The Western Trust in partnership with the North West Community Network (Participation, Engagement and Skills Project) and Foyle Hospice, held two special palliative care Master classes during Dying Matters Awareness Week (13 to 19 May). The first event took place at the Beech Hill Hotel in Derry/Londonderry, which was jointly coordinated by the North West Community Network and the Western Trust. This event is important for people in health, voluntary and community groups who are supporting those living with advanced illness.
A creative new way to improve strength, balance, flexibility and reduce stress has been recently introduced by the Western Trust’s Health Improvement Department. A Chair Yoga Techniques course has been specifically designed for clients with learning disabilities, older people and people with mental health problems who aren’t as mobile and are positioned in a chair all day.
The Western Trust is encouraging people of all ages to incorporate some physical activity into their everyday routine to improve both their physical and mental wellbeing. WHO statistics show that one in four people in the community are affected by depression and anxiety every year and people with poor physical health are at higher risk of experiencing common mental health problems.
The Western Trust is holding a Remembrance Service in memory of babies who have died following miscarriage or stillbirth and neonatal and infant deaths on Sunday 19 May. The annual commemorative service will take place in the Large Lecture Theatre at the MDEC, Altnagelvin Area Hospital at 3pm.
Northern Ireland’s Health Minister Edwin Poots and Minister for Health and Children in the Republic of Ireland James Reilly have said there are many health benefits to be gained by working together. The Ministers were today visiting a number of joint sponsored, cross border projects to see first-hand how sharing health and care services across the two jurisdictions is benefiting people in the areas. The Ministers also visited the new South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen.
More foster families are urgently needed to provide safe, stable and nurturing homes for vulnerable children and young people in the Western Area. This year to launch Foster Care Fortnight (13 - 27 May 2013) the Trust will be holding information sessions and will be participating in the regional recruitment campaign to highlight the sense of urgency for the need for more foster carers.
The 28 April 2013 was World Day for Safety and Health at Work and Western Trust staff from the Urgent Care and Treatment Centre (UCTC) took this as an opportunity to remind the public to be safe and healthy at work.
The Western Trust at its Trust Board today approved a proposal to proceed to consultation on the proposed closure of four statutory residential care homes for older people in the Strabane, Derry and Limavady Council areas. This will not affect nursing home provision in the area or the Trust’s EMI residential home Seymour Gardens. The Trust will now engage in a consultation process in the coming weeks before any decisions are reached on the future of the four homes.
The Western Trust is committed to advising patients when there is a change or delay as they await a date for an appointment, treatment or procedure. In keeping with this commitment, the Trust has been informing patients who are currently waiting longer for an elective (planned) orthopaedic surgical procedure than we would wish why such a delay is occurring.
The Western Trust is supporting the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Week by highlighting the remarkable work MS nurses carry out with patients on a daily basis. With new people being diagnosed with MS each month, the Trust is aiming to raise awareness of the disease, symptoms and the support available across the Western Trust area. Multiple Sclerosis is the most common cause of neurological disability in young adults. It is a disease of the central nervous system and is normally diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 and 40. MS is a chronic condition and as yet there is no cure, but treatments and specialists can help you to manage the symptoms.
Florence Nightingale's life and work will be commemorated at a special interdenominational service organised by the Western Trust and the University of Ulster on 8 May 2013. This annual service also celebrates the role and contribution of all staff - nursing and midwifery and unqualified staff working in the Health and Social Care Service. Members of the public and all those who have provided a caring role are also invited to attend.
The service will take place at St. Columb’s Cathedral, Derry/Londonderry at 6.30pm on 8 May 2013.
The Western Trust is the only Trust in Northern Ireland to be shortlisted for the CHKS Top Hospitals programme Patient Safety Award 2013. The CHKS Top Hospitals awards celebrate the success of healthcare providers across the United Kingdom and are given to acute organisations for their achievements in healthcare quality and improvement.
April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and to mark this, Dr William Dickey, Clinical Lead in Gastroenterology and Endoscopy with the Western Trust is encouraging eligible members of the public to participate in the Northern Ireland Bowel Cancer Screening Programme when the opportunity arises. Bowel cancer is the second commonest malignancy in Northern Ireland, with 1000 new cases and 400 related deaths every year.
The Western Trust Infant Feeding Specialists are inviting parents-to-be to come and join them at a unique workshop ‘Your Baby’s Journey’ to help answer any questions about feeding your baby.The workshop will deal with all aspects of feeding and caring for your baby. A workshop in partnership with LAST SureStart will be held at Strathroy Community Centre, Omagh on Tuesday 23 April 2013 from 10am to 1.30pm. Another workshop will be held on Monday 29 April 2013 from 10am-1.30pm in the South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen.
