2019 News and Events


2019 News articles appear below:

Pat Hamill from Broughshane recently donated £13,210 to Macmillan Cancer Support in recognition of  the treatment he received for mouth cancer at the Ulster Hospital, Dundonald

Santa took some time out of his busy Schedule to bring gifts to patients at the Children's Unit at the Ulster Hospital Recently.

Due to short term medical staffing issues there will be a change to the service provision at the Emergency Department (ED) in the Downe Hospital on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

We would like to Thank the Staff & Public who generously donated to our #SecretNHSSanta Food Bank collections organised by Specialty Doctors and Associate Specialists in the South Eastern HSC Trust.

The Employee Forum at Magellan Aerospace made a very kind donation to the Ulster Hospital Children’s Unit and ED Department.

A new programme to improve patient safety and reduce suicide rates has launched in Northern Ireland.

Bangor Elim Family Foundation from Bangor Elim Church recently visited the Children’s Unit & Ed Dept at the Ulster Hospital.

​The Annual 'Christmas Bike Run' which is organised by the Ancestors Motorcycle Club visited the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald on 8th December 2019

The Public Health Agency (PHA) is encouraging everyone in Northern Ireland to ‘have a wee chat’ about their organ donation wishes as part of a major new campaign aimed at increasing the number of transplants.

The Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Cllr Alan Givan and the Mayoress Mrs Elizabeth Givan visited the Children's Unit at the Ulster Hospital with a very, VERY, special guest!

The Carer Support Service finished their year of support events with a Christmas lunch for Carers at Temple Golf Club.

The Belfast Giants visited the Children’s Wards at the Ulster Hospital recently to deliver teddy bears donated by their fans at their annual ‘Teddy Toss’.

Step Up Step Down


The fostering Network's Step Up Step Down (SUSD) project won a prestigious award last night at the Children and Young People Now Awards.

CSSD attain IDSC


The Trust recently provided support for Ildiko Danyiova, Sharon McCabe and Stephen McCann to become the first candidates in SEHSCT Central Sterile Supplies Department to attain the Institute of Decontamination Sciences Technical Certificate (IDSC).

Danske Bank Call Centre recently attended ward 6B at the Ulster Hospital to present little Baskets of Care. Following a staff collection supported by all their staff.

Secret NHS Santa


Specialty Doctors and Associate Specialists (SAS doctors) in the Trust are co-ordinating a food bank collection for Christmas for local food banks in Dundonald, Newtownards, Downpatrick and Lisburn.

The Fostering Network’s Step Up Step Down project, a pioneering approach to support children to stay at home when they might otherwise end up in care, has won the Family Support Award at the Children and Young People Now Awards.

Service Users from Ardarragh Day Centre celebrate winning the Best Kept Day Facility in the recent Amenity Council's Best Kept Awards for 2019.

World Aids Day 2019


Ahead of World AIDS Day (1 December) the Public Health Agency (PHA) is encouraging everyone to practise safer sex and get tested early if they have put themselves at risk.

For some years the South Eastern HSC Trust has been supporting Kiwoko Hospital in Uganda through fundraising and by sending out teams to work alongside our Ugandan healthcare colleagues as they provide vital healthcare to a very poor rural community.

We are keen to bring to your immediate attention, an exciting and much needed new service development for people who have alcohol related brain injury (ARBI).

The South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust Obstetric & Gynaecology Team have been Highly Commended by the annual Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (RCOG) Trainee Feedback Report.  This award means we are within the top 10 Obstetric units in the whole of the United Kingdom for delivering training to trainees in this specialty in 2019


On Saturday, Julie McWhinney, a foster carer for the last eight years with the Trust, was presented with The Fostering Network’s Excellence in Foster Care Award at the annual Northern Ireland Foster Care Awards.

To mark World Diabetes Day (14th November 2019), the Diabetes Network for Northern Ireland launched a new Foot Care Pathway to improve services for adults living with diabetes.

Solar Siblings, a new exciting mission programme for the brothers and sisters of children being treated in the Neonatal Unit, Ulster Hospital was launched yesterday to mark World Prematurity Day.

