How We Are Changing

Our health and care system is under pressure and showing signs of strain. An ageing population means more patients, with more complex problems. Advances in treatment, drugs and technologies means better outcomes, but puts further pressure on services.

Trust Chief Executive Hugh McCaughey says, "Transformation is key. Year on year the pressure is growing, faster than we as a society can resource it. The same reality is being felt, not just in the UK and Ireland but across the world.  If we do not transform now, we will not be able to sustain services into the future.

It is also important to recognise the changes that we have been making.  Twenty years ago in mental health services, we institutionalised thousands of people.  Now our model is based on recovery, reducing the stigma and allowing people to live as normal members of society instead of being hidden away. Deaths from acute illnesses, which killed people a decade ago, have been reduced significantly. Deaths from heart attack have halved, survival rates for cancer improved and modern methods allow many stroke patients to survive and lead normal lives again. Premature babies are likely to survive and flourish, and people with learning disability can expect to live long and fulfilling lives. This is how we know we have the staff, the experience and the history to meet the challenge of transformation.

The South Eastern Trust is moving forward in line with the Bengoa report and the 18 actions set out in the Ministerial Vision “Delivering Together”,  which puts people at the centre of all we do. The focus is on enabling people to stay well, on providing care or support in the community whenever possible, and in high quality acute centres when specialist intervention is required."

On this page you will find examples of innovations, initiatives and service improvements which are taking us along the road of transformation.


5. Control Room & Discharge Lounge

Dozens of staff from across multiple disciplines within the Trust work together to ensure patients can be admitted and discharged from hospital in a timely fashion, improving patient flows.

4. Urology Ambulatory Clinic - Ulster Hospital

The Urology Ambulatory Clinic helps us to continue with elective urology despite the constant pressure from emergency admissions.

It allows patients rapid access to Urology following recent surgery to facilitate early discharges. It is also a point of contact for our long term patients to avoid multiple A&E admissions, so they can receive appropriate specialist care.

3. Cardiac CT Scanner - Ulster Hospital

The world’s first dedicated CT heart scanner has been installed at the Ulster Hospital. It can image the heart in less than a single heartbeat, in fact it takes point two four of a second. This means the cardiologist can immediately diagnose or rule out heart disease.

2. Downe Rapid Assessment Centre

In the Downe Hospital, elderly patients can be diagnosed and treated in the Frail Elderly Rapid Assessment Unit, as an alternative to the busy Emergency Department.

1. Day of Surgery Admissions Unit (DOSA)

The Day of Surgery Admission Unit in the Ulster Hospital optimises bed use by allowing patients to arrive on the day of their surgery, instead of being admitted the previous evening.