South Belfast and Shankill Leisure Centre will be hosting the FRESH programme from the beginning of March 2012.

Only a hospital test can confirm a stroke for sure, but it’s important to know the signs, and be able to respond quickly, if you suspect someone is having a stroke. The national campaign ‘Stroke – Act F.A.S.T’ helps you to know what to look for.

Services Maintained During Water Difficulties

In spite of the recent difficulties with water supply across Northern Ireland, Belfast Trust continues to maintain all hospital services at this busy time of year.

Pop Art Portraits at RABIU

Pop Art Portraits is a new project launched at the Regional Acquired Brain Injury Unit (RABIU) in Musgrave Park Hospital. The project saw Patients and staff paint their own portraits, Pop Art-style, in workshops facilitated jointly by Art Therapist Carole Connelly and ArtsCare Artist-in-Residence, Cheryl Bleakley.

Mums Vote Mater Midwife To Top Regional Award

Jasmine Callow, a midwife at the Mater Hospital, has been selected as Northern Ireland winner of the Johnson’s Baby Mums’ Midwife of the Year Award. – This is part of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Annual Midwifery Awards,which celebrate and reward the excellence, innovation and impact of the midwifery profession in the UK

Barriers to Health: Migrant Health and Wellbeing in Belfast

A new report launched on Human Rights Day identified the number one ‘health’ problem for migrants living in Belfast as access to health and social care services.

This report is the first publication of the Belfast Health Development Unit, established jointly in March 2010 by Belfast Trust, Public Health Agency and Belfast City Council to facilitate partnership working in Belfast to tackle inequalities in health.

Sod-Cutting Ceremony At New Neurology Unit

Health Minister Michael McGimpsey today cut the first sod at a new £4.9m purpose built Neurology Unit at Musgrave Park Hospital.
The new Neurology facility will be built in Musgrave Park Hospital adjacent and attached to the Regional Acquired Brain Injury Unit, and will have 23 beds, providing neuro-palliative care, assessment and rehabilitation as well as respite care

New Service For Congenital Heart Disease Launched

A Nurse-led Congenital Heart Disease Transition Clinic for 14-16 year olds called rheartz was launched today by Health Minister Michael McGimpsey.

About one percent of babies are born with congenital heart abnormalities, ranging in severity from the most simple to the more complex. Often these babies undergo major life saving cardiac surgery during their infancy and again during their childhood years, and thanks to the advances in medical treatments and surgical techniques, the majority of them now survive into their adult years

Macmillan Nurse Recognised For Support And Care Of Cancer Sufferers

Senior Macmillan nurse in the Belfast Trust, Anne McLean, has received the Aisling Roll of Honour Award for her work in cancer support and care.
The award recognises the work of Macmillan nurses whose dedication to patients with a diagnosis of cancer and those requiring specialist palliative care, including care of terminally ill patients, is legendary and has brought great comfort and support to thousands of people across the City of Belfast.

Emergency Department Sees 60% Increase In Attendances Due To Icy Weather

It’s that time of year again when we see an increase in attendances at Emergency Departments because of slips and falls due to snow and ice.
The Royal Victoria Hospital have seen a 60% increase in attendance over last weekend compared to the previous weekend.

Traveller Focus Week Presents New Health Study

Findings from the All Ireland Traveller Health Study, carried out by University College Dublin, were presented today at an event organised by An Munia Tober, the Traveller Support Organisation. Dr Leslie Boydell presented a response on behalf of Belfast Trust outlining the commitments made in the Trust’s Traveller Health Strategy and action plan. This has been developed by the Traveller Strategy Board, chaired by Bernie McNally, Director of Social and Primary Care, to address the health needs of Travellers

Trust Scoops Top Befriending Award

Belfast Trust have won a top award as one of the Northern Ireland winners of the Supporting Life’s Journeys ‘Mentoring and Befriending Recognition Awards 2010’ The awards recognise volunteers and organisations that have made a difference to people’s lives through mentoring or befriending services.

Trust Partnership takes radical approach to tackling unemployment

Following the official launch of the findings of an independent evaluation of The West Belfast and Greater Shankill Health Employment Partnership local decision makers have been urged to adopt a radical new approach for tackling unemployment in the most deprived areas of Belfast.

Annual Sexual Health Conference Focuses On Women And Sexual Health

At the 16th annual sexual health conference at Lagan Valley Island in Lisburn, Belfast Trust and the Public Health Agency encouraged women to take responsibility for their own sexual health.

Launch of Roots of Empathy Programme

A novel classroom approach to reducing bullying and aggression in school children was officially launched this week at Belfast City Hall.

