News Articles for 2013

Sydenham Court Lantern Light Project

Lantern Light – Intergenerational Project was initiated and developed by Paula Campbell, Community Art Consultant.

Belfast Trust has recalled 1113 urology patients as a precautionary measure following a review of number of patient notes.

Christmas 2013 across our Hospitals and Community

At this time of year there are many events taking place across our Hospitals and the Community.

Today Health Minister, Edwin Poots announced that a team of three international clinicians will carry out an independent assessment of the current and future needs for Paediatric Congenital Cardiac and Interventional Cardiac services (PCCS) for the population of Ireland.

The theme of conference this year considered the role of Sexual Health in Primary Care. 160 delegates, from all over Northern Ireland came to the event at Armagh City Hotel.

End of Movember - the month of Men's Health focus

Congratulations to our Movember team who raised over £2,700 for men’s cancers.

The Health and Social Care Board today approved the stage one consultation document on proposed criteria to assess statutory residential care homes in the future.This is the first of a two stage consultation process which was announced on 21 August 2013.

The consultation document entitled, ‘Making Choices: Meeting the current and future accommodation needs of older people’ outlines four criteria to be used as the basis for assessing the future role and function of statutory residential care.

Chief Executive Colm Donaghy at the Project Launch for the Childrens MRI Scanner

The MRI Scanner Project will provide a new Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scanner in the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children

Belfast Trust helps deliver aid to the Philippines

Broadway Towers was a hive of activity this morning as two more containers of vital aid supplies were loaded, bound for the Phillipines.

Young People Light Up the Black Box

The young people from Include Youth’s Give and Take Scheme and the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust’s Employability Service, achieved more than 150 accredited qualifications between them during the last 12 months.

Supporting our Filipino Colleagues - Belfast Appeal Day

Belfast Trust is joining forces with the local Filipino Community, Belfast City Council, and major aid organisations to raise money for the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan on Belfast Appeal Day - Friday, 29 November.

Belfast Trust is asking local patients with a passion to improve health and social care services to tell their story.

New Leadership and Innovation Academy launched

This week Belfast Trust launched a new Leadership and Innovation Academy.

BCH Macmillan Haematology Nurse Specialist wins prestigious award

Ruth Thompson, a local Macmillan professional has won a prestigious title at the 2013 Macmillan Excellence Awards held recently at The Palace Hotel in Manchester.

JT Inspires - A new charity for Congenital Heart Problems

A new charity that aims to improve the lives of young people with congenital heart problems– JT INSPIRES has been launched at RBHSC

Congratulations to all staff involved in the Northern Ireland Institute of Healthcare Management (IHM) Annual Awards held recently in Belfast

Choose Well Campaign Launched by Health Minister

Help the Health Service to Help You!

Health Minister Edwin Poots has urged people to think carefully about how they use the health service should they or their family become unwell or have an accident.

The Minister was speaking as he launched Choose Well, a public information campaign aimed at raising awareness of the range of health services available to treat everything from a common cold to a major emergency.

Organ Donation workshop - public encouraged to join the donor register

Over 50 clinical staff in Belfast Trust attended a workshop this week, designed to promote debate and encourage clinicians to embrace potential donation as an integral part of end of life care.

Have your say on a Regional Day Opportunities Model for Adults with a Learning Disability .

Minister Announces £15.5 million towards building new Children's Hospital

Belfast Health and Social Care Trust submitted a Business Case to DHSSPSNI for the development of a Children’s Hospital in September 2013.  The new Children’s Hospital will provide services to children up to the age of eighteen. The hospital is to be built on a site adjacent to the new Maternity Hospital, parallel with the Falls Road.

Regional Scoliosis Service

With further development of the regional scoliosis service a need for 2 new Rizzer type frames, (used for casting scoliosis patients for spinal jackets and braces), was identified.

