Tyrone County Hospital’s Renal Unit Celebrates 25th Anniversary

The Renal Unit at the Tyrone County Hospital recently celebrated their 25 Anniversary since opening in November 1989.  To mark this special occasion the unit held their combined annual patients and staff Christmas party night at the Manor House Hotel, Killadeas.

Refurbishment Programme for Altnagelvin Hospital's Emergency Department

Altnagelvin Hospital’s Emergency Department will undergo an interim refurbishment programme over the coming months.  The planned works are due to commence on Monday 5 January 2015 at a cost of £338,000. 


Prince’s Trust Volunteers help brighten up Avalon House Respite Centre

Prince’s Trust volunteers from the South West College, Omagh have helped to brighten up Avalon House Respite Centre in Omagh by painting beautiful murals of cartoon characters on the internal walls. The students have also helped to transform the garden area and this has been well received by the children, parents and staff.

Lakeview Recreational Garden Officially Open

The Trust officially opened a beautiful recreational garden at Lakeview Hospital, Londonderry this week. Lakeview Hospital was successful in securing funding through the DHSSPS Health Estates Investment Group to develop an outdoor, safe enclosed recreational and activity area for adults with a learning disability. This outdoor activity area will allow health and social care staff to support both individuals and their carers to engage with and promote programmes of physical activity.

The Western Trust has today confirmed that a contract has been awarded to McLaughlin and Harvey Ltd for the construction of a multi storey car park at Altnagelvin Hospital. At a value of £4.4m, construction works will begin in December 2014 with the aim of completion by the end of August 2015.

Celebrating 25 Years of Creggan Community Spirit

Creggan Day Centre reached its 25th anniversary recently and to mark this major milestone, members of the local community, staff and management gathered together for a morning of celebration, pampering, light entertainment and reminiscing.

 Approval for £5 million major equipment  linked to new Radiotherapy Unit

Trust Board approves £5 million worth of capital equipment linked to Radiotherapy Unit.

Ways to keep fit in pregnancy

Some simple tips and suggestions of ways you can keep fit during pregnancy...

The Trust is delighted to support a new choir for adults with breathing difficulties. The new ‘Warbling Wheezers’ Choir has recently been set up and meet at the Millennium Forum, Derry/Londonderry every second Tuesday night at 7.30pm. New members with an underlying lung condition – male and female are very welcome to join! The next meeting is on Tuesday 2 December 2014.

Smoke was reported coming from a ‘bed pan washer’ in Ward 5 at Altnagelvin Hospital this morning. 21 patients were safely transferred from the ward and have been resettled elsewhere within the hospital. It is envisaged that the ward will return to normal business later today.

A Day of Celebration for Western Trust Staff

Health and social care staff from across the Western Trust were recognised today for their dedication and professionalism in making a difference to the health and lives of thousands of people living in the western area, at the Trust’s Staff Recognition Awards.

Living With and Beyond Prostate Cancer

The Trust recently held a ‘Living with and Beyond Prostate Cancer’ event in Altnagelvin Hospital.  The first of its kind event was designed specifically for men who were diagnosed in the past year with prostate cancer and their family members.

Memory Tree of Lights for Those Bereaved by Suicide

Local Bereaved by Suicide Groups are holding their annual Memory Tree of Lights ceremonies during December supported by the Western Trust.  This event is held to remember loved ones lost to suicide and to support family and friends during the holiday season, which can be an especially difficult time. 

Stop Pressure Ulcer Day 2014

This year the Trust is supporting the worldwide Stop Pressure Ulcer Day and encouraging awareness about pressure ulcers and highlighting the work of our Tissue Viability Team.

Supporting World Prematurity Day 2014

Neonatal nurses at Altnagelvin Hospital’s Neonatal Unit are raising awareness of World Prematurity Day 2014, hosting an information stand at the main entrance to Altnagelvin Hospital, Derry/Londonderry.

European Antibiotic Awareness Day 2014

European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) is an awareness initiative aimed at encouraging responsible use of antibiotics. To mark EAAD this year our Microbiology and Pharmacy Departments have set a challenge for our wards to encourage more prudent use of antibiotics. There are simple messages that you can help share too...

2013/14 Annual Quality Report Launched

This week the Western Trust officially launched its 2nd Annual Quality Report. The 2013/14 report contains a wide range of information about how our services are measured against regionally set quality and performance indicators. The report will provide the public with more information and give assurances on the quality and safety of services.

Palliative Care and Rehab Wards at Tyrone County Hospital Omagh

Alan Corry Finn, Director of Primary Care and Older People’s Services, moved today to reassure service users, staff and the wider community about the future of palliative care services in Omagh.

AHPS celebrated at Advancing Healthcare Awards

A number of Allied Health Professionals from the Western Trust were awarded and acknowledged at the recent Advancing Health (AHP) Awards: Fiona Keogh, Orthoptic Assistant accepted the award for Outstanding Achievement by a Support Worker on behalf of the Western Trust Orthoptic Assistants. One of three regional winners Sheryl Jenkins, Speech and Language Therapist was presented with the Rising Star Award. And Physiotherapists Vicki Quinn and Seamus Doherty were finalists in the Leckey Award for maximinising resources using evidence-based practice (maximising resources for success).

Expert Seminar on Supporting Children in the Early Years

The Western Trust in partnership with the Public Health Agency (PHA) recently welcomed Infant Mental Health specialist, George Hosking, OBE, of WAVE Trust, London to share his expertise in child development, to practitioners from across statutory, community and voluntary sector. Infant Mental Health is the recognition that a baby’s early years, from conception to three years, are deeply significant as a baby’s brain is developing every minute of every day. Life experiences during these first few years directly relate to how the baby’s mental and emotional health will develop into adolescence and adulthood.

