Continuing our plans to reorganise the delivery of acute services in Belfast, Gynaecology services will move on Monday 6 February 2012.

Two new initiatives were recently launched by the Health and Social Care Board's Regional Autistic Spectrum Disorder Network (RASDN) to improve information and services for parents, carers and users of autism services.

Topping Out Ceremony at Critical Care Centre

The Health Minister Edwin Poots recently performed the Topping Out ceremony at Phase 2B, Critical Care Centre, Royal Victoria Hospital.  Construction of the Critical Care Building is due to be completed in 2012 with a total project cost of £151m. Mr Poots said all patients will benefit from this new state of the art building, with modern fit for purpose critical care facilities.

Minister Poots visits Trust's ED Departments

The Minister Edwin Poots recently visited the Emergency Departments at the Royal Victoria and Mater Hospitals.

Christine Bleakley launches 'Text Santa' at Children's Hospital

Celebrity Christine Bleakley met with patients and staff in the Children’s hospital to launch an exciting new charity initiative from ITV1 – Text Santa.

Successful Year for Fostering Service

2011 has been a busy and successful year for Belfast Trust Fostering Service. The emphasis and theme of the year was Belfast Trust, valuing foster carers and their families.

During today’s industrial action there will be no routine outpatient appointments in our hospitals other than those deemed clinically critical. Advance notice of the strike action meant that we were able to offer people appointments on other dates. The number of outpatient appointments that would have been booked for 30 November is estimated to be 3,000.

Arts Care create large scale art installation at Belfast City Hospital

Celebrate the gift of human kindness by helping Arts Care create a large scale art installation at Belfast City Hospital.  Light the Candle is a temporary art installation that is being created by Andrea Spencer, Arts Care artist in residence at BCH, and Nicola Drenan, a second year ceramic student at University of Ulster.

'Happy Feet' Matinee for Friends of the Cancer Centre

Join Friends of the Cancer Centre for the launch of Happy Feet 2 in 3D this December at the Movie House Cityside. A Christmas matinee show will take place on Sunday 4 December at 11.00am with a guest appearance from Santa!

Belfast Trust is restricting admissions to Ward 4F of the Royal Victoria Hospital following an increased incidence of Clostridium Difficile. Families visiting relatives in the ward, which primarily treats neurosurgery patients are being asked to strictly observe the Trust’s visiting policy of two people at the bedside and good hand hygiene practice while in the ward. Visitors are also being asked not to bring children onto the ward.

Belfast City Hospital A&E Department closed temporarily on 1 November 2011

The fourth and final article of a fortnightly update bulletin in our series of A&E updates is now available.  The bulletins outline the arrangements put in place to support the transfer of Accident and Emergency Department services from Belfast City Hospital which closed temporarily on 1 November.



Thank You from Macmillan Information Service Royal Hospitals

Macmillan Information Service at the Royal Hospitals would sincerely like to thank everyone who supported the Macmillan ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’ on Friday 30 September in Spoons Restaurant, Royal Victoria Hospital.

A&E services no longer available at Belfast City Hospital

At 8am today the Accident and Emergency Department at the Belfast City Hospital closed.  This temporary measure is needed, due to a shortage in medical staff which could not be filled – despite a national and international recruitment drive.

Robotic dispensing at Belfast City Hospital

A new medicines dispensing robot has been installed at Belfast City Hospital and its introduction has been welcomed by Health Minister Edwin Poots.

The robot allows for increased dispensing speed, better stock control, increased accuracy and better utilisation of staff time.

Belfast City Hospital A&E Department closed temporarily on 1 November 2011

The fourth and final article in a series of fortnightly update bulletins is now available. The bulletins outline the arrangements put in place to support the transfer of Accident and Emergency Department services from Belfast City Hospital which closed temporarily close on 1 November.

Traveller Community Health Strategy

Belfast Trust has recently recruited two Traveller Liaison Workers. The employment of these workers, who are both from the Traveller Community, represents an enormous step forward in the implementation of our Traveller Health Strategy which was launched recently.

Childcare Works Awards 2011

Public Sector Company of the Year  -  Belfast Health and Social Care Trust has been awarded winner of the public sector category at the inaugural Childcare Works Awards 2011 in association with Employers for Childcare.