Surestart Projects Celebration Event

A celebration event was held recently to congratulate four Surestart Projects in North and West Belfast who have been awarded the UNICEF Baby Friendly Status.

Speed Networking Event for Staff and Organisations Working with or Supporting People Affected by Cancer in North & West Belfast.

Have your say in the future of Interpreting and Translation Services within the HSC in Northern Ireland Consultation

We urgently need a foster home for two brothers in the Belfast area who would love to be able to live together.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Trust is encouraging all women to be more aware of what is normal for their breasts so that any changes can be discovered early.

Have you been affected by cancer or have supported a family member or friend with a cancer diagnosis?

New High-tech medical intervention service - Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PPCI)

Cardiac specialists from Belfast, Antrim, Craigavon and the Ulster hospitals will be pooling their expertise to treat heart attack victims on a 24/7 basis from Monday 30 September.  This new service is located at the Heart Attack Centre, at the Royal Victoria Hospital, and provides a new life saving specialised service for patients from across 75% of Northern Ireland who suffer from a particular type of heart attack – known as STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction).

Promoting Rights of People with Disabilities

A regional event was held on Monday 30 September for Non-Executive and Executive Directors and Senior Managers on two notable legislative advances which have a significant impact on the provision of health and social care. The event was organised by the regional HSC Equality leads as one of the actions committed to within their Disability Action Plan. Mr Kevin Doherty, Interim Chief Executive of Disability Action, performed the role of Chair of the proceedings.

Betty Campbell MBE generous 10,000 donation

Betty Campbell MBE has raised £10,000 to refurbish the cardiac intensive care relative’s room in the Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast.

Men Against Cancer Clinic

MAC (Men Against Cancer) is a self referral clinic for men, supported by local business men and run by Belfast City Hospital Uro-oncology clinical nurse specialists, which provides information on men’s health, in particular urological cancers for investigations and early diagnosis.

Opening of Rehabilitation Garden at Musgrave

Health Minister Edwin Poots, has officially opened a Rehabilitation Garden at Musgrave Park Hospital. The garden was designed to provide a rehabilitation and therapeutic environment to enable wheelchair patients, and patients who have been fitted with artificial limbs to develop the necessary functional skills in the use of their new wheelchair or prosthesis.

Trust wins at 2013 Regional Social Work Awards

Our Fostering Team Social Worker, Alwyn Higham celebrated on Friday after receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's Northern Ireland Social Work Awards. The NIASW Lifetime Achievement Award recognises those members who have worked consistently and steadfastly to improve social work services and/or practice.

Cancer Research with the X-Factor!

The NI Cancer Research Consumer Forum invites you to a free public information evening about exciting developments in Radiotherapy Research. 

60 Year Medal for living with type One Diabetes

Dr Mark Gormley together with Diabetes Specialist Nurses and Diabetes UK Northern Ireland representatives recently presented Gerard Hart with a medal for living with type one diabetes for 60 years at a reception at the Mater Hospital. His family and friends celebrated with him, some of whom flew in from Canada.

Opening of new Research Facility

The opening of a new £4M research hub known as The Wellcome Trust-Wolfson Foundation Northern Ireland Clinical Research Facility (NICRF), based at Belfast City Hospital will enable more patients than ever before to take part in clinical trials in Northern Ireland and will concentrate on four main research themes; cancer, nutrition and metabolism, vision science and respiratory research.

Health Minister Edwin Poots will hold a Public Facing Accountability meeting with Belfast Trust on Thursday 19 September 2013.

A delivery of teddy bears recently arrived at Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children as part of the launch of Teddies for Loving Care.

Young Adult Room recently opened at Cancer Centre

The last of four ‘day rooms’ which have been refurbished with assistance from Friends of the Cancer Centre, was officially opened by Cool FM’s Pete Snodden, Patron of Friends of the Cancer Centre.

World Suicide Prevention Day

Belfast Trust is joining with organisations from across Belfast to mark World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September.