To support Mouth Cancer Awareness month, the Head and Neck Cancer Team in the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust are encouraging people to be more aware of the early signs and symptoms of mouth cancer and the main risk factors.

Parents, friends and relatives are invited to a Service of Remembrance in memory of children and babies who they have lost before or after birth.

The Trust, Age NI, County Down Rural Community Network, Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council & Belfast HSC Trust have been working in partnership over the past year to create a new network for older peoples’ groups in the South Eastern Trust and Ards & North Down and Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council areas.

The Disability Hub is a new pilot project within the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust and is based in Ardarragh Resource Centre in the Downshire Estate in Downpatrick. The aim of the hub is to support people living with a physical disability, sight and hearing loss in the local area.

Involve Fest


Involve Fest

Claragh Gibney, a year 9 pupil at St Colman’s, Ballynahinch was diagnosed three years ago with type 1 diabetes after her mum Teresa took her to her GP after noticing a number of symptoms.

The Older People's Short Term Assessment Team (initially in North Down and Ards, going Trustwide in 2020).

AHCP Awards


AHCP Awards

Adoption Week 2019


Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland in partnership with Adoption UK are urgently seeking new adopters as the numbers of enquiries and applications continue to fall.

Stress Control’ is a six session class provided free of charge by the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust and delivered by experienced qualified cognitive-behavioural psychotherapists. Sessions previously held have proved to be extremely successful.

'From Negligence to Excellence.........Curing tobacco addiction in hospitalised sick smokers.'

Congratulations to Tony O’Hara, Patient Experience Manager who recently received a ‘Giving Voice’ award in recognition of all the work he has been involved in to improve mealtimes for patients with Dysphagia (the medical term for eating and drinking difficulties) across the Trust.

The Trust has published the Annual Report & Accounts 2018/19 which gives an insight into the wide ranging support that we provide to the population in the South Eastern Trust area.


Let’s Talk about Organ Donation!

The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust is supporting National Organ Donation Week, starting on 2– 8 September 2019. This year we are encouraging people not only to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register but to also talk about organ donation with their families. Most people support organ donation but a family’s support is needed, so that organ donation can go ahead.

A dementia activity support worker and a service assistant from Northern Ireland, who are among the finalists in the 2019 Our Health Heroes awards, are hoping the public will get behind them as the vote to decide the national winners goes live!

Are you 60+ and free on a Tuesday or Wednesday morning?  Why not meet with others at Londonderry Park Newtownards or Castle Park Bangor and go for a walk.

The Ulster hospital recently celebrated Breastival and World Breastfeeding Week (1 – 7 August 2019). These events encourage talks and discussions around breastfeeding and the science of breastmilk.

There are lots of events on in the run up to World Suicide Prevention Day 2019 at the Newcastle Festival Of Life, starting on Thursday 5 September. Why not come along to one of the events and help raise awareness of suicide prevention.


SafeTALK Training


Have you thought about becoming suicide aware?
If so why not take the opportunity of some free safeTALK training.

Staff and Service users from Ardarragh Resource Centre in Downpatrick enjoyed the sunshine & a picnic lunch during the recent visit of the BBC Antiques Road Show at Castleward.



Sunday 28 July 2019 is World Hepatitis Day 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.

Staff within the Trust have been awarded energy bursaries thanks to the generous support from SSE Airtricity.

The South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust in co-operation with Shopmobility Belfast is pleased to announce it has extended its Shopmobility service to Lagan Valley Hospital.

The Transition Unit in the Ulster Hospital was recently presented with two paintings from local artist AJ Laird.

Do you live in the Ards Peninsula area and have school uniform items that your child no longer needs?

Sarcomas are rare cancers that develop in the muscle, bone, nerves, cartilage, tendons, blood vessels and the fatty and fibrous tissues.  There are about 100 different subtypes of sarcoma that fall into three main types; soft tissue, primary bone and gastro-intestinal stromal tumours (GIST- a soft tissue sarcoma found in the stomach and intestines). They can affect almost any part of the body, inside or outside.  Sarcoma UK have found that 75% of people don’t know or are not sure what sarcoma actually is, so this year Sarcoma Awareness Week is running from the Monday 1 – Sunday 7 July with the aim of changing that.