Radiography is the centre around which the rest of medicine evolves

In autumn 2016 the Western Trust will open the second Radiotherapy Department in Northern Ireland at its Altnagelvin Hospital Site. work is well underway for the delivery of this service. The recruitment of staff for the unit commenced in 2012 and the construction began a few months ago. Tomorrow (Saturday 8 November) is World Radiology Day. Having effective medical imaging and oncology teams are essential to the continuing delivery of safe and quality modern healthcare. Together as part of multidisciplinary teams they work to drive up standards of care, to meet their patients’ needs and to infinitely reduce waiting lists.

Today the Trust announced its savings plans for the remainder of the 2014/15 financial year following the Minister’s statement on the health and social care budget. These savings will be implemented between November 2014 and March 2015. These savings are based on the principle of supporting priority patient and client care and the maintenance of essential services, and are being delivered through strict controls on staff recruitment, travel, training and education, and bringing budgets back into line with funded levels.

New service launched to help families with inherited risk of heart disease

The Western Trust, in partnership with the Public Health Agency has launched a new service to identify people at risk from a symptomless genetic disorder that increases a person’s chance of early heart disease and premature death. About one in 500 people has Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH), an inherited condition that means their cholesterol levels are higher than normal from birth.

From Monday 3 November 2014 a central point of referral for all adult safeguarding will be established. The new Adult Protection Trustwide Gateway team will be the first point of contact for initial assessment and decision making.

Launch of Potentially Lifesaving Oxygen Alert Bracelets

The Western Trust, in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) have introduced potentially lifesaving oxygen alert medical bracelets to be worn by patients with known Type 2 Respiratory failure. It is estimated that 2% of the population have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and type 2 Respiratory failure can occur in some patients with COPD. Type 2 Respiratory Failure occurs when the patient’s oxygen level is low and the carbon dioxide level is higher than normal.

Health Minister, Jim Wells today announced the approval of a business case for a new 18 bedded recovery and rehabilitation unit in Omagh. The £3.5m unit located on the Drumnakilly Road, Omagh, will provide support to people who have difficulty sustaining community placements due to severe and enduring mental illness and related difficulties. The unit will consist of six intensive support and rehabilitation beds and 12 self-contained flats to provide transition for service users who require higher levels of support rather than care as they progress along their road to recovery and independence.

Trust announces Cross Border Collaboration in Medical Education

The Western Trust in partnership with Queen’s University Belfast and the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, recently acknowledged cross border collaboration and excellence in medical education at the South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen. The South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen is the only hospital in Northern Ireland to offer Consultant led teaching with medical student placements from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Since 2012, students from both Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RSCI) have been accessing undergraduate medical education in the state of the art South West Acute Hospital, under the guidance of a dedicated team of medical Consultants within the Trust.

The Society of Radiographers has indicated that members will be participating in a week of industrial action beginning on 20 October 2014.  There will be a four hour stoppage on Monday 20 October from 9.00am to 1.00 pm. Therefore a limited range of radiology services will be available to patients. During this time urgent and emergency examinations will still be carried out.

Wells marks commencement of work on the new £85m Omagh Hospital

Health Minister Jim Wells today visited the site of the new £85m Omagh Local Hospital to mark the commencement of construction works. As works prepares to get underway the Minister was shown around the site to see at first hand the future development and transformation of the construction project.

The Western Trust is supporting World Mental Health Day this year by highlighting the importance of resilience. As part of the calendar of events supported by the Public Health Agency (PHA) to highlight World Suicide Prevention and World Mental Health Day, the Trust’s Health Improvement Department is hosting a number of resilience seminars in the local community. A very successful resilience seminar was held on Thursday 9 October at the City Hotel, Derry/Londonderry.

Altnagelvin Launches New Fracture Liaison Service

A new Fracture Liaison Service, based at Altnagelvin Hospital, will address the growing problem of fractures in the Western Trust population caused by the condition, osteoporosis. The Trust launched the new service this week to promote information about bone health and osteoporosis, to help prevent future fractures in patients and ultimately reduce hospital admissions.

Palliative Care Week 2014

The first-ever all island Palliative Care Week takes place this week from 6-11 October 2014. It is being coordinated by the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC) which the Western Trust is supporting to encourage serious but positive conversations. The aim is to raise a deeper public understanding of palliative care regarding when it can be used, who it is for and what its benefits are.

Patients to Benefit from Newly Refurbished Dementia Care Ward

The provision of enriched patient experience and enhanced care was celebrated today when the Western Trust officially unveiled and opened its newly refurbished Dementia Care Ward and construction of a state-of-the-art Therapeutic Hub at Waterside Hospital, Gransha Londonderry. The new Therapeutic Hub and refurbished Dementia Care Ward was part of an overall service improvement plan to reform and modernise older peoples mental health and dementia services; and provide a range of therapeutic interventions for people with dementia, delivered in a high quality, safe and dementia friendly environment.

Western Trust welcomes new Permanent Secretary

Today the Western Trust welcomed Richard Pengelly, the newly appointed Permanent Secretary for Northern Ireland on his first visit to the Trust.

Keeping your baby safe

All parents want to keep their baby safe from harm, here are a few tips on different aspects of your baby’s care. How to keep your baby safe while sleeping, feeding safety tips, and general safety tips.

Calling all Carers to Walk for Health!

The Western Trust Carers Support Team has started a local walking club for Carers in Derry/Londonderry. The team is keen to encourage informal (unpaid) Carers to participate.

