2014 News items published below

Carers Rights Day- Friday 20th of November

Having the right information at the right time can make a huge difference when you are caring for someone. Carers Rights Day aims to help Carers find out about their rights and where they can go for help and support in their local community. Caring can bring many challenges, and the Belfast Trust wants every Carer in the Trust area to have access to the advice, information and support they need. For information on your rights and Carer support please click on the following link: http://www.belfasttrust.hscni.net/services/CarersInformation.htm

Mater Green Gym awarded UK Outdoors and Active Award

The Mater Green Gym has been awarded a UK Outdoors and Active Award presented at the TCV Green Heroes award ceremony held at Westminster on Tuesday 27 October 2015.

“You’re not in Kansas anymore Dorothy!”

At a secret location, deep within an enchanted forest (somewhere in Belfast Trust) rehearsals are now well underway for the Artscare Pantomime, ‘Oz and the Ruby Red Slippers’.

Draft NI Rare Disease Implementation Plan - Belfast Open Meeting

When:   Tuesday 13 January 2015
Where:  Lecture Theatre G.019, Clinical Science Block A, Royal Victoria Hospital, Grosvenor Road
Time:    4.00pm to 7.00pm

Belfast Trust recently wrote to a number of people who are in receipt of a domiciliary care package to advise them that from January 2015 we would temporarily cease some elements of this care.

This was a decision we took with great reluctance and it was based solely on our need to live within the resources available to us in the current financial year. Since the announcement was made there has been many representations made to Belfast Trust from individuals, families and others, all concerned about our decision. As a result, we have decided not to proceed with these changes at this time.

We regret any distress or anxiety we may have caused. We will contact all those who have been advised of the reduction to their care packages, and assure them these changes will not come into effect from January 2015 as indicated.

See below information on crisis drop in services available for anyone at risk of suicide in Belfast over the holidays

Belfast Trust is delighted to present the second edition of its Good Relation Bi Annual Bulletin dedicated to highlighting to the community we serve and our staff, some of the excellent work carried out by the Trust as part of its Good Relations Strategy: ‘Healthy Relations for a Healthy Future  2012-2015’. 

The Choose Well campaign will be running across Northern Ireland again this winter. The campaign, which is in its second year, aims to help people gain a better understanding of the health services available to treat everything from a common cold to a major emergency.

Christmas 2014 across our Hospitals and Community

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

Should Belfast Trust become Smoke Free across all our sites?

Organ Donation Day


A new organ donation campaign, which is being supported by the Northern Ireland Executive, has been launched to encourage families throughout Northern Ireland to sit down with their loved ones on December 11 and discuss their wishes on organ donation.

Simulation Training in Belfast Trust

The Trust has recently invested in state of the art SimMan 3G technology. This is a high fidelity mannequin that simulates a living breathing patient. The mannequin can be controlled to talk, has audible breath, heart and bowel sounds, his pupils will react to light and he can even vomit, cry and suffer seizures. This technology is being used to deliver simulation training in the Trust.

Minister announces new Chief Executive of Belfast Trust

Health Minister Jim Wells today announced that Dr Michael McBride has been appointed Chief Executive of Belfast Health and Social Care Trust on a limited-term basis from 8 December.

Northern Ireland is now home to an increasingly culturally diverse population – the most recent Census in 2011 identified that 1.8 per cent (32,400) of the resident population of Northern Ireland belonged to Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Groups, more than double the proportion in the 2001 Census.

A recent report Challenging Racism Ending Hate conducted by two academics in Queens University Belfast illustrated the many benefits that migration had yielded in Northern Ireland and its findings were significant in that they disproved many of the stereotypes held about the migrant population.

Free Public Information Evening about Bowel Cancer

The NI Cancer Research Consumer Forum welcomes you to a free Public Information Evening about Bowel Cancer.

In Belfast Trust we recognise that our adult unscheduled care pathways are not working as effectively as we want them to.

Belfast Trust nurses win RCN Leadership Challenge!

A team of nurses from the Trust has won the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Northern Ireland Leadership Challenge.

Launch of #Hello my name is Campaign

Trust Chairman, Peter McNaney, CBE launched the #hello my name is campaign at the Mater on Tuesday 18 November.

European Antibiotic Awareness Day 18 November 2014

Our Trust's Antimicrobial Stewardship Team are delighted to announce the launch of the Microguide App for Apple and Android devices.

Trust Launches 2nd Annual Quality Report

Today, World Quality Day, we launch our 2nd Annual Quality Report.

The Public Health Agency (PHA) has confirmed that a person who has recently travelled in an area affected by Ebola has been assessed in accordance with the national risk assessment protocol.