Dental staff in the Downe Hospital gathered together to wish Marion Milligan, Dental Health Co-ordinator a fond farewell on her retirement.  .

Ten years ago, on 28 June 2009, the Downe Hospital in Downpatrick opened its doors on the Ardglass Road. In a great display of teamwork and collective leadership, all patients were successfully transferred in one morning from the old hospital in Pound Lane

Congratulations to Dr Jenny Addley, Consultant Gastroenterologist,  who has been awarded a Certificate of Commendation by the British Society of Gastroenterology for Service Development in the South Eastern Trust. 

On the run up Men’s Health Week 2019 (10 – 16 June), we held a competition to find a new ‘Men’s Health Champion’ to take over from last year’s winner Richard Walker, Service Lead, Transport.

The inspirational story of Jill Patterson saving lives after she died through organ donation has been installed within the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust to help families who may find themselves facing the death of a loved one to consider whether organ donation is the right thing for them.

The South Eastern HSC Trust is one of the CHKS Top Hospitals for 2019, a prestigious award based on an analysis of data from all hospital trusts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Ulster University Excellence Awards were held on 8th May 2019. For the third year running, our laboratories were highly commended for their commitment to training and supporting Ulster University Placement students.

Happy Father's Day!


Yesterday marks the end of #MensHealthWeek 2019. Congratulations to everyone who was able to ‘make the time and take the time’ to celebrate the week .... It’s clear that #MensHealthMatters to many people!

Drinking Less Matters


A report launched in Westminster today has named a local service working to promote parent-infant bonding, as a “rare jewel”.

Smoking is the biggest single cause of untimely death amongst men on the island of Ireland. Worldwide it has killed more people than both World Wars put together!

During #MensHealthWeek 2019, people are being asked to both ‘make the time and take the time’ to be more cancer aware because #MensHealthMatters

During #MensHealthWeek 2019 learn about the symptoms of a heart attack, and take the first steps to protecting yourself



Rhyme Challenge


Children and parents from Ards SureStart’s Rhythm Rhyme & Story Time Group took part in this year’s Rhyme Challenge recently.

Congratulations to our nurses who won awards at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year Awards 2019 held recently at the Culloden Hotel, Holywood.

Emma McKinney, a specialist nurse practitioner working in child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in the South Eastern Trust was celebrating, Thursday 6 June, when she won the RCN Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year Award 2019.

During #MensHealthWeek 2019 take the first small steps towards improving your mental fitness.

Do you have school uniform items that your child no longer needs?

If so you can donate them to one of the schools participating in the School Uniform Recycling Scheme.

The Neonatal Unit at the Ulster Hospital ran their annual Kangaroo-A-Thon between the 1-14 May 2019.

The annual Staff Flu Prize Draw took place recently and a presentation event was held in Trust Headquarters for the lucky winners. 

The HSCNI Podiatry succession-planning programme has won the Best Talent Management Initiative at the prestigious CIPD NI HR awards ceremony held at Titanic Belfast.

Sun Awareness month aims to provide information on both skin cancer prevention and detection.

Congratulations to Sam McMahon, Newcroft Lodge Care Home Manager for recently having his ‘Pain assessment for people living with dementia in care homes’ article published in the Journal of the All Ireland Gerontological Nurses Association.

Sun Awareness Week runs from Monday 13 May to Sunday 19 May 2019.

Plans have been unveiled today to transform the environment in which we deliver chemotherapy at the Ulster Hospital with the re-design of the upper floor of the Care of the Elderly building and the addition of an another storey, with floor to ceiling windows and views across the countryside.

Applications for the 2019 HSC Graduate Intern Scheme  are now open!

Do You Kangaroo?


The Neonatal Unit at the Ulster Hospital are taking part in this year’s Kangaroo-A-Thon running between the 1-14 May 2019.