Plans for partnership working with Macmillan at the New Radiotherapy Unit

Macmillan Cancer Support is working with the Trust on plans to further enhance information and support for people affected by cancer at Altnagelvin’s new cross-border radiotherapy unit. The leading cancer charity is discussing plans with the Trust to set up an open area with information stands in the main entrance to the unit, together with a quiet room for anyone wanting confidential one-to-one advice about cancer from trained staff and volunteers.

'Don’t rule yourself out' - you can be a Foster Carer

The Western Trust’s Adoption and Fostering Service are urgently seeking to recruit foster cares who feel they have the ambition, energy and understanding to embrace the ups and downs of caring for a child or teenager in Western Trust area.

Following a Road Traffic Collision (R.T.C) outside Drumquin, Omagh, Co Tyrone this morning involving a school bus and a car; 26 patients have been transferred to the South West Acute Hospital’s Emergency Department, Enniskillen and 22 patients have been transferred to Altnagelvin Hospital’s Emergency Department.

Overwhelming Support for Western Trust Smokefree Policy

The Western Trust is celebrating six months Smokefree this month having begun its Smokefree journey in March of this year. Overall the new Smokefree policy has received widespread support from employees, service users and the public and has helped ensure a healthier, cleaner and pleasant environment for all for who use Trust facilities.

Change of entrance to Sperrin Unit: Chemotherapy and Outpatients Services

The entrance for the Sperrin Unit Chemotherapy and Outpatients Services will be changing this week. The current Sperrin Suite entrance will close at 6pm on Friday 19th September 2014 and the new patient route will become operational from Monday 22nd September 2014.

Altnagelvin Achieve 100% Target

Altnagelvin Hospital has achieved its 100% Emergency Department Target. On Friday 12 September the Hospital reached its own target of seeing and treating, admitting or discharging every Emergency Department patient in ‘no more than 4’ hours.
Friday 12 September was no quieter than any other typical day at the hospital. In a 24 hour period, commencing at 12 midnight on Thursday 11 September, the Emergency Department treated 160 patients, 111 were discharged home after treatment. The remaining 49 patients were admitted for further investigations and medical interventions. This was all achieved within four hours of the person arriving at the hospital.

Heart attack sufferers benefit from state-of-the-art cath labs at Altnagelvin

Health Minister Edwin Poots has today visited a new state-of the-art Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PPCI) service at Altnagelvin hospital that will help save the lives of heart attack patients. Patients suffering from a heart attack will be taken immediately to a catheterisation laboratory (Cath Lab) to have a blockage in the blood vessels around their heart removed using a balloon or stent.

Are you a Carer? Come along to a Carers Health and Information Event to find out more

The Western Trust Carer Support Team in conjunction with the New Buildings Community Environmental Association is inviting informal carers to come along to a Carers Health and Information event on Thursday 25 September 2014 from 10am to 12noon in New Buildings Community Centre, Derry/Londonderry. The event will offer carers the opportunity to avail of a range of health checks, a taster complimentary therapy and information which will help support them in their caring role.

Childhood Flu Vaccination Programme

The Western Trust School Nursing Team are asking parents to help protect their children this winter by ensuring they take up the childhood flu vaccination programme which will be offered to all primary school children over the next few months. The Trust’s School Nursing Service will be implementing the second phase of the Fluenz programme to all primary school children in the Western Trust area. Parents of primary school children should look out for letters and consent forms over the next couple of months as children should be bringing them home. It is important that consent forms are completed, signed and returned so that your child can be protected with the vaccine.

Launch of calendar of local events to promote Mental Health and prevent Suicide

The Western Trust is leading the way in the promotion of mental health and suicide prevention through a number of planned events to mark both World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September 2014) and World Mental Health Day (10 October 2014). Several events have been organised which 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.

New Mental Health Awareness Courses

The Western Trust’s Recovery College is inviting service users, carers and members of the public, who would like to gain a better understanding of mental health issues, to attend free mental health education workshops. Registration for the free two hour workshops is essential and anyone who would like to register or find out more information should come along to one of the enrollment sessions on Tuesday 9 September 2014 from 10am – 12noon, Omagh Library Headquarters or Thursday 11 September 6 – 8pm, The Sperrin Centre, 1 Market Street Omagh.

Bereaved by Suicide Information Evening

The Western Trust and the Public Health Agency (PHA) are holding an information evening for anyone impacted by suicide in the City Hotel, Londonderry on Thursday 11 September 2014 from 7.00 to 8.30pm. The guest speaker is Dr Myfanwy Maple, Associate Professor in the School of Health at the University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia.

NI eHealth and Social Care Awards 2014

The Health and Social Care Board are calling for entries for the Northern Ireland eHealth and Social Care Awards. In this, the inaugural year, the panel will present two awards Best use of eHealth to support integrated health and care services and Best use of technology to support improved health and care services.

Omagh Patients to Benefit from New Fracture Clinic

The Trust will now be holding an additional, weekly fracture clinic in Tyrone County Hospital, Omagh from the 20 August 2014. The additional clinic will treat patients from the local area, who have been referred for treatment.

Maybrook Day Centre to host coffee morning

The clients and staff of Maybrook Day Centre are inviting members of the public to attend their coffee morning on Thursday 14 August 2014 from 11am – 2pm at the Maybrook Day Centre on the Racecourse Road. Entry is £1 and includes a cup of tea or coffee accompanied with a delicious homemade scone. Everyone is welcome to come along and enjoy a treat or two!