Declan Devine, manager of Derry City Football Club, opened a ‘one stop shop’ for young people with experience of care in Queen Street, Derry last week. Involving Include Youth’s Give and Take Scheme, VOYPIC (Voice of Young People in Care) and the Western Trust’s 16+ Pathway Service, this partnership provides an opportunity for some of the most vulnerable or disadvantaged young people in the area to get appropriate support services under one roof.
Live UnLtd provide cash awards to young social entrepreneurs who want to change their world for the better. This competition is unique as the young person identifies the health problem, comes up with a solution and UnLtd awards them directly and offers development support to put their idea into action. If you are aged between 11 and 21, the Western Trust in partnership with Live Unltd want you to design a project that addresses a health issue in your community.
Dr Anne Kilgallen, current Medical Director for the Western Trust has won a Quality Improvement Fellowship awarded by the Health Foundation, a charity which exists to improve healthcare in the United Kingdom. Dr Kilgallen is the only person in Northern Ireland to have won a Quality Improvement Fellowship this year, and only the second ever to receive this honour in Northern Ireland since the fellowships began.
Chart-topping County Down band Snow Patrol have donated £20,000 to the Western Trust Cancer Services, Sperrin Suite based at Altnagelvin Hospital, Londonderry/Derry.
The wintry conditions did nothing to dampen the spirits of those who attended the Western Trust’s, Killadeas Day Care Gala Ball which took place recently in the Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen. This is the fourth year that the service has held this very special event for those who attend the centre for day care.
Nurses and Midwives from across Northern Ireland had an opportunity to learn about cutting-edge developments in nursing and health and social care modernisation at a special conference hosted, in partnership, by the Public Health Agency, the Western Trust and the University of Ulster, held recently at the City Hotel, Londonderry. An audience of 200 nurses and midwives from across Northern Ireland heard presentations that promoted examples of good practice, which highlighted successful innovations and improvements in health and social care pioneered by professional nurses and midwives.
Chief Executive, Elaine Way, recently had a visit from a very special guest to her office at the Western Trust’s Headquarters at Altnagelvin Hospital. Special guest seven-year-old Autumn was presented with a certificate of her bravery for helping direct ambulance control to her grandfathers house.
Life’s amazing, pass it on – is the message from a new organ donation campaign launched by Health Minister Edwin Poots. You can join the NHS Organ Donor Register today to ensure that in the event of your death you can give the gift of life to others. Through your generosity and that of other donors we are saving and transforming the lives of many people with end-stage organ failure.
The weather forecasted over the weekend is said to be very cold with frosty conditions. January 2010 saw a 57% increase in people over 65 years attending A&E in the Western Trust due to the inclement conditions.
The Western Trust met with relatives of patients and staff at Slievemore Nursing Unit this evening (Tuesday 12 March). The purpose of the meeting was to clarify the current position regarding the unit for patients, relatives and staff. It also provided an opportunity to answer any questions raised. At the meeting we informed relatives and staff that the unit will close no later than 31 May 2013.
The Western Health and Social Care Trust’s (Western Trust) Nutrition and Dietetic and Health Improvement Departments have joined forces with Primary Schools in the Western area to provide healthy eating information sessions aimed at tackling increased levels of obesity in Northern Ireland.
The award winning Western Trust Smoking Cessation Team are encouraging smokers to quit smoking and reap the financial benefits in this year’s theme for No Smoking Day on Wednesday 13 March to ‘SWAP FAGS FOR SWAG’! Western Trust Smoking Cessation Co-ordinators Mary Campbell and Kathleen McManus along with their health promotion colleagues are providing advice and support in venues across the Western Trust area to encourage people to quit smoking.
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 diarrhoea has been experienced among patients in Ward 3, which treats respiratory patients, at Altnagelvin Hospital in recent days and as an infection prevention and control measure, the ward is currently closed to admissions.
For the first time the Northern Ireland Regional Social Work Awards are being held outside of Belfast with the Western Trust playing host to this year’s awards in Derry/Londonderry.
The Western Trust recently hosted an event with John Carnochan, Detective Chief Superintendent, Scottish Violence Reduction Unit. The event looked at how investment into Infant Mental Health and Emotional Well Being is critical in the early years of child development, because amongst other benefits, like improved health outcomes it also helps to prevent murder and serious violence within communities.
The Western Trust’s Director of Acute Services, Mrs Geraldine Hillick will retire at the end of July 2013. Speaking about the announcement today, Trust Chief Executive, Elaine Way said: “It is with enormous regret that I advise you that I have today accepted Geraldine Hillick’s resignation as Director of Acute Services. Geraldine has 41 years of service and has made a tremendous contribution in the West and beyond. I am sure you will join me in wishing Geraldine and her family all the very best for the future.”