The Public Health Agency (PHA) has confirmed that a person who has recently travelled in an area affected by Ebola is being assessed in accordance with the agreed risk assessment. Please see PHA press release

Reducing the Trust's Carbon Footprint - Renewable Heat

One of the key priorities in the Trust’s ‘Not Just Health’ Strategy is to reduce our carbon footprint and prepare to deal with the impact of climate change on health.

Award for PCSS Training Department

The Patient Client Support Services (PCSS) Training Department of the Trust have been awarded “The Doreen Heyes Award” for accredited training provision within the NHS Trust.

Trust commended on innovative work with Traveller and Roma communities

Belfast Trust has been commended for its on-going work with the Traveller and Roma Community from the British and Irish Parliamentary Assembly.

Belfast-Birmingham Renal Transplant Surgeon Partnership

This celebration event was hosted by the Trust to acknowledge the unique and hugely successful partnership between the Trust and colleagues in University Hospital Birmingham Foundation Trust who have contributed hugely to the development and consolidation of the renal transplant service here in Belfast.

ICT showcased two videos by Dr Gerry Hanna, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Northern Ireland Cancer Centre and Dr Sheena Caldwell, Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine, Regional Brain Injury Unit, at the inaugural NICON ehealth conference.

The NI Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) screening programme was introduced in July 2012 to reduce premature deaths from ruptured AAAs by up to 50%. A simple, pain-free ultrasound scan of the abdomen is used to identify otherwise apparently healthy people who may be at increased risk of an AAA.

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

Today the Public Health Agency (PHA) is launching a new service to identify people at risk from a symptomless genetic disorder that increases a person’s chance of early heart disease and premature death.

Northern Ireland Electronic Care Record team wins national IT award

The team behind the innovative Northern Ireland Electronic Care Record (NIECR) has won a prestigious EHealth Insider national award for ‘Best use of IT to support integrated healthcare services’.

Theatre Complex - Recruitment Open Day

Belfast Trust hosted a Recruitment Open Day in the Theatre Complex at the Royal Site on Saturday 11th October. Over 300 applicants attended and were given the opportunity to view two working theatres and were able to speak to experienced staff working in this area.

Fungal diseases which are killing 150 people every hour across the world have become a worldwide catastrophe, according to researchers at Queen’s University Belfast.

Health Minister Jim Wells today announced a new model of cooperation which would deliver safe and effective cardiac care to children in Northern Ireland.

Belfast Trust’s Annual Report for 2013/14 is published today at the meeting of the Trust Board.

Clean Sweep for Radiotherapy Team

Belfast Trust Radiotherapy team are celebrating success at the Society and College of Radiographers Radiographer of the Year Awards; being awarded two of the most prestigious awards.

Minister launches foster carer recruitment campaign

Don’t rule yourself out!

Health Minister, Edwin Poots, joined the fostering mascots on the steps of Stormont Parliament Buildings to launch the Health and Social Care Trusts’ foster carer recruitment campaign.

Belfast Trust success at Best Kept Awards

Health Minister Edwin Poots has congratulated staff and service users at Knockbracken Small Day Centre and Moyola Day Centre on their success at this year’s “Best Kept Awards”.

Are you a carer of someone in receipt of domiciliary care?

Northstone (NI) Ltd, working on behalf of DRD TransportNI, will shortly be commencing essential carriageway resurfacing, as well as some localised footway resurfacing works on the Donegall Road, Belfast. The road works will commence on Wednesday 10th September 2014 and are expected to take approximately 10 weeks to complete.

Lord Mayor visits Multiple Sclerosis Clinic

The Lord Mayor, Nichola Mallon recently visited the MS Clinic at Belfast City Hospital.

Run and have fun with Jog Belfast

As a member of the Belfast Strategic Partnership, Belfast Trust works to implement a programme that addresses life inequalities for the people of Belfast.

World Hepatitis Day 2014

​World Hepatitis Day is on Monday 28 July and the Public Health Agency (PHA) is reminding people who think they may be at risk from hepatitis B or C infection to get tested.

Recognition for specialist nurse

Congratulations to Health Care Co-ordinator Susan Semple who has received a Bevan Prize for Health and Wellbeing.

Speech & Language Therapy wins national award for DVD

A unique project involving service users bagged one of the top prize at this year’s Patient Safety and Care Awards in London.

Lord Mayor visits Neurology Unit at Musgrave Park Hospital

The Lord Mayor, Nichola Mallon, paid a visit to Neurology Unit at Musgrave Park. Nichola has a longstanding interest in the needs of those living with neurological disorders, their families and carers.