New Mobile Breast Screening Units

We recently have taken delivery of two new mobile breast screening units, each of which have the latest digital mammographic x-ray equipment installed on board. The arrival of the units marks the start of a new era in breast screening. The new units are fully digital meaning that images are no longer printed onto film but are viewed and stored electronically. Image quality is also higher, assuring women attending for their mammograms that the Western Trust offers them the latest technology to help improve early detection of breast cancer.

First nurse in Northern Ireland awarded prestigious position

The Trust congratulates Janice Reid, Continence Service Manager, who has recently been elected as Chair of the Association for Continence Advice (ACA).  Janice is the first nurse in Northern Ireland to hold this prestigious position. This is a high level UK wide organisation for professionals who in turn have a voice in parliament.

Parking at the South West Acute Hospital

In June 2012 the Trust Board approved the introduction of charging for 236 spaces at the South West Acute Hospital, 49 in the Emergency Department (ED) area and the remainder in the main two tier multi-storey car park.  The 187 spaces within the two tier multi-storey car park will now become chargeable from Friday 11 August 2014 with approximately 100 spaces in this car park remaining free of charge.

Alcohol and Drugs in Pregnancy

The safest approach in pregnancy is to choose not to drink at all. The risk of damage to the developing baby is increased the more you drink, so that is why binge drinking is especially harmful. Risk relates to a range of conditions called Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Foetal Alcohol Disorder (FAD). Alcohol is a toxic substance and passes from the mums blood stream through the placenta and into the baby’s blood stream, the placenta does not act as a filter! Drinking alcohol in pregnancy can affect the way the baby develops in the womb, and its long term physical and mental health and a child’s ability to learn.

 Local Taxi Companies support Western Trust Smokefree

Local taxi companies across the West are supporting and encouraging the Western Trust's Smokefree policy by using ‘Smokefree’ air fresheners in all their cars. City Cabs Derry/Londonderry, Diamond Cabs Enniskillen and Urgent Taxi’s Omagh are backing the smokefree message by displaying Western Trust smokefree air fresheners in all their taxi’s to ensure their customers are continuously reminded of the policy.

Preparing for parenthood

Pregnancy can be an exciting time, planning and thinking about your new baby. Deciding how to feed and care for your baby can be a major concern for parents to be. The decisions women make can be influenced by many different events and influences in their lives. However it is also a time that women are hungry for new information to help them make the choices and decisions that are right for them.

Major Milestone Marked for Radiotherapy Project

The Western Trust is delighted to announce the beginning of construction work on the Radiotherapy Unit at Altnagelvin Hospital, Londonderry. The contractor is currently preparing the site to enable the start of construction later this month.

Successful Teen Scheme Foster Carer Event

The Trust's Fostering Team held a successful public information event at the Silverbirch Hotel, Omagh to launch its new Specialist Foster Care Initiative.

Radiotherapy Development – Sperrin Unit Refurbishment

Chemotherapy and Outpatients Services at Altnagelvin Hospital will be moving from July/August 2014. The move is part of the preparation works for the building of the new Radiotherapy Unit for the North West which is due to open in 2016.

Increase in organ donation in the west

'Attitudes towards organ donation are changing for the better'. This is the message from the Western Trust Organ Donation Specialist, Dr Declan Grace on National Organ Donation and Transplant Week (7 - 13 July 2014)

Launch of HONNI Hub

Launch of HONNI Hub

In partnership with Queen’s University Medical and HSC Library we have launched a ‘HONNI hub’ (Health on the Net Northern Ireland) for staff in Tyrone County Hospital, Omagh. ‘HONNI Hubs’ provide Health and Social Care (HSC) staff with enhanced access to quality, up-to-date electronic resources and support.

Western Trust Success at Pharmaceutical Care Awards

The Trust's Pharmacy Team is celebrating success having being crowned winner at this year’s prestigious National Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Pharmaceutical Care Awards for their project designed to improve the care provision for older people.

Become a Western Trust Foster Carer

With a significant increase in the number of children coming into care in Northern Ireland, the Trust Fostering Team is inviting the public to find out more about its new Specialist Foster Care Initiative by attending a special briefing session.


Launch of our Travel Plans

We have launched Travel Plans for the Altnagelvin Hospital, Derry/Londonderry and South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen in partnership with Department for Regional Development (DRD) Travelwise NI and Translink. As a major employer in the area, we have a responsibility to reduce traffic and travel congestion and to encourage sustainable or ‘green’ travel. There are huge volumes of traffic generated around the Trust’s main Acute Hospital sites due to staff and visitor traffic. In partnership with DRD Travelwise NI and Translink we want to provide affordable, realistic travel options for visitors, patients and staff. Using sustainable travel will reduce congestion and demands on parking, improving access for all staff, patients and visitors to the Trust’s sites.

Stay Summer Safe

Stay Summer Safe

We are using Child Safety Week (23 - 29 June 2014) to remind parents and children of all ages to play safe this summer to avoid preventable attendances to our Emergency Departments. Summer is a great time for children and young people to get out and be active especially in the good weather and long evenings. However, A&E statistics show attendances for children are highest during the summer. By following some simple safety steps some incidences can be avoided to ensure children have a fun-filled and safe summer.

A growing team for Western Trust's Radiotherapy Unit

The Trust  has announced the most recent appointment to the growing team which will support the future development of the new £50+ million Radiotherapy Unit at Altnagelvin Hospital.

Trust holds events to celebrate Carers Week 2014

During Carers Week 2014 the Trust is celebrating all those informal Carers of all ages who are the back bone of the health and social care service at a number of special events.

The Western Trust recently approved its Corporate Parenting Report for the period 1 October 2013 until 31 March 2014, at its June Trust Board meeting. The six monthly Corporate Parenting Report forms part of the Delegated Statutory Functions Annual Report (1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014) which is arguably the single most important report which Trust Social Services staff prepare each year.