Staff from the Western Trust Fostering Recruitment and Assessment Team pictured today at a Coffee Morning held in the Public Services Centre in Omagh welcome interest from members of the public to find out more about fostering a child. The Fostering and Recruitment Team have held a number of public information events over the past fortnight throughout the Western Trust area which have been very well attended.
Living with a long-term condition such as lung or respiratory disease can be a wearing and isolating experience. As such, there are strong links between respiratory illness and poor mental health. Help is at hand and local people from Fermanagh were able to find out more at a very special event.
The Western Trust is inviting the public to come along and have their say on the planned Radiotherapy Unit to be built at Altnagelvin Hospital, Londonderry. Ten Focus Groups will take place from the 27 February 2013 to the 21 March 2013 at various venues across the North West
Enniskillen and Omagh Neighbourhood Renewal Health Projects hosted their Healthy Heart Valentines Tea dance for the second year running this week. Funded by Department for Social Development’s Neighbourhood Renewal Investment Fund and supported by the Western Trust Health Improvement Department over 100 guests from Enniskillen and Omagh Neighbourhood renewal areas attended Corick House Hotel, Clogher on Thursday 14 February 2013.
The Western Trust Autism Spectrum Disorder and School Nursing teams have recently presented donations to the Friends of Arvalee group to support the redevelopment of the Arvalee School following the fire last year.
The Western Trust is delighted to welcome local mums as new recruits to the Breastfeeding Support Network. Five local mums successfully qualified in an eight week Open Course Network training course in breastfeeding, which is run in conjunction with Western Trust, Public Health Agency and supported by Strabane SureStart. This course provides volunteers with a nationally recognised qualification in breastfeeding support.
According to the most recent Census 2011 the number of people in an informal caring role in Northern Ireland has risen by 16%, but this is thought to be an under estimate. To support these Carers, the Western Trust is running two events in March 2013 to raise awareness and identify hidden carers. The events 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.
The big move has started for Mencap’s Ashley House residents in Omagh, as they relocate to new supported living accommodation in the town.The move makes way for an extensive renovation and refurbishment programme for Ashley House, following a major investment by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and Western Health and Social Care Trust, in association with long-term partners the Oaklee Homes Group. The project also includes building a brand new four bed bungalow next to the property.
The Health Improvement Department recently organised an Inclusive Skills Course for participants from the statutory, community and voluntary sectors. The half day course was delivered by Disability Sports NI on 5th February at the YMCA, Derry.
The Western Trust paid tribute to all those involved in delivering care to patients at the South West Acute Hospital as it reached its six month milestone being fully operational, carrying out over 80,000 patient interactions and welcoming nearly 700 babies into the world. The replacement for Erne Hospital opened for business in June 2012, shortly followed by the official opening by Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. The South West Acute Hospital six months on has delivered on a promise to bring vital care and treatment to thousands of patients in the Tyrone and Fermanagh areas.
Jackie McKee, Trust Stroke Specialist Nurse based at Altnagelvin Hospital has been a nurse for over 20 years; she previously worked in the Mater Hospital from 1992 before taking up her position as Stroke Specialist Nurse with the Western Trust in 2009. At the start of her nursing career, Jackie saw advancements in care for cardiac and cancer patients but she then believed that more could have been done for patients who suffered a stroke. Find out more about her role in the Western Trust.
People across Tyrone and Fermanagh are being encouraged to attend two special events where they will learn vital information on how to live with respiratory conditions and protect their mental wellbeing. Organised by the Western Trust in partnership with the British Lung Foundation and Public Health Agency these personal and public involvement events have been organised to raise awareness of the challenges of living with a chronic respiratory condition. They will look at how to adopt coping strategies to effectively self-manage conditions – and you are being asked to come along and find out more!
The Western Trust this week welcomed Mr Richard Evans, Chief Executive Officer Society and College of Radiographers on his first visit to the new South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen.
The Western Trust is encouraging the public to thinking about Fostering by attending one of the public information events taking place in your area between 25 February - 1 March 2013. With a rise in the number of children coming into care in Northern Ireland, the Western Trust is urging more caring people to come forward in 2013 to provide vulnerable children with foster homes. There is particular need for more foster families across Londonderry, Fermanagh and Tyrone for children aged seven to 12 years, both on a short and long term basis.
The Western Trust Health Improvement Department have announced the winner of their first ever photography competition launched to celebrate positive mental health. Kevin Murphy from Derry/Londonderry was awarded the first prize out of a total of 39 entries. Experienced and novice photographers were invited to capture and submit photographs centred on the theme ‘celebrating positive mental health’ accompanied by a personal statement describing what the image means to them and their Mental Health.