Our Annual Report for 2012/13 is now available. As well as commenting on our financial health, it provides an overview of some of the superb work carried out every day throughout the Trust.

In addition to reading the report, you can watch some video clips of key service improvements that have taken place this year.


Adults with Autism


Belfast Trust is undertaking a survey of people with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) in order to find out what it is like to live as an adult with autism. This is in keeping with the DHSSPS Personal and Public Involvement Strategy, which is central to the planning, design, delivery and evaluation of services.

Taking Interactive Conferencing to a New Level

Imagine a conference where delegates roll their sleeves up and get involved in a life- saving heart procedure. That’s exactly what happened at the annual European Society of Cardiology meeting in Amsterdam this week.

Belfast Medics Making History in Nigeria by Reopening a Cardiac Surgical Unit

Volunteers from the cardiac surgical team at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast were joined by 3 others from England on a medical mission to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu, in Nigeria. Led by our cardiac surgeon, Mr Oc Nzewi, the nine volunteers made history in Nigeria by reopening a cardiac surgical unit after 15 years of closure; it is now the first of its kind in the country.

The Heritage Wall  A photographic exhibition

The Heritage Wall, the latest environmental arts project to be installed at the Belfast City Hospital site was recently launched.

Do You have an interest in shaping our Autism Services

Autism Reference Group - Vacancies for Service Users with Autism Spectrum Disorder or their parents/carers to volunteer with Belfast Trust



Translink offers new Metro service to Musgrave Park Hospital

Translink have introduced a new hourly Metro service to Musgrave Park Hospital.


Metro service 92 is now calling at the hospital site, with a stop close to the entrance and drop off and pick up points around the site. The service starts from Belfast City Centre and travels along Donegall Road and Boucher Road.

West Belfast Festival Annual Lecture

Belfast Health and Social Care Trust is sponsoring a lecture and discussion on setting a minimum price for alcohol to help address the widespread problems caused by alcohol misuse and discuss the arguments put forward against this policy at this year's West Belfast Festival. 


Belfast Trust Nurse saves life in the sky

Janet Thornberry a Belfast Trust Nurse put her skills into action whilst on board a flight recently.Janet assisted a man with a heart condition who was suffering from severe chest pain. Janet went forward and offered her help as a critical care nurse.

New UK strategy to match world class performance in organ donation

Health Minister, Edwin Poots has launched a new strategy to achieve world class performance in organ donation – Taking Organ Transplantation to 2020 – a UK Strategy.


Temporary gate closure at Donegall Road entrance to BCH

The vehicle and pedestrian gates adjacent to the multi-storey car park on the Donegall Road entrance to Belfast City Hospital will be closed from 7.00 pm on Wednesday 10 July 2013 until 6.30 am Tuesday 16 July 2013.


Regional Recruitment wins an HPMA Award

The regional recruitment teams are delighted to announce that they have been successful in winning the Capsticks Award for Innovation in HR at a recent Healthcare People Management Association (HPMA) awards ceremony. 


New Alcohol projects will provide vital support in Belfast Trust Area

Health Minister Edwin Poots has officially launched four new projects in the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust area aimed at addressing the harm related to alcohol misuse.


Emergency department patient review

A review of patient notes in Belfast Trust's emergency department at the Royal Victoria Hospital has prompted the Trust to contact 105 patients for a precautionary review and check-up following concern that a small number of patients may not have been appropriately managed by a locum doctor. The period under review is from 6 May 2013 - 20 June 2013.


Places available for Bike and Pony Summer Camp for Children in Care

Angela Kerr, Belfast Trust Fostering Service together with Austin Brown from the Belfast Bicycle Workshop set up a cycling group and were selected as runners up at the Chairman's Awards ceremony under the banner of Partnership. 


Colm Donaghy, Chief Executive, said, “We very much welcome the Information Commissioner’s Audit Report. This report provides independent assurance to both the Commissioner and to the public that our systems for protecting any personal data entrusted to us are working well.