At today’s Trust Board meeting it was agreed to move forward with the preferred option for a new Community Equipment and Home Delivery of Disposable Continence Products. The Trust launched a consultation on proposals for the Future of Community Equipment and Home Delivery of Disposable Continence Products on 14 February 2014. The consultation ran for 12 weeks and closed at 4pm on the 9 May 2014.

Award of Contract for Omagh Enhanced Local Hospital

The Western Trust is pleased to announce the award of contract to McLaughlin & Harvey for construction of the Omagh Enhanced Local Hospital at the Tyrone and Fermanagh Hospital site. The £65m contract will be completed over a two year period with work commencing within weeks.

Launch of mental health app at first ever recovery services health fair

We launched the recently developed ‘My Mind’ App for the iPhone at the ‘Discovery to Recovery’ mental health awareness health fair held at the Silverbirch Hotel, Omagh today. The App allows service users to access evidence-based, up to date information about their condition and the services available to them. It is exclusive to mental health services in the Western Trust area and features videos of local health professionals offering practical information to support the client’s journey to recovery. The App highlights Mental Health Services that can be accessed in the Trust area including contact details for local support groups and organisations.

The Western Trust, in partnership with the Public Health Agency for Northern Ireland (PHA) are inviting health care staff, clients, friends and family to come along to a ‘Fun Family Cycle’ on Wednesday 18 June 2014 at 6.45pm, Ebrington Square, Derry/Londonderry, to help celebrate Bike Week (14 – 22 June). All ages and abilities of cyclist are welcome to bring their bikes to the front of the clock tower on the parade grounds, where the group will cycle around the new cycle paths and St Columb’s Park at their own pace from 7pm, returning to the Café in the Park for refreshments at 8pm.

What’s your type? Diabetes Open Evening

We are holding a Diabetes Information evening on Wednesday 11 June 2014 at the MDEC building on the Altnagelvin Hospital site between 7 and 9pm. The event, organised to mark National Diabetes Week (8 - 14 June 2014), will provide a unique opportunity for those living with diabetes to come and speak to healthcare professionals dedicated to patients with this long term condition.

Supporting the end of life care for people with dementia

A staff member from the Western Trust has been privileged to learn new pioneering practices about supporting the end of life care for people with dementia. Western Trust Macmillan Palliative Care Facilitator, Maria Magee received an All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC) Education and Practice Fellowship that enabled a visit St Christopher’s Hospice, London to learn about their Namaste Care Programme. Maria shared her findings with the AIIHPC and visitors at a special event recently.

30th Annual Cardiology Update held in South West Acute Hospital

Cardiac patients across the Western Trust area, Northern Ireland and further afield look set to benefit from a showcase 30th anniversary Cardiology Update held in the South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen. The Trust in association with the Irish Cardiac Society and Northern Ireland Chest, Heart and Stroke hosted the event, which was aimed at sharing best practice in the field of cardiology and to educate, inform and inspire medical and health and social care professionals. Many topics were in areas such as stroke, congenital heart disease and the role of surgery.

Discovery to Recovery - Come to our Mental Health Recovery Services Awareness Event

We are inviting members of the public to come along to a Discovery to Recovery exhibition on Wednesday 11 June 2014 at the Silverbirch Hotel, Omagh from 11.30am to 3pm as part of the Trust’s Mental Health Recovery Services Awareness Event.This is the first time we are holding an event to highlight our Recovery Services and we are delighted that over 20 community and voluntary groups are supporting us by exhibiting projects and information about educational and personal development opportunities for people affected by mental health issues.

Celebrating our Youngest Teachers

A group of local babies were congratulated recently for their contribution to teaching the internationally recognised evidence based Roots of Empathy (ROE) classroom programme. Our Roots of Empathy programme has been running with twelve local primary schools in the Omagh and Fermanagh areas since September 2011. The programme targets year five pupils and is coordinated and led by the Western Trust Health Improvement Department in partnership with the Western Education and Library Board (WELB).

Hypnobirthing classes available in the Western Trust

Hypnobirthing is a complete birth education programme that teaches self-hypnosis, relaxation and breathing techniques enabling women to take control of their birthing experience. It helps create a relaxed atmosphere allowing women to discover that pain does not have to be an accompaniment of labour. Limited hypnobirthing classes are now delivered by midwives for women in the Western Trust area.

Western Trust Nurses Scoop RCN Nursing Awards

A nurse from Eglinton has scooped the prestigious Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year Award at the RCN Awards last night in Belfast. Bernie Michaelides who is Head of Intermediate Care and lead nurse for adult community nursing in the Western Trust received her award from Minister for Health, Edwin Poots.

New Dementia Carers Guide Launched

To mark Dementia Awareness week our Older People’s Mental Health Services Team have launched a Dementia Carers Guide. In 2012 there were 2717 people in the Western Trust area estimated to have dementia, 1830 of these had a diagnosis. The number of people in Northern Ireland with dementia is steadily increasing.

Western Trust say ‘it’s OK to ask’ this International Clinical Trials Day.

The Trust is marking International Clinical Trials Day on 20 May 2014 by encouraging patients to find out more about clinical research and to raise awareness of the importance of research into health care.

 Grant available for Voluntary and Community Projects

We are inviting applications from Community and Voluntary groups in the Western Trust area to apply for funding. Funding is available to support groups to provide social inclusion opportunities to adults with a learning disability while at the same time affording their parents and carers, who are approximately 50 years of age or over, some time away from their caring role.