The Roots of Empathy programme, which is underway in 28 schools across the South Eastern and Belfast Health Trust areas, enlists the help of babies and their parents to teach children about caring for others.



The Fit to Foster Club was established to enable foster carers to apply for and maintain long term foster placements. Fostering can be a physically demanding job and it is essential that foster carers look after their health and fitness. As role models to young foster children it is important foster carers lead by example and encourage healthy living and healthy eating habits

Speech and Language Therapist Receives Recognition

A Speech and Language Therapist in Belfast Trust, Valerie Morton, has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists

Belfast Trust and Include Youth hosted a ‘Health and Employability Fair for Young People’, on Thursday 28 October 2010 at the Grove Wellbeing Centre.

This was an opportunity for young people and those who work with young people in the Belfast area to access information and advice on health, employment and well-being.

New Macmillan Information Centre Opens

Trust Chairman, Pat McCartan, performed the official opening of the Macmillan Drop-in Information Service in the Royal Victoria Hospital. Located on the second floor of the main mall in the hospital the information centre provides support and information to people affected by cancer.

Infection Prevention Week – Ensuring Safe, Clean Hospitals

This year’s International Infection Prevention Week, running from 17-23 October, aims to spread the message that “infection prevention is everyone’s business!”
Great strides have already been made in reducing the number of MRSA and MSSA bacteraemias within the Belfast Trust

Belfast Trust is committed to creating a learning culture in the organisation that supports staff in gaining knowledge and developing skills that will enhance the quality of care provided

The Trust’s Crisis Response Team worked through the night to provide support and emergency equipment to residents in the Ligoniel area affected by this morning’s security alert.

Backcare Awareness Week - 11-15 October

This year’s theme, “Beyond the Box” aims to get people thinking about the less obvious causes of back pain, those hidden lifts or awkward postures which are not “box shaped.” We are asked to consider all aspects of life not just those that are work based, where staff tend to be more safety conscious.

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day is being held on Sunday 10 October. It aims to promote worldwide awareness surrounding mental health issues, and this year’s theme is Mental Health and Long Term illness: the need for continued and integrated care

RBHSC Service of Remembrance

Parents, families, friends and staff will remember children who have died at the Royal Belfast hospital for Sick Children at a special remembrance service this Sunday, 10 October at 2.30pm, in Bostock Ballroom at the Royal Hospitals.

Colm Donaghy takes up post today as the new Chief Executive of the Belfast Trust, following the retirement of William McKee

This week (20-25 September) is National Play in Hospital Week, and the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children has been joining in the fun with a packed programme of events for its young patients

Health Minister Officially Opens Enler Day Centre

Health Minister, Michael McGimpsey has officially opened Enler Day Centre, which is the new day care facility for elderly people in the Enler centre, Ballybeen.

The centre will provide 50 day care places for senior citizens in the area and is the health component of a larger community development project.

Knockbracken Daycare Unit Wins Best Kept Accolade

Knockbracken Day Centre were among the winners of this year’s ‘Best Kept Health and Social Care Facility Awards’. Staff and clients from the centre were delighted to receive the Best Kept Day Care Facility (Belfast Region) award, for the third consecutive year at a special presentation ceremony held earlier this week.

Also recognised at the Awards was Suffolk Day Centre who was runner-up in the same category.

Day Centre Wins ‘Best Kept’ Ward

Knockbracken Day Centre were among the winners of this year’s ‘Best Kept Health and Social Care Facility Awards’. Staff and clients from the centre were delighted to receive the Best Kept Day Care Facility (Belfast Region) award, for the third consecutive year at a special presentation ceremony held today.

The Board of Directors of Belfast Trust has agreed the business case for the use of the top three floors of the critical care building on The Royal Hospitals site.

Health Minister, Michael McGimpsey has official opened two new Trust facilities - Beechcroft, the new Regional Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit and the Plenum Building, the regional pharmacy manufacturing service

New strategy outlines seven point plan to address health inequalities

Belfast Trust today launched a seven point plan to help make sure that more people in its area enjoy the best possible health.

Belfast has the highest level of deprivation in Northern Ireland – and this translates into lower life expectancy and higher levels of illness as well as uneven access to health services.

The Trust’s strategy to address inequalities was launched at the Girls Model School in North Belfast.

Royal Victoria Hospital to Celebrate European Heritage Day

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, 11 September from 9.30am-12.30 pm, you can experience a piece of history in the original 1903 Victorian corridor, engine house and air conditioning system.