Industrial Action


During the official Unison strike action on Wednesday 5 October, it has been agreed with the Trade Union that emergency and essential health and social care services will continue to be provided.

Belfast Trust supporting sustainable travel

Health Minister Edwin Poots was welcomed by Belfast Trust Chairman, Pat McCartan when he visited the RVH to receive a copy of Belfast Trusts Workplace Travel Plan, which was launched as part of European Mobility Week.

Celebrate European Heritage Day  at  Royal Victoria Hospital

As part of European Heritage Open Days, two important aspects of the unique heritage of the Royal Victoria Hospital will be open to the public.

On Saturday, 10 September 2011, 9.30am-3.00 pm, you can experience a piece of history in the original 1903 Victorian corridor, engine house and air conditioning system.

2010-11 Annual Report Available

The fourth Belfast Trust Annual Report is now available online. ‘In only four years we have travelled a long way,’ says Chairman Pat McCartan. ‘I believe people who work in Belfast Trust are there because they want to make a difference, and I continue to be impressed by not only their level of commitment, but also the ingenuity of staff in finding ways of making the patient and client experience better’

Emergency Department at Belfast City Hospital will remain open until November

The Board of Directors of Belfast Health and Social Care Trust today approved the temporary closure of the unit – caused by an acute shortage of staff but agreed that, with the support of existing staff in hospitals across greater Belfast it will be able to remain open until the beginning of November.

World Suicide Prevention Day

10 September is World Suicide Prevention Day, and is an opportunity to highlight this important issue. In 2010, 313 deaths in Northern Ireland were registered as suicide, and on average someone in the world takes their own life every 40 seconds.

Minister visits Childrens Hospital

Health Minister Edwin Poots paid a visit to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children this week.

He was welcomed by Trust Chairman Pat McCartan, Deputy Chief Executive Marie Mallon and Director of Specialist Hospitals, Women's and Children's Health Brian Barry.

Staff commended for efforts following bus incident

Trust Director Jennifer Welsh, has paid tribute to staff who dealt calmly and professionally with casualties following an incident in which a double-decker bus overturned in Belfast city centre.

A total of 30 casualties were treated at the Royal, City and Mater hospitals.

Update on Emergency Department at Belfast City Hospital

Belfast Trust is planning for the temporary closure of the Emergency Department in Belfast City Hospital in October 2011 unless we are able to recruit middle grade doctors i.e. those with at least eight years experience four of which would have been in Emergency Medicine.

Email Scam Alert !


We have become aware that some people have received recruitment emails claiming to be issued by the Royal Victoria Hospital, asking you to supply personal details.

These emails are fraudulent and have not been issued by, or on behalf of the Royal Victoria Hospital or the Belfast Trust. We advise anyone who receives such an email to delete it as soon as possible.

Screening is being offered to 43 former patients of Ward 6 North at Belfast City Hospital who may have been in contact with a patient diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB).  The screening is a precautionary measure in line with standard guidance and patients should not be alarmed.

Annual public lecture at West Belfast Festival

Belfast Trust will again sponsor a lecture at the West Belfast Festival.  The lecture ‘The connected baby: How parent-infant interaction builds brains’ - will be delivered by Dr Suzanne Zeedyk, Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Dundee. It will be held on Tuesday 2 August 2011 at 5pm.

New Exhibition at Musgrave Park Hospital

A new exhibition has opened in the Arts Care's Gallery at Musgrave Park Hospital. Entitled ‘The Life of The Lough’ the exhibition features the environmental photography of Co Down photographer, Bernie Brown.

The exhibition will run from 4 July to 31 August, in Arts Care's Gallery, 2nd Floor Lift Lobby, Withers, Musgrave Park Hospital.

Celebrating 25 Years of Bruce House

This week Bruce House, a purpose built specialist residential facility for older people suffering from dementia and related illnesses celebrated its 25 year anniversary. The Home opened in 1986 and is now one of five specialist residential units across Belfast Trust offering short and long term care.

Belfast Trust today welcomed the Health Minister, Edwin Poots focus on the anticipated shortage of junior doctors across Northern Ireland.

Medical Director, Tony Stevens said, “It is no secret that our three adult EDs are stretched in terms of appropriate clinical cover at particular times. Our focus has to be on patient safety.”