South West Acute Hospital Annual Baby Remembrance Service

We are holding a Remembrance Service in memory of babies who have died following miscarriage or stillbirth and neonatal and infant deaths on Sunday 25 May 2014. The annual commemorative service will take place in the Lecture Theatre, South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen at 3pm.

Foster Care Fortnight - we need more foster carers

Kieran Downey, Director of Women and Children’s Services has emphasised the urgent need for more foster carers during an event held to launch Foster Care Fortnight (12 - 24 May) in Londonderry. Foster Care Fortnight aims to increase awareness of the need for more foster carers and recognises the central role that existing foster carers play in providing stable, caring homes for vulnerable children and young people.

Let’s Talk about it - during Dying Matters Awareness Week 2014

We are encouraging the public to talk about their wishes towards the end of their lives during Dying Matters Awareness Week (12 – 18 May 2014). During Dying Matters Awareness Week, in partnership with Participation Engagement Skills Project (NWNC) and North West Regional College, we areappealing to everyone to come forward and ‘talk about’ their wishes in preparation for death. Although many people and families find it hard to talk about death, dying and bereavement is a natural part of everybody’s life cycle and it is extremely important to think about where or how you would wish to die.

‘Saffron’ on the menu at Altnagelvin Hospital

Inpatients at Altnagelvin Hospital are enjoying the benefits of improved mealtime arrangements. An innovative electronic ordering system known as ‘Saffron’ is now in place across all wards within the hospital.

Danderball - Walking Football for over 50’s

Local men over 50 are being encouraged to try out a new physical activity concept which is the first of its kind Northern Ireland – walking football. We are working with Derry City Council, Limavady Borough Council, Strabane District Council, Derry City Football Club, Institute Football Club and local community organisations (Time to Choose and HURT) to challenge football fans over 50 to come off the sidelines or sofas and onto the pitch to test their footwork by playing ‘Danderball,’ the North West’s version of walking football.

Seymour Gardens Welcome the Skylarks

The Trust’s Seymour Gardens Care Home, recently welcomed members of Arts Care NI Skylarks to the home.

Be alert during Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and to mark this, Dr William Dickey, Clinical Lead in Gastroenterology and Endoscopy with the Trust is encouraging eligible members of the public to participate in the Northern Ireland Bowel Cancer Screening Programme when the opportunity arises.


Limavady young people have their say on planning future children’s services

Young People from Limavady had their say on future services for children and young people at an information event held in the Roe Valley Arts and Culture Centre on Tuesday 15 April 2014. The event, organised by the Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership (CYPSP) Western Outcomes Group and Limavady Locality Planning Group, brought children and young people together with representatives from statutory, voluntary and community organisations and political representatives to discuss the services currently available to support children and young people and how these can be improved in future.

Gortmore Day Centre Clients develop links with local school children

The Trust's Gortmore Day Centre staff recently held a coffee morning at Tattyreagh Primary School, Omagh to celebrate the completion of a ten week ‘Pen Pal’ project with clients who attend the Day Centre and pupils from the school.

3000 year old ‘Bogwood’ Sculptures installed at the South West Acute Hospital Garden

Through on-going Community Engagement activities in partnership with NIHG we have welcomed back gardening enthusiasts from Omagh and Fermanagh for the installation of ‘Bogwood’ sculptures from 3000 year old forests sourced in An Creagán Omagh, Co Tyrone. The ‘Bogwood’ sculptures have recently been installed to add interest along the pathway at the back of the South West Acute Hospital where edible fruit trees have also been planted by as part of this community project.

Volunteers from Cornerstone City Church Volunteer at Altnagelvin

Volunteers from Cornerstone City Church in Derry/Londonderry are providing a significant supportive role for anyone attending Altnagelvin Accident & Emergency Department on Friday and Saturday nights. The volunteers offer tea and coffee to people waiting in the A&E Department and also provide a friendly chat to help alleviate any stress people may feel while waiting.

Proud teaching reputation is celebrated as new education centre opens

The provision of exceptional teaching and education was celebrated today when the Trust officially unveiled and opened its new Medical and Dental Education Centre at Altnagelvin Hospital. The new centre is based in the Modular Building on the Altnagelvin Hospital site and boasts a lecture theatre for 120 people, a four bedded ward for simulation study; two simulation rooms; two seminar rooms; meeting rooms, offices and computer facilities.

Health Minister supports  Trust and Circle of Support Exhibition to mark World Autism Day 2 April 2014

Health Minister, Edwin Poots supports the Western Trust and Circle of Support (COS) in raising awareness of Autism through a unique exhibition held in the Millennium Forum, Derry/Londonderry today to mark World Autism Day. 

Celebrating Engagement Work in the Trust

The Trust recently held a highly successful ‘Engage’ Event in the UIster American Folk Park, Omagh.

Planning Permission sought for Multi Storey Car Park at Altnagelvin Hospital

A planning application has been lodged for a new multi storey car park at Altnagelvin Hospital. This development is part of the new £73m ‘North Wing’ project which will deliver six new inpatient ward areas and a new main entrance for the hospital.

Western Trust encourages public to support World Autism Day

The Trust is working alongside Circle of Support (COS) to encourage the North West community to come along to an Autism exhibition on Wednesday 2 April – World Autism Awareness Day 2014.

Castlederg Nurse Presented with Prestigious Hilary Curry Cup

Sr Eileen Doherty, District Nurse based in Castlederg was presented with the Hilary Curry Cup by Pearl Woodburn, President of the Londonderry Soroptimist Club, in recognition of her outstanding care to people living with cancer in the community. The award was presented in memory of the late Hilary Curry who was an enthusiastic member of Soroptimist International Londonderry, serving as Club President.