Consultation : Supporting Young People in their Community

Supporting Young People in their Community: Consultation and Equality Impact Assessment on Social Care Services for Young People (aged 11-17)

Belfast Health and Social Care Trust are sharing this consultation and equality impact assessment document to outline some of the changes needed in the delivery of social care services for young people.

The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust continues its commitment to continuous service improvement by publishing a report on the experiences of Parents and Children using Paediatric Spina Bifida services.

Health Minister updates Assembly on new measures to improve unscheduled care

Employers For Childcare Charitable Group are currently carrying out their annual Parent Survey, the results of which will be used to campaign for better support for parents from the NI Assembly.

Health Minister welcomes Minister of State on visit to Royal Victoria Hospital

Health Minister Edwin Poots has said safe and effective Emergency Department (ED) care will remain a top priority, after he recently welcomed Northern Ireland Office Minister of State Andrew Robathan to the emergency departments of the Royal Victoria Hospital and the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.

Colm says Goodbye to Belfast Trust

A packed room of friends and colleagues listened to Health Minister Edwin Poots as he wished Colm and Roisin well as they move onto the next stage in their lives.

Information and Records Management success for Belfast Trust

Congratulations to our Records and Information Governance Team, winners of Information & Records Management Society Industry Award for Team of the Year Award 2014.

Belfast Trust alongside the other 4 Trusts in Northern Ireland will be displaying an event stand at a Northern Ireland Assembly Parliamentary reception in Stormont on Tuesday 10th June as part of a British Dietetic Association (BDA) promotional event to celebrate the contribution of the dietetic profession in Northern Ireland.

This month we're working with the HSCB to highlight how important how compliments and complaints are to us.

Belfast Trust will be celebrating the growing diversity of its staff, service users and the community it serves by organising a series of events to celebrate Community Relations Week, 16 – 20th June.

Could YOU adopt Matthew and Alice?

The Regional Adoption & Fostering Service is assisting Trusts with finding adopters for children waiting to be adopted

Active Belfast supports 30 more Physical Activity programmes

The programmes are covering the areas of walking, cycling, capacity building and accessing places.

Health Minister launches Regional Emergency Social Work Service

Health Minister Edwin Poots officially launched the Northern Ireland Regional Emergency Social Work Service.

Official Opening of Self Care Dialysis Unit

The Self Care Dialysis Unit at The Knockbreda Wellbeing and Treatment Centre has been officially opened.

Pioneering heart operation performed in Belfast Trust

Doctors at the Royal Victoria Hospital have successfully implanted into a patient the first subcutaneous defibrillator which was manufactured in Ireland

Success for Belfast Trust nurses at RCN Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year

Four Belfast Trust nurses and two health care assistants have received awards at the RCN Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year Awards 2014. Organised by the Royal College of Nursing, this is the eighteenth year of the awards, which took place at the Culloden Hotel, Holywood.

Physio Success at Life After Stroke Awards

Nicola Moran, Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist at the Royal Victoria Hospital, received the Professional Excellence Award at the recent Northern Ireland Life After Stroke Awards which took place recently in the Stormont Hotel, Belfast as part of Action on Stroke month.

Building Emotional resilience for Belfast Citizens

The Belfast Strategic Partnership (BSP) recently launched a consultation process, entitled: ‘Building Emotional Resilience Strategy 2014-17’.

International Clinical Trials Day

The Trust held a series of events on Clinical Trials Day on 20th May, promoting the fact that it is ‘Ok to ask’ about clinical research, a campaign which was launched by the HSC R&D Division.

Belfast Trust Foster Carers awarded Foster Carer of the Year

This year’s prestigious Foster Carer of the Year Award to Belfast Trust foster carers Margaret and Jackie Mc Carragher who have been fostering for the last 25 years

Skin cancer in Northern Ireland has been increasing over recent decades.

UV rays are stronger from March through to October even on cloudy days so don’t forget the sun cream (the best anti ageing cream available). Suncream should be applied 30 minutes before going out and then every 2 hours.

Each year, International Clinical Trials Day is celebrated around the world on 20 May to commemorate the day that Scottish naval surgeon, James Lind started the first modern clinical trial.

Foster Care Fortnight  :  12-25 May 2014

There are 2,807 children and young people in care in Northern Ireland (31 March 2013) with approximately 75% of these vulnerable children and young people living in foster care.

6th World Congress on Mental Health and Deafness

6th World Congress on Mental Health and Deafness will take place in Belfast from 16-19 September 2014

Pathways to Rights - "A rights based approach ensures that positive mental and physical health and access to care is available to all people on a fair basis"

Giro d'Italia 9-11 May : Advice for Clients

All our Hospitals and Clinics will be operating as normal over the period of the Giro d’Italia, however, traffic in central Belfast on Friday morning 9 May 2014, and later in the evening may be subject to delays with diversions in place (see attached map). We would therefore advise anyone attending any of our Hospital or Community facilities to allow time for travelling especially on Friday 9 May 2014.