Memory Clinic - Belfast City Hospital

Congratulations to Mary McGrath , Advanced Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist in the Belfast Trust on having a research report published by the Health Foundation. 


2 year old needs a family for life, Could YOU adopt Zac?

The Regional Adoption & Fostering Service is assisting Trusts with finding adopters for children waiting to be adopted. We are undertaking a second child specific recruitment campaign for a young boy called Zac and hope to maximise the chance of finding a family who can give him the love, care and attention he needs. Read on to find out all about Zac.


Congratulations to two members of staff who received recognition in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list announced at the weekend Mrs Marisa McFarlane and Dr Fiona Jane Stewart.


It is business as usual for Belfast Trust over the period of the G8 Summit, however, traffic in Belfast on Monday morning, 17 June, is likely to be challenging. 


Success at RCN Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year Awards 2013

Congratulations to the Belfast Trust nurses who were successful at this year’s Nurse of the Year awards held recently at the Culloden Hotel.


Events across Belfast during Carers Week 10-16 June

During Carer’s Week from 10-16 June, Belfast Trust is holding a number of events to promote the health and well being of carers. These events follow the theme of this year’s carers week , “Prepared to Care?” which encourages us to think about how carers are coping.

View a list of events

Thank you to all our volunteers

A special event was held recently at the Long Gallery, Parliament Buildings, Stormont to celebrate and acknowledge the many volunteers who offer up their time, energy and commitment to volunteering.


Research Nurse based at Cancer Centre awarded Flame of Hope award

Ruth Boyd – Cancer Research UKs (CRUK) Senior Research Nurse based at the Cancer Centre, recently received a “Research Engagement – Flame of Hope” award to recognise her dedication and passion for raising awareness of cancer research in Northern Ireland. 


Hanna Street Residential and Respite facility celebrates 30th Birthday

Hanna Street Residential and Respite facility celebrated its 30th birthday in style with a Gala day for residents, family, friends, and neighbours.

Trust develops Community Urgent Care Team

Pilot Scheme first step in providing acute care at home to frail elderly people. In line with Transforming Your Care (TYC), our Trust has developed a Community Urgent Care Team with a strong multidisciplinary focus on rehabilitative care which includes nursing, medical, physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy.


First Phase of General Surgical moves begin on 1 June 2013

Following the public support expressed during the ‘Right Treatment, Right Place’ consultation on the proposed General Surgical services reorganisation in 2010/11, the Trust has been working with the surgical team, the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and other key groups to finalise the plans to deliver an improved general surgical service for our patients.


Dementia Awareness Week  Belfast comes first in survey

In a recent survey carried out by UK charity Friends of the Elderly, Belfast was voted the friendliest place for older people in the United Kingdom.


Belfast Trust Foster Carer named Foster Carer of the Year

An inspirational woman who has been fostering children for the Belfast Trust for more than 15 years, has been named Foster Carer of the Year Northern Ireland 2013.


Good Relations Strategy Launch on Wednesday 22 May 2013

Belfast Health & Social Care Trust is first Trust in Northern Ireland to produce a Good Relations Strategy.


AssemblAges - An innovative art of memory project

A number of people with dementia have played a leading role in ‘AssemblAges’, an innovative art of memory project.  

eHealth and Prosperity at Centre of Commissioner Visit

Northern Ireland’s eHealth and prosperity agenda was highlighted during a visit by Commissioner Tonio Borg to Belfast City Hospital on Tuesday 14th May.


Fostering Fortnight 13 to 26 May 2013

Foster Care Fortnight takes place from 13 – 26 May. There are currently 526 children and young people living with 343 foster carers across the Belfast Trust area and more carers are always needed.