Building a nurturing relationship with your baby

Building a nurturing relationship with your baby starts right from the womb as baby listens to your voice, enjoys your touch as you massage your bump and as you rest, more particularly at the end of the pregnancy, they thrive on all those extra calories you send them as you relax.

CAWT Captures Prestigious National Training Award

The Co-operation and Working Together (CAWT) cross border health and social care partnership won the ‘Excellence in Coaching Award,’ from the Association for Coaching, at the Irish Institute of Training and Development’s National Training Awards 2014. The Award was presented by Minister for Training and Skills, Ciaran Cannon TD, at an all-island Gala event in Naas Co. Kildare on Friday evening last.

Young people share their views on future children’s services

Young people, professionals and politicians had their say on future services for children and young people at a workshop held on Friday 7 March in the Millennium Forum, Derry-Londonderry.

Staff Success at NI Healthcare Awards

It was great news for the Trust and three staff at this year’s Northern Ireland Healthcare Awards. The Western Trust was shortlisted in four out of the eight award categories and scooped two awards at the event, which was held in the Europa Hotel, Belfast recently.

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 a range of unique personal development programmes are out there, which has turned this on its head for almost 100 carers across all care sectors, from Fermanagh, Omagh, Strabane and Derry/Londonderry.

Smokefree Future Starts Today

The Trust has announced that a Smokefree future starts today, with smoking being ‘stubbed out’ across all of its sites including acute hospitals and community settings. This means that smoking is not permitted anywhere on its grounds or premises. This includes buildings, entrances, doorways, pavements, internal roads, bus / bicycle shelters, cars and car parks. Smoking is not allowed on site for patients, service users, staff, members of the public and contracted workers. Smoking areas such as the smoking shelter at Altnagelvin Hospital have been removed in advance of introducing this ban.

Western Trust bring Child Sexual Exploitation Experts to the West

Child Sexual Exploitation has gained much profile over the last year. This form of Child Abuse affects many young people in our society, mainly teenagers and is very much a community safety issue. 

Strabane health and wellbeing event a smashing success

An event held in Strabane to share information about the health and wellbeing support available for those who have lung conditions turned out as a smashing success.

The Trust has completed an Adult Safeguarding Investigation on Ralphs Close, a residential home in Londonderry. The findings of the investigation have been shared with the families, staff, Trust Board, the Health and Social Care Board, the Department of Health Social Services and Public Safety and the Regulation Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA). The investigation was initiated by the Trust following anonymous allegations of abuse of vulnerable adults in the residential home.

Maternity Services Through to Top Three in National Excellence Awards

We are celebrating becoming one of three finalists in a prestigious national award for excellence in maternity care. This puts the Western Trust’s Maternity Service as one of the top three Hospital Trust’s who provide such care in Wales, Northern Ireland and England. CHKS, the UK’s leading independent provider of healthcare intelligence and quality improvement, has judged that the quality of care provided by the Trust’s Maternity Service based at both Altnagelvin Hospital and the South West Acute Hospital puts the service in the top three out of 148 NHS maternity providers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Abuse against vulnerable adults will be the focus of an awareness week arranged by the Western Local Adult Safeguarding Partnership (LASP) 10 to 15 March 2014. The Western LASP wants to raise awareness of the abusive situations faced by older people, people with mental health issues, learning disability, physical disabilities and those with addictions. Information will be available at a series of display stands across LASP member’s premises.

Limavady is the first community in the West to be able to access our new ‘Stress Control’ Programme. This six session class is provided free of charge and delivered by experienced qualified cognitive-behavioural psychotherapists. The sessions will run in the Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre, Limavady from Thursday 6 March 2014 to Thursday 10 April 2014 from 11.00am – 12.30pm.

'Relax Kids'

'Relax Kids'

The Trust’s Health Improvement Department and Western Education Support Team are taking forward a children’s programme designed to promote self-esteem, enhance self-confidence and create positive thinking.

Expectant mums making a SPLASH during pregnancy!

Mums-to-be can enjoy local aquanatal classes as part of a range of activities promoting fitness during pregnancy.

Breastfeeding Peer Support Mums Congratulated

The Western Trust is delighted to welcome local mums as new recruits to the Breastfeeding Support Network.

Council Chairman Officially opens new Cranny Road in Omagh

The Trust today welcomed Omagh  District  Council Chairman, Councillor Martin McColgan to officially open  the new link road and cycle path adjacent to the Tyrone and Fermanagh Hospital, Omagh. The link road and cycle path which stretches two-thirds of a mile, starts  at the Drumragh College Roundabout and runs parallel with the disused railway line crossing a new bridge over the Camowen River until it meets the Donaghanie Road.

The Trust has launched a consultation on proposals for the Future of Community Equipment and Home Delivery of Disposable Continence Products. The consultation will run for 12 weeks and will close at 4pm on the 9 May 2014.

Important ‘Bee Safe’ message goes out to local kids

The Trust is moving forward with an innovative scheme promoting accident prevention and safety messages to Primary School children.

Enabling Works to begin for Major ‘North Wing’ Project at Altnagelvin Hospital

The Trust has today confirmed that a £3m enabling works contract will begin shortly to clear a site for the planned new North Wing of the hospital.

Western Trust host an Awareness Evening for Youth Sports Coaches

The Trust is hosting a Diabetes, Epilepsy, Asthma and Sport awareness evening on Wednesday 26 February 2014 at 7pm at the Silverbirch Hotel, Omagh. 