Following our 'Right Treatment, Right Place' consultation in October 2010 on acute service delivery, the public and Trust Board gave their support to plans to reorganise the delivery of acute services in Belfast.

The first phase of reorganisation will begin this summer, starting with Ear Nose and Throat Services (ENT).

Belfast Trust wins Gold in Workplace Equality Award

Belfast Trust was one of 76 organisations across the UK taking part in Business in the Community - Opportunity Now’s national benchmarking survey to measure its level of equality and diversity in the workplace. The Trust, which obtained a Silver Award in the last Survey, is one of only 3 organisations in NI (and 18% throughout the UK) to achieve a Gold award this time.

Open Days at West Belfast Wellbeing and Treatment Centres

Beech Hall and Shankill Wellbeing and Treatment Centres will open this summer and are the last in a series of 7 health and wellbeing centres built in the city by Belfast Trust.

To give those in the area an opportunity to see the centres before they are officially opened, two open days are planned:

  • Beech Hall Wellbeing and Treatment centre Open Day is on Tuesday 28 June 4pm to 7pm.
  • Shankill Wellbeing and Treatment Centre Open Day is on Wednesday 29 June 4pm to 7pm.

Belfast Trust nurse wins Nurse of the Year Award

Belfast Trust nurse, Pauline Haslett has become RCN Nurse of the Year 2011. Pauline , who works as a live donor transplant co-ordinator in Belfast City Hospital, fought off competition from six other finalists to receive the award for transforming the live donor service in Northern Ireland.

Belfast Trust staff excelled at this year’s RCN Nurse of The Year Awards, walking away with a total of six winning awards.

Carers Week 2011


13 - 19 June

Many people living in the Belfast area are caring for a family member or friend who is ill, frail or disabled. They do so with courage and fortitude and a practical love that is prepared to put their own needs last. CARERS WEEK 2011 is a recognition and celebration of the dedication of both adult and young carers who quietly sacrifice their own time and life opportunities for the sake of others.

International Mens Health Week  Tuesday 14 June 2011

To celebrate International Men’s Health Week, the Men’s Health Group led by the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, partner organisations and voluntary and community groups will be hosting a Men’s Health event in Belfast City Hall on Tuesday 14 June from 10.30am till 2.00pm.

'Thank you' to Trust Volunteers

Belfast City Hall hosted a special event to honour the many volunteers who offer up their time, energy and commitment volunteering in Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.

Smile Surestart invites you to their Family Health Event on Wednesday 8th June 2011 at North Queen Street Community Centre, Belfast. The theme this year is health and safety we will be covering accidents in the home, in the car and on the road.

Cheque Presentation to RBHSC

The Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children has recently received a cheque for £20,000 from Curley’s.

New Health Minister visits Cancer Centre

New Health Minister Edwin Poots helped our Chairman and Chief Executive underline the wash your hands infection control message when he paid a visit to the Cancer Centre yesterday.

If you think you could make a positive difference to a child’s life , why not come along to Northern Ireland’s biggest fostering coffee morning, ‘CARE for Coffee?’ and find out more about fostering.

Join 'Friends of the Cancer Centre' for the ride of your life. From 100ft up in a crane, you'll zip 1000ft from one side of the River Lagan to the other!

Chief Executive, Colm Donaghy, launched the Musgrave Park Hospital element of the “Through the Lens” photography project. 

The Northern Ireland Cancer Trials Centre (NICTC), formerly known as the Northern Ireland Cancer Clinical Trials Unit, launches its new name, logo and web-site.

Shayne Ward visits Children's Hospital

Shayne Ward X Factor winner took time out to visit the children's hospital recently while in Belfast performing at the Odyssey Arena.

Radiothon Raises £100k to Children's Hospital

Cool FM’s Cash for Kids presented a cheque for a massive £100,000 to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children recently.

Our phones and switchboards - tell us what you think

When you lift the phone to call us, we want you to be able to speak to the person you need to speak to, as quickly and easily as possible. However, in an organisation with 20,000 staff, working in many different buildings across Belfast, we know this can sometimes be challenging.