Belfast Trust Consultant Shows Support for Painless Needles Research

Dr David Sweet a Consultant Neonatologist in the Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital featured on UTV Live News on Wednesday 8th May to show his support for the research done by Queen’s University Belfast for micro-needle painless injections.

Arts Care Belfast City Hospital Mini Fest on 16 - 17 May

Arts Care Belfast City Hospital will be holding a ‘Mini-Fest' on 16 and 17 May’ to celebrate the Arts.  For 2 days, there will be a variety of art activities and performances taking place for patients, visitors and staff to participate in throughout the Foyer and Wards of Belfast City Hospital.


First baby in Mater Midwifery Led Unit

Less than a day after the new service started, the first baby was born early this morning (30th April) in the new midwifery led unit in the Mater Hospital. Molly weighed in just after 3.00am, after her mum Carmel Smith from Glengormley had a water birth. Mum and baby are both well and went home earlier this morning. 


Annual Fostering Achievement Awards

Belfast’s landmark Titanic Building provided the perfect setting for almost 90 children and young people from the Belfast Trust area as they took part in the annual Fostering Achievement Awards on Saturday 20 April 2013.


Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer in Northern Ireland and is a significant cause of ill health and premature death. Every year in Northern Ireland over 1,000 people are diagnosed with the disease and over 400 will die.


New Midwifery led Unit at the Mater Hospital

Following on from our consultation last year on the future of maternity service in Belfast, a new Midwifery led Unit will become operational  next week in the Mater Hospital.

Life's Amazing Pass it On - NHS achieves a ground breaking 50% increase in deceased organ donation.

Belfast Trust are continuing to run the Life’s Amazing Pass it on campaign and are delighted today to see that the NHS achieves a ground breaking 50% increase in deceased organ donation. This is a massive improvement throughout the UK and the Belfast Trust will continue to work hard to encourage more people to sign the organ donation register. This is a positive step for Organ Donation however we still can and will do more!


Belfast Trust won first prize for the Best Promotion of Sustainable Transport at the prestigious Action Renewables Association Award Ceremony which was held recently at the Titanic Building in Belfast.

The judging panel recognised the Trust’s switch from diesel to electric vehicles for some of its freight services but more importantly it commended the Trust’s approach to the promotion of sustainable forms of travel by its staff.

Trust successfully reaccredited as Investor in People

We are delighted to announce that Belfast Trust has successfully retained its Investors in People Accreditation. The Trust first gained accreditation against the IIP Standard in 2010 and since then has maintained and built on the principles and good practice of developing people.


This award recognises the calibre of staff we have in Belfast Trust, but above all else, the exceptional skills and commitment of our staff brings great benefit to the patients and clients who use our services.

Todays security alert at Broadway roundabout ended this afternoon.  The Broadway entrance to the Royal Hospitals site has therefore re-opened.

Visitors to the site can now access the hospital via any of the entrances at Broadway, Grosvenor Road, Mulhouse or the Falls road.

Due to a security alert, the PSNI have closed the area surrounding Broadway roundabout. The Broadway access to the Royal Hospitals site is therefore currently closed.

The Grosvenor road entrance is open as normal, so please this alternative entrance/exit.  We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

The M1 has been closed Eastbound and traffic is being diverted at Stockmans Lane offslip. The Westlink has now also been closed.

We will provide an update when further information is available.

Family Nurse Partnership

What happens during pregnancy and in the first years of a baby’s life has a major influence on his or her subsequent behaviour, education, employment, health and other life chances.



Knockbracken Woodland

Belfast Trust has completed a massive environmental project as almost 20,000 trees were planted on its Knockbracken site. Staff and patients joined together to plant a large number of the trees.


Get on Board with Organ Donation

Life’s amazing. Pass it on - is the message from a new organ donation campaign launched by Health Minister Edwin Poots and representatives from the five Health and Social Care Trusts. 


Lookout for vulnerable people during severe weather

Health Minister Edwin Poots today urged the public to lookout for members of the community who may be in need of assistance following the recent severe weather.