Regional Sunbed Campaign launched at Mater Hospital

Today at the Mater hospital, the Public health Agency launched their latest campaign to raise awareness of the health effects of sunbed use, especially among young people.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in Northern Ireland and accounts for more than one quarter of all individuals diagnosed with cancer. There has been a dramatic increase in cases over the years with malignant melanoma skin cancer cases nearly trebling in 25 years. ¹

Colm Donaghy has been appointed the new Chief Executive for Belfast Trust.

He was appointed Chief Executive of the Southern Trust in 2007 and for the past year has been seconded to the post of Chief Executive in the Northern Trust.

As a public body, the Trust must ensure proper use of the public money that it has been allocated.

One of the ways we make sure this happens, is to promote an anti-fraud culture which requires all staff to act with honesty and integrity at all times and to take appropriate steps to safeguard resources.

Recent statistics released by the Department of Health show that over one in four (27%) attendances at emergency care departments during 2009/10 were in the Belfast Trust. That amounts to 188,928 people coming through the doors of our A&Es.

The Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation of NHS Blood and transport visited the intensive care unit, Belfast City Hospital recently.

Memories of washday were captured in unique artwork produced by tenants of Sydenham Court. The ladies designed and made a series of beautiful wall hangings which are now being displayed for tenants, staff and visitors to enjoy.

Plans are ongoing to improve autism services for children and adults in Northern Ireland.

The Regional Autism Spectrum Disorder Network was set up by the Health and Social Care Board to implement the Autism Action Plan published by Health Minister, Michael McGimpsey last autumn and already much progress has been made.

Siobhan Mawhirk, a Belfast Trust Specialist Speech & Language Therapist was recently awarded the prestigious Laura Millen Memorial Award by Autism NI.

Siobhan received the award for ‘Excellence in Speech & Language Therapy’ for her work in the Trust Autism Diagnostic Service and her research and intervention work within the Belfast Education and Library Board ASD Advisory Service.

This week, USA artist in residence Nevin Bossart, has been leading workshops in acrylic painting for patients, relatives and staff in the foyer of Cancer Centre and Bridgewater Suite, Belfast City Hospital.

Arts Care artist in residence Andrea Spencer has collated an exhibition of the artwork completed in the workshops with Nevin which will be displayed in the Arts Care Tower Gallery (Ground floor, Belfast City Hospital Tower). The exhibition will be officially opened by Geoff Hill (Co-Director, Cancer & Specialist Services) at 2pm on Friday 30 July.

Nevin Bossart, artist from Lombardi Cancer Centre’s Arts and Humanities Programme, Washington DC will be leading workshops in acrylic painting for patients, relatives and staff in the foyer of Cancer Centre and Bridgewater Suite, Belfast City Hospital from Monday 26th – Thursday 29th July 2010.

This year the Belfast Trust will again sponsor a lecture at the West Belfast Festival. The lecture ' Learning from Glasgow’s experience: Inequalities and ill Health' - will be delivered by author of ‘ The Tears that made the Clyde’, Dr Carol Craig. The lecture will be held on Tuesday 3 August at 5pm in St Mary’s University College, Falls Road .

The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust is looking for your views on our largest public consultation to date. This consultation, called ‘Right Treatment, Right Place’ is on a proposal to reorganise the delivery of Acute Hospital Services in Belfast, and looks at how services can be reshaped to offer the highest standards of care to people in Belfast, and across Northern Ireland.

Department of Microbiology in Belfast Health and Social Care Trust have won the Elevations Diagnostics idea of the year award. The team have developed a rapid molecular test for early diagnosis of meningococcal disease (MD) resulting in earlier treatment.

The Trust continues to perform well against Department of Health targets for the reduction of MRSA bacteraemias and Clostridium difficile . We reduced our MRSA bacteraemias by 27 % and Clostridium difficile cases by 50% last year.

To mark National Breastfeeding Awareness Week, Maternity Services at Belfast Trust have been awarded the prestigious UNICEF Baby Friendly Award. 

National Breastfeeding Awareness Week runs from 21 – 27 June, and aims to raise awareness of the health benefits of breastfeeding, increase social acceptance of breastfeeding and promote support for breastfeeding.

Three in five of us will become a carer at some point in our lives, providing unpaid care to someone we know who is ill, frail or disabled. We would not expect to sacrifice our own lives as a result but, all too often, that is what happens.  As part of National Carers Week the Trust has launched a Carers Strategy 2010 – 2015.

Local clinical psychologists have welcomed the launch of the Psychological Therapies Strategy, by health minister Michael McGimpsey.

