross border diabetes project funded under the European Union’s INTERREG IVA programme.

700 attend as Infant Mental Health remains a Top Priority for Western Trust

The Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) in partnership with the Public Health Agency (PHA) this week has firmly marked infant mental health as one of its top priorities at a series of seminars and marks its intention to ensure all infants have the best possible start in life.

Benbradagh clients to take to the Catwalk for Charity Fashion Show

Clients from Benbradagh Day Centre, Limavady are looking forward to participating in a Charity Fashion Show this coming weekend.  The show is being hosted by BeCattura, a new exciting business venture created by local girls Bronagh Deehan and Mary Mc Quillan.  It will take place at the Tower Hotel, Londonderry this Saturday evening (25 February) at 8pm.

Western Trust welcomes ‘Piano Man’ with donation

Music will soon be benefiting patients and clients across of a number of Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) wards and facilities and brightening up their day.

Young people make a difference...Vote for us!

The Western Health and Social Care Trust’s Student Enrichment Programme has reached the finals of the Impact2012 Youth, Sustainability and Environmental Awards .

You can vote for the programme by texting "IMPACT2012 WHSCT" to 66101.

Altnagelvin’s Breast Screening Unit Celebrates the Gift of Art

The Breast Screening Unit at Altnagelvin Area Hospital is celebrating the kind donation of 40 pieces of beautiful art. The artwork was gifted by collaboration of artists and has taken pride of place along the walls and corridors at the screening unit, providing a more relaxing and warm environment for the women who use the service.

FRESH attitude to healthy lifestyles for local young people

FRESH (food, relaxation, exercise, self-esteem and health) is a 12 week healthy lifestyle programme delivered by the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) in partnership with Omagh District Council and is funded by the Public Health Agency (PHA).

Healthy Heart Valentine’s Day Tea Dance

Enniskillen Neighbourhood Renewal in partnership with Omagh Neighbourhood Renewal recently hosted a ‘Healthy Heart’ Valentine's Day tea dance. The event was supported by the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) and funded through the Department for Social Development’s Neighbourhood Renewal Investment Fund.

Tremendous Boost for Health in the West

Today’s announcement by the Northern Ireland Executive will significantly benefit patients accessing health and social care services in the Western Health and Social Care Trust area. 

Hope and Healing Conference


A ‘Hope and Healing’ conference for people bereaved by suicide and for those who support people bereaved by suicide will take place on Saturday 18 February 2012 at the Lough Erne Hotel, Enniskillen.

Western Trust Equality Scheme Gains Approval

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland has given its approval to the Western Health and Social Care Trust’s (Western Trust) Equality Scheme which details how the Trust promotes equality of opportunity and good relations.

Clinical Lead appointed for the new Omagh Hospital

The Western Trust has appointed, Dr Paul McGlinchey as the Clinical Lead for the new Omagh Hospital.  Dr McGlinchey, is a native of Omagh and a Consultant Cardiologist with the Western Trust.

As a precautionary measure, a water sampling and tap replacement programme is underway in all neonatal units in Northern Ireland. PHA is publishing water sample results for all Trusts as and when confirmed.  Water sample results for the Western Trust show that Pseudomonas has been detected in a small number of water outlets in the neonatal unit at Altnagelvin. As in all neonatal units, including Altnagelvin, steps had already been taken to ensure that babies are not coming into contact with the water supply.

It's time for me....... for a change.

Women and men faced with the demands of caring for a loved one do not usually have the time, energy or opportunity to think about themselves. But over the past year and a half a range of unique personal development programmes funded by the Public Health Agency (PHA) in conjunction with the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust), has turned this on its head for 106 female carers and 30 male carers from Fermanagh, Omagh, Strabane and Derry/Londonderry.

Minister Poots 'hugely impressed' with new South West Acute Hospital

Health Minister Edwin Poots today inspected the ongoing construction of Northern Ireland’s new state-of-the-art hospital and saw for himself how patient care will be delivered using the very latest technology.

New jobs a vital boost to the local economy

Health Minister, Edwin Poots today on his first visit to the new South West Acute Hospital, attended a job fair hosted by the Western Health and Social Care Trust in partnership with the Department of Employment and Learning where 100 new jobs are on offer in the new hospital which opens in June 2012. 

The Trust confirms, as it did in December 2011, that there was infection caused by pseudomonas in early December 2011 at Altnagelvin Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

100 New Support Services Jobs for the West Announced

The Western Trust have brought some welcome news to the local economy this month with the announcement that approximately 100 new Support Services jobs will be created at the new acute hospital for the South West, as the opening date of 22 June 2012 draws nearer.

Trust Enjoy Success at Quality Awards

The Western Health and Social Care Trust have recently enjoyed huge success at the Institute of Healthcare Management’s annual Quality Awards Ceremony, held in the Slieve Donard Hotel, Co. Down. The awards recognise those healthcare professionals that have actively enhanced or improved health and care management standards.

Preventing Blindness at the Tyrone County Hospital

The introduction of the Wet Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) service at Tyrone County Hospital is proving to be a real success.  This service which was expanded by the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) to the Tyrone County Hospital site commenced in October 2011 and is an ophthalmology service which helps to prevent blindness in older people.

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