Minister for Health Updates MLAs on TYC

The Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety has briefed MLAs on the publication of the Vision to Action Post Consultation Report and the progress of Transforming Your Care (TYC).


Advanced Coronary Intervention Course at BCH

Expert interventional cardiologists from across Europe travelled to Belfast this week to learn advanced interventional cardiology techniques from Dr Colm Hanratty and Dr Simon Walsh.


Road Closure at BCH Thursday 7 to Sat 9 March 2013

Due to essential planned maintenance and in connection with the on-going road works adjacent to the loading bay entrance at the Belfast City Hospital, it will be necessary to close Gate C (gate without traffic lights) at Donegall Road from 8.30am on Thursday 7 March until 3pm on Saturday 9 March.


Saturday 2 March 2013

Due to essential construction work the road between School of Dentistry and Microbiology down to the back of School of Dentistry will be closed for all through traffic on Saturday 2 March from 6.00am to 6.00pm.

Disability Steering Group Workshop

On 11 February 2013, Belfast Trust convened a workshop on the future of the Disability. 


The HSC Board at a Public Meeting in Belfast on 14 February approved a framework for the commissioning of paediatric cardiac surgery and interventional cardiology for children in Northern Ireland. Belfast Trust houses this service.


Road Works at Belfast City Hospital Commence on 18 February

Due to essential planned maintenance, work will commence on the road leading to Loading Bay entrance to Belfast City Hospital from Monday 18 February for a period of eight weeks (dependent on weather conditions).  

Top Safety Representative Award

Norman Gray, a NIPSA health and safety representative with Belfast Trust, was recently named as the winner of the Health and Safety Representative’s Award for 2012.


Today, Health Minister Edwin Poots launched a consultation on the future configuration of Emergency Department (ED) Services in Belfast. These proposals, available on the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) website, are open for a 13 weeks period of public consultation.


Help find Belfast Trust’s inspirational winners for 2013!!

Belfast Trust is committed to fully involving staff, service users, local communities and the wider public in the planning and development of services.


Infection Prevention & Control Win at NIPEC Conference

Our Trust was declared a winner at the recent Northern Ireland Practice & Education Council for Nursing & Midwifery (NIPEC) Conference for their involvement in the Infection Prevention and Control Pocket Manual.


Belfast Trust recognises the importance of embracing diversity, promoting good relations and challenging sectarianism and racism.


Official Opening of Molecular Pathology Laboratory

The new Molecular Pathology Laboratory at the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (Queen’s University Belfast) was officially opened on Wednesday 9 January 2013. The new facility is a partnership between Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and Queen’s Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology.


In order to reduce the number of missed outpatient appointments (10.9% in 11/12), the Belfast Trust will be introducing an appointment reminder/confirmation service. This is now being piloted in Dermatology Outpatients over the next 4 to 6 weeks and will then be gradually rolled out to other areas.

By providing reminders to our patients of forthcoming appointments this will reduce the number of missed appointments and allow patients to re-schedule to a convenient time.

Reminders will be made using an automated telephone call or text message.

When a call is made, the person answering will be asked to confirm who they are before giving the appointment details. They can then press the appropriate button on their telephone keypad to confirm, cancel or rearrange their appointment.

The cost of the reminders is insignificant compared to the amount of money wasted by missed appointments.

We would hope patients welcome this service. However, if they prefer not to be reminded about your appointment, they can opt out at anytime by informing the receptionist or one of our Appointments Centres.

If you have a query about out patient appointments, please contact the Appointment Centre at the appropriate hospital.

Relocation of the Regional Cochlear Implant Centre

The Regional Cochlear Implant Centre in the Dufferin Hospital building, Belfast City Hospital is relocating to new premises in Beech Hall Wellbeing and Treatment Centre, Andersonstown Road, Belfast on Wednesday 2 January 2013.


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