Annual Fostering Achievement Awards

Children and young people from across the Belfast Trust area who are in foster care received awards for achievements in all aspects of life including academic, musical, sporting and social accomplishments

Medics and IT specialists combine for unique training App

Medical consultants in Belfast have teamed up with IT specialists to develop a mobile training app that helps medics develop their skills where required, leading to more accurate diagnosis and better patient care.

In a collaborative approach, the Health & Social Care Board (HSC), Public Health Agency (PHA), Patient Client Council (PCC) and five Health Trusts are working together to build a single One-stop Shop public-facing website for citizens of Northern Ireland which will include information on all Health and Social Care services.

Belfast Trust's Improvement Plan for Unscheduled Care outlines the actions we are taking to improve unscheduled care for patients. Every effort is being put into improving the quality of unscheduled care for our patients, clients and their families, and to support our staff in delivering the best possible unscheduled care. The Plan details our journey to-date and explains what work will have still to do, and how we will meet those challenges.’

Access a copy of the Improvement Plan for Unscheduled Care here

Action Based Plans


Organisations from across the Health and Social Care (HSC) family are currently engaged in a public consultation exercise regarding their new draft plans (disability action plan and inequalities action based plan) to address inequalities.

State of the Art Children's Lung Service opens in RBHSC

A new medical service has been launched to help children in Northern Ireland suffering from serious chest illness.

Launch of Specialist Transport and Retrieval Services NISTAR

Health Minister Edwin Poots has launched at The Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children the expansion of the Northern Ireland Specialist Transport and Retrieval Services (NISTAR) for critically ill neonates and children.

Belfast Trust is hosting a nursing Jobs Fair on Saturday 22nd March 2014 at 11.00am - 2.00pm in the Foyer, Royal Victoria Hospital. We are encouraging all nurses to come along to speak to nurses, senior nurses and managers about vacancies in areas throughout the Trust.

Services at Belfast Trust, took centre stage as they received awards at the prestigious Northern Ireland Healthcare Awards held recently.

No Smoking Day 12 March 2014

This is the UK’s foremost Health awareness campaign and has helped many stop smoking. The theme this year is V for Victory

Colm Donaghy appointed CE of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Colm Donaghy, Chief Executive of Belfast Health and Social Care Trust has today announced he will be leaving the Trust to become Chief Executive of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Appointment of HSC Chairman for Belfast Trust

Health Minister, Edwin Poots today announced the appointment of a new Chairman to Belfast Trust. Mr Peter McNaney, CBE, will take up his appointment from 3 March 2014 for a period of four years. He will replace Professor Eileen Evason who has been Acting Chairman since Pat McCartan retired in December 2012.

Organ Donation Register

Around 200 people in Northern Ireland are on the transplant waiting list and sadly around 15 people die each year waiting for an organ. Despite support for organ donation being extremely high, just 31% of the population here are on the organ donor register.

Text message reminder service helps reduce missed appointments

A free appointment reminder/confirmation service has been introduced to help reduce the number of missed appointments.  Over 500,000 new and review outpatient appointments take place each year in our hospitals, but last year over 50,000 appointment slots were wasted by people not attending.

Planned Maintenance to Belfast Trust Switchboards & Telephony Services in January 2014

During January 2014 there will be routine maintenance carried out on some local Belfast Trust Switchboards which will cause some outages.

Investment of nearly £1 Million set to boost local cancer research

Cancer patients in Northern Ireland are set to benefit from a landmark investment of nearly £1 million in cancer research from Friends of the Cancer Centre, it was announced today.

Good Relations Bulletin launched by Belfast Trust

Belfast Trust is proud to launch the first edition of its Good Relations Bulletin dedicated to highlighting to the community we serve and our staff, some of the sterling work carried out by the Trust as part of its Good Relations Strategy: Healthy Relations for a Healthy Future 2012 to 2015.  To find out more about Good Relations in Belfast Trust click on the link now

Belfast Trust’s first Annual Quality report was published today at the Trust’s Board Meeting.

A&E at Royal Victoria Hospital under pressure

Belfast Trust's emergency department at RVH experienced extreme pressures yesterday and as a result we declared it a Major Incident. This is a mechanism we use to call in extra staff at short notice to deal with particularly difficult situations.

 100th birth at Mater Midwifery Led Unit Belfast

The Maters Midwifery Led Unit has delivered its 100th baby

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