When Belfast Trust was formed in 2007, it merged six smaller healthcare Trusts, each with their own telephone system, and their own way of managing phone calls. Some of that technology now requires replacement.

Health Minister announces Capital Spend priorities for next 4 years

In his final statement to the NI Assembly as Health Minister, Michael McGimpsey has outlined his spending priorities for the next four years.

Run Belfast Marathon for 'Friends of the Cancer Centre'

Help support cancer patients and their families across Northern Ireland by taking part in the 2011 Belfast City Marathon and choosing Friends of the Cancer Centre as your sponsored charity.

Walk or run… raise a little or raise a lot…Friends of the Cancer Centre would appreciate your support at the marathon on Monday 2 May 2011.

Belfast Trust enjoyed a winning night at this year’s Northern Ireland Healthcare Awards scooping an outstanding seven of the sixteen awards on offer. The Awards are run in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Healthcare Review.

Ministerial 'Handover' of Shankill Health and Wellbeing Centre

Shankill Health and Wellbeing Centre has officially been handed over to the Trust by Health Minister Michael McGimpsey.
The new centre is one of seven similar centres that have been built across Belfast since 2005, and will bring together services which are currently being delivered from 11 different facilities.

Trust Social Workers shine at Awards Ceremony

Trust Chairman Pat McCartan and Chief Executive Colm Donaghy have extended their congratulations to the Oncology and Haematology Social Work Team based at the Cancer Centre in Belfast City Hospital who secured the Overall Award for excellence at the recent Regional Social Work Awards hosted by the Lord Mayor at Belfast City Hall.

Care Project unveiled at Mater Hospital

Belfast Trust and Arts Care are today celebrating the unveiling of the ‘Care’ Project, a large artwork at the front of the Mater Hospital. The art work was created by groups of patients, including those from general and mental health facilities, and was facilitated by Patricia Lavery, Arts Care Artist in Residence at the Mater Hospital.

Relationships, not sex - Valentine message from young people

The Multi-Agency Belfast Area Sexual Health Project Board, facilitated by Belfast Trust has recently produced a brand new resource for young people in the area of relationships and sexual health. Entitled ‘Unique’, it is designed to help inform young people in the areas of friendship, love, dating and sex.

Obsolete Equipment save Lives in Uganda

Obsolete equipment donated by Belfast Trust has made the difference between life and death for patients at a hospital in Uganda.

New Code of Conduct for Healthcare Chaplains

Health Minister Michael McGimpsey has officially launched a new Code of Conduct for Healthcare Chaplains in Northern Ireland.

New booklets on traumatic bereavement launched

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Pat Convery, has officially launched the second edition of the hugely successful Sudden Death and Traumatic Bereavement Reference Books and Leaflets produced by the Eastern Trauma Advisory Panel at Belfast City Hall.

Belfast Trust has ordered the recall of 117 dental patients for checkups – as a precautionary measure – following a review of the clinical performance of a senior consultant at the School of Dentistry.

The action follows an extensive review of patients treated by the dentist who has been removed by the Trust from treating its patients – and who has also been reported to the General Medical and General Dental Councils.

Longest surviving kidney transplant patient celebrates

40 years ago in Belfast City Hospital Bob Arnott received his kidney transplant and now at 76 is one of the longest surviving kidney transplant patients in the world.

A new artwork celebrating ‘Community Spirit’ will be unveiled in Belfast City hospital today. This project was created by ArtsCare artist-in-residence Andrea Spencer, working with patients, staff and visitors at the hospital.

Health Minister Michael McGimpsey recently launched a public consultation on ‘Quality 2020’ - a 10-year Quality Strategy for Health and Social Care (HSC) in Northern Ireland.

The Strategy aims to protect and improve quality across the HSC in achieving excellence in terms of safety, effectiveness and the patient/client experience.  The Minister said: “Good quality care must be at the heart of everything we do. This strategy provides a clear way forward for all of us, service users and staff alike, over the next 10 years so that, as we plan for the future, we can protect and improve quality whatever challenges we face. It will give us the long-term perspective needed in planning to address issues of safety, effectiveness and the patient/client involvement.”  

Forest Lodge Respite Home has raised £2,000 to bring a smile to the faces of the many children it provides care for.  The funds were raised to help pay for visits from the NI ClownDoctors.

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