An innovative scheme that promotes accident prevention and safety messages to Primary School children took place in the Bawnacre Irvinestown between 4th and 8th February 2013. Over 600 Primary 7 children from 26 schools throughout the Fermanagh District Council area attended the Bee Safe initiative which is co-ordinated by the Western Trust Health Improvement Department and funded by the Policing & Community Safety Partnership.
“Slievemore Nursing Unit is an 18 bedded unit providing specialist services for people with dementia who present with challenging behaviour. Slievemore is not intended to offer long term placements. However, it is acknowledged some patients have stayed longer than originally intended. The Trust has engaged formally for a second time with the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) in relation to Slievemore. As a result admissions will continue to be suspended to the Unit as agreed with RQIA. RQIA have not expressed any concerns in relation to the quality of nursing care currently delivered at Slievemore Nursing Unit. However, the model of care being delivered cannot be registered under any of RQIA’s registration classifications.
The South West Acute Hospital has recently scooped a top disability award from the William Keown Trust for how user friendly the new facility is. The Prestige Access Award was presented from the William Keown Trust to the Hospital as judges found there were so many considerations made in design and construction to make it fully user friendly for people with disabilities. It was noted there is a generous number of disability parking bays. The large reception area desks have low level sections suitable for wheelchair users, fitted with suitably signed hearing enhancement systems and excellent signage.
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, funded by the Public Health Agency (PHA) in conjunction with the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust), which has turned this on its head for over 150 carers across all care sectors, from Fermanagh, Omagh, Strabane and Derry/Londonderry.
A meeting was held this week at the Western Trust’s Foyle Disability Resource Centre to discuss Foyle Sailability for people with disabilities. The Foyle Sailability initiative is aimed at securing access to Watersports and particularly sailing for people with disabilities in the North West. Disabled Sailing is now recognised as the fastest growth area in sailing in Northern Ireland and this meeting is about looking at what is needed to develop accessible facilities and sailing opportunities for people with disabilities and how this development can be supported locally.
The Western Trust is pleased to announce the investment of £148,000 to upgrade the Endoscopy Decontamination Unit (EDU) at Tyrone County Hospital. The EDU supports Endoscopy Services for patients. Endoscopy a medical procedure that allows a doctor to observe the inside of the body without performing major surgery using a tube-like endoscope and provides diagnostic facilities and minor surgical procedures for gastroenterology and cancer services and for other medical specialities. An endoscopy can have advantages including no scarring, quick recovery time, and less or no time in hospital.
The Western Trust is launching its Emotional Wellbeing Strategy which encompasses the infant mental health strategy, and is aimed at children and young people from pregnancy to the age of 19+ years. This made the Trust the first in Northern Ireland to do so.
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 40 at Altnagelvin Hospital in recent days. As an infection prevention and control measure the ward, which treats stroke patients, is currently closed to admissions.
The Western Trust is moving forward with an innovative scheme promoting accident prevention and safety messages to Primary School children. The event will be held in St Columb’s Park House on 14 - 18 January 2013 with over 950 Primary 7 children from 25 schools throughout the Derry City Council area in attendance. The Bee Safe initiative co-ordinated by the Western Trust’s Health Improvement Department and funded by Northern Ireland Electricity and the PSNI.
Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) is now available for the first time in Northern Ireland at the South West Acute Hospital. This new ultrasound procedure recently introduced to the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen is helping some patients in the Western Trust with suspected lung cancer to achieve their diagnosis in a shorter time period.
The test involves patients having a flexible and highly-sensitive combined camera and ultrasound scope passed deep into the lung which detects lymph nodes as well as tumours outside the windpipe. This allows these areas to be biopsied in order to diagnose the patient’s condition and in some cases to determine what stage the cancer is at. The 30 minute procedure allows a quicker and safer service for patients, and, in a significant number of cases, eliminates the need for general anaesthetic.
Brendan Duffy Western Trust Locality Services Manager for Fermanagh, won the Experienced Manager of the Year category at the Institute of Healthcare Management’s (IHM) annual ceremony, held recently in Titanic Belfast. Brendan Duffy was recognised for his contribution over the years and in particular the role he has played in addressing and meeting the needs of older people residing in rural areas of Fermanagh and the wider Trust area.
Mum-of-four Debra McNeil is celebrating after being named as Communication Champion at the Shine a Light Awards 2012. Debra was nominated by the Western Trust’s Speech and Language Therapist, Jill Borland who said: “I nominated Debra for the award for setting up and maintaining a language enrichment group for children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). I believe Debra was inspired to set up the group after her second son Joseph received help from a Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) after being diagnosed with a complex SLCN and attended group sessions for a short period. She saw the benefits Joseph received from these sessions and decided to set up a group for children across Derry/Londonderry.”