The document was launched yesterday at a reception in the Everton Complex, a Belfast Trust centre in north Belfast. It aims to ensure that people experiencing psychological difficulties are able to access psychological therapies easily, and support is available when and where it is needed. It also emphasises the importance of involving the service users in the planning of how services are organised and delivered.

On Monday 7 June,  BBCNI will be broadcasting the last of the series of three documentaries about Belfast Trust called ‘Life Matters’. Presented by Sir Gerry Robinson, they feature the challenges and opportunities faced by Belfast Trust following reorganisation.

The last programme will be broadcast on Monday 7 June 2010 at 10.30 pm and will feature cancer services, mental health, cardiology and services for the elderly.

Today the Belfast Trust relaunched their corporate website. The site sports a fresh new look and contains a wealth of information for patients, visitors and anyone interested in what the Belfast Trust does.

The Belfast Trust has held a special thank you event in recognition of the work carried out throughout the year by its hardworking and dedicated volunteers.

To coincide with Volunteer Week which runs from 1-7 June, the Trust hosted a reception where Trust Chairman, Pat McCartan, acknowledged the important role it's volunteers played in complementing the work of staff throughout the organisation.

In 2009-2010 volunteers have provided an incredible 45,720 hours of service.

Staff from across the Trust have been recognised as top innovators as part of Northern Ireland’s first-ever Elevation Awards, organised by HSC Innovations.

All 20,000 staff in the Belfast Trust – from domestic assistants to surgeons – were challenged in March to put forward innovative ideas to transform healthcare or lead to vital medical breakthroughs, and many came up with new and exciting ideas.

At an event in the Cancer Centre at Belfast City Hospital, Health Minister Michael McGimpsey has launched a new uniform for the health and social care workers in Northern Ireland.

BBCNI will be broadcasting a series of three documentaries about Belfast Trust called ‘Life Matters’. Presented by Sir Gerry Robinson these feature the challenges and opportunities faced by Belfast Trust following reorganisation.

New Macmillan Information Service at the Royal Hospitals

A new Macmillan Information Service has recently opened on Level 2 of the Royal Victoria Hospital.

The service aims to ensure that people affected by cancer have access to high quality, accurate and timely information and support.

Cash for Kids Radiothon at Children's Hospital

An incredible £108,000 was raised during the three day Cool FM 'Radiothon' at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children. The money will now make its way to the 'Helping Hands' charity which supports the Children's Hospital.

Belfast Trust becomes an Investor in People

The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust has now been successfully assessed against the Investors in People national quality standard and received its accreditation from the Department of Employment and Learning on 22 March 2010. Accreditation is held for a 3 year period.

Iveagh Centre Opens

Iveagh Centre Opens

A new centre providing assessment and treatment services for children with learning disabilities has now opened in the Broadway area of Belfast.  The new Iveagh centre will replace existing services provided in the Mallow Unit at Muckamore abbey hospital.


Belfast Trust Pharmacist wins Pharmacist of the Year Award for 2009

Musgrave Park Hospital Pharmacist Paula Crawford has won the prestigious Hospital Pharmacist of the Year Award for 2009.

The Judges at the NI Healthcare Awards commended Paula’s innovative work which has enhanced patient care. Her expertise in pain management has been recognised both regionally and nationally, resulting in her being the first pharmacist in the UK to be a member of a NICE guideline development group.

Belfast City Hospital team win NI Healthcare Award

A team from the Department of Rheumatology in Belfast City Hospital has won the Innovation in Rheumatology Service Award for 2009. They were presented with their prize at a gala dinner in the Europa Hotel which was held recently to celebrate the Northern Ireland Healthcare Awards for 2009.

People using health and social care services in Belfast are set to benefit from a range of new developments by staff in Belfast Trust.

The developments include an obesity management programme for teenagers, an outreach service for gay men, patient courier service which reduces the amount of time patients have to wait for investigations, a home dialysis programme and a service to help staff work to best effect with people who have a learning disability.

These developments were highlighted in the Trusts Annual Chairman’s Awards.

A consultation has begun on the provision of supported housing in the greater Shankill area which will allow older people in the area to make choices about the way they live. It means the closure of Shankill House and a move to a new supported housing facility.

The child and adolescent mental health services has issued a public invitation to Open Days in Beechcroft, the new Child and Adolescent Mental Health Inpatient Unit, which will replace the services currently provided at Donard, Knockbracken. 

The Belfast Trust is today launching a new Meet & Greet Volunteer Service in the Royal Victoria Hospital. The meet and greet volunteers will provide a warm welcome to all members of the public when they attend the hospital for treatment or to visit relatives.

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