Western Trust shortlisted for National Recognition in CHKS Excellence in Maternity Care Award

Western Trust Maternity Services have been shortlisted for national recognition for ‘Excellence in Maternity Care’ as part of Healthcare intelligence experts CHKS, Top Hospitals Programme Awards. The Western Trust is one of fifteen Trusts singled out for the quality of care it provides – putting it in the top 10% of the 148 NHS maternity providers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Reigning Rose of Tralee visits Altnagelvin Hospital Maternity Unit

This week we welcomed the reigning Rose of Tralee Haley O’Sullivan to the Maternity Unit at Altnagelvin Hospital.

Self-Check-In Kiosks for Outpatients introduced at Altnagelvin Hospital

As of the 6 February 2014 patients attending Altnagelvin Hospital will be able to check themselves in for their appointment using state-of-the-art technology. Already a great success in the South West Acute Hospital, the Trust is now introducing state-of-the-art Outpatients Self-Service Check-in and Call-Out Screens in its Outpatient Department at Altnagelvin Hospital, to help reduce the time patients have to wait to book in for their appointment.

Evaluation of a Child Care Approach - Safety in Partnership

The Western Trust, in conjunction with the Health and Social Care Board and the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, have commissioned an evaluation of Safety in Partnership and it’s implementation across Child and Family Services.

Bonding with your baby during pregnancy

Developing a close and loving relationship with your baby will help lay the building blocks for him or her to grow into a secure and confident child and adult. There are simple things you can do to start developing a bond with your baby during pregnancy.

Looking After Your Health at 100 Years Young

Even at the modest age of 100, Enniskillen lady, Mary McManus takes her healthcare very seriously. Independent and still residing in her own home Mary is the oldest person in Northern Ireland to regularly use the Telemonitoring NI Service. Telemonitoring helps people living with long term conditions to manage their illness at home. Mary, originally from Lisnaskea, has the lung conditions Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD).

Western Trust team up for National Obesity Awareness Week!

The Trust with support from the Public Health Agency (PHA) marked National Obesity Week (13-19 January 2014) by encouraging their staff and the general public to join in with a ‘National New Year’s Resolution’ to Choose to Live Better.

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 asking people not to visit patients in Altnagelvin Hospital if they have been feeling unwell themselves. An increase in vomiting and diarrhoea was experienced last week among patients in Ward 8, a specialist surgical ward at Altnagelvin Hospital. The Ward has now reopened as of this morning, Monday, 20 January 2013 and is operating as normal. Today Ward 4, Gynae Ward at Altnagelvin Hospital, is now closed to admissions after the Trust has seen an increase in vomiting and diarrhoea experienced among patients.

Important ‘Bee Safe’ message goes out to local kids

The Trust is moving forward with an innovative scheme promoting accident prevention and safety messages to Primary School children. The event was hosted by Ilex, The Urban Regeneration Company in The Stables Building, Ebrington Square on 13 - 17 January 2014 with over 1,100 Primary 7 children from 30 schools throughout the Derry City Council area in attendance.


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 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 Ward 8, which treats Head and Neck patients, at Altnagelvin Hospital in recent days and as an infection prevention and control measure, the ward is currently closed to admissions. To date four patients and two staff have experienced such symptoms.

Infant Feeding workshop for mums to be

Come and join us for an Infant Feeding workhop on Friday 28 February 2013 at the Parentcraft Room, Education Centre, South West Acute Hospital, from 10am to 1.30pm. Our Lactation Specialists will be delivering the free workshop to help ante-natal mums make informed decisions about feeding their baby.

Do you wonder why you can shop online, book your holiday online and chat with friends online but we don’t use technology like that in health and social care? If you are interested in joining us in the development of the strategy we are holding a series of meetings at Omagh, Limavady and Belfast.

Could You Foster a Child or a Young Person? Information Evenings in Your Area

With a significant increase in the number of children coming into care, the on-going effort to recruit more Foster Carers continues in January and February 2014 with information evenings being held in Omagh, Enniskillen, Strabane and Derry/Londonderry.

Translink Pilot Service 294 linking Omagh to Altnagelvin Hospital

Translink recently revised its Pilot Bus Service 294, which operates every Wednesday and Thursday to the Western Trust’s  Altnagelvin Hospital, to benefit more people living in Tyrone and Fermanagh.

Gortmore Day Centre Staff say thank you to William!

The Western Trust Gortmore Day Centre staff recently held a celebration to acknowledge William McConnell’s thirty years dedication to the Day Centre.

New Year Babies at the South West Acute Hospital and Altnagelvin Hospital

The Western Trust Maternity Units are delighted to welcome six New Year babies. The first baby born in Northern Ireland was born in the Western Trust’s South West Acute Hospital on New Year’s Day. The baby girl Niamh was born at 00:28 and weighed 7lb 3oz to proud parents Seamus and Cathy Howell from Lisnaskea.

Nursing Manager and Non-Executive Director recognised in New Year Honours List

Chairman of the Western Trust Gerard Guckian extended his warmest congratulations to Cathy Glass and Joan Doherty on their much deserved recognition in the Queen's New Year Honours List.

Cathy is a Nursing Services Manager for Trauma and Orthopaedics Services within the Western Trust’s Surgery and Anaesthetics Division based at Altnagelvin Hospital and receives the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to healthcare in Northern Ireland. Joan is a non-executive director for the Western Trust and receives the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for voluntary services to the Community.

70 Days left to Western Trust becomes Smokefree!

The Western Trust is marking “70 days countdown” to a complete smokefree campus. On 12 March 2014, National No Smoking Day, the Western Trust will become the first “smokefree” Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland. The Western Trust’s new Smoke Free Policy will replace the Trust’s current policy and will mean that smoking will not be permitted anywhere on its grounds or premises. This includes buildings, entrances, pavements and car parks.

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