Anaphylaxis Campaign is a charity supporting people with severe allergies; they are celebrating their 25-year anniversary this year with Anaphylaxis Awareness week 6th-12th May.

International Day of the Midwife was celebrated today in the Maternity Unit at the Ulster Hospital.

Could you spare some of your free time to befriend someone in your community?

Congratulations to all who took part in the ‘Walk Leader’ training held in Ballynahinch just before Easter.

Chantal McQuoid left the Afterschool Club in the Downshire Hospital after 22 years’ service as the Kid’s Club Lead.

In October 2018, the Department of Health announced that the Downe Hospital had been chosen as a new elective centre to deliver a day surgery cataract prototype service, serving patients across Northern Ireland.

The Paediatric and Emergency Departments received a delivery of tasty treats just before the Easter weekend.

Friday the 5th April may have been a “damp day” but the Transport Department brought the “Sun Out” by handing over the keys of a brand new vehicle to our Occupational Therapy Wheelchair services team.

Do you know a male colleague who has made a lifestyle change this year?


If so we want to hear from you!

A patient of 10 years from the Urology service is planning a sky dive for her 80th Birthday to raise funds for the service.


The Radiology Department in the Ulster Hospital has recently taken delivery of a new replacement Siemens Magnetom Sola 1.5T MRI scanner.

During the month of April the Colorectal nursing team, along with Endoscopy and Bowel Screening departments will be raising awareness of bowel cancer in conjunction with Bowel Cancer UK and Macmillan Cancer Support.

The benefits of breastfeeding for women, children and society as a whole are well documented.  The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that infants be exclusively breastfed until six months of age, with breastfeeding continuing alongside the introduction of solid foods until at least two years of age. 

The Department of Health has announced the appointment of Deep Sagar as Non-Executive Chair of the Trust.

Jimmy Chapman, Charge-hand Porter in Lisburn Health Centre, presented a cheque of £385.34 on 27 March 2019 to the Air Ambulance NI, which was his chosen charity.


‘Stress Control’ is a six session class provided free of charge by the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust and delivered by experienced qualified cognitive-behavioural psychotherapists.

We are delighted to announce that a “Free” shuttle bus service for staff has commenced.

With thanks to Cedar Foundation Partnership, the service users at Ardarragh Resource Centre, Downpatrick have obtained a small number of disability bicycles to encourage their physical activities and fitness.

Colleagues and friends from across HSC gathered recently to say farewell to Chief Executive Hugh McCaughey.

Over 80 social workers from across the South Eastern Trust came together on the 19th March to celebrate World Social Work Day.

‘Take 5 Ways to wellbeing’ is a set of  evidence -base public health messages aimed at improving the wellbeing of the whole population.

Five engagement sessions were held across the Trust over the last few months to enable Domiciliary staff to find out about how the service has performed over the last year.

Mouth cancer, also known as oral cancer, is where a malignant tumour develops in the lining of the mouth.

Dundonald Omniplex Park & Ride to Ulster Hospital - Free Shuttle Bus Service for Staff

Did you know that March was No Smoking Month?

On the 4 March the Smoking Cessation Team started their planned mobilisation health fairs with the aim to engage with staff, patients and visitors alike to promote the idea of setting a quit date among smokers. They are offering Carbon Monoxide testing for smokers to check their levels and get advice if they are considering quitting. They also have a range of promotional items to give away.

The next two dates and venues are:

19/3/19 - Lagan Valley Foyer

27/3/19 - Lagan Valley Centre Foyer


A swallowing difficulty is called Dysphagia. Dysphagia can affect the foods and drinks you can take comfortably and safely. It is a serious issue with potential life threatening consequences and can result in choking, chest infections, pneumonia, dehydration, malnutrition and weight loss.

March is No Smoking Month and a new tannoy system has been installed at the entrances to the Ulster, Downe and Lagan Valley Hospitals to remind people that smoking is banned on all our sites.  A large button inside the door can be pressed, delivering a message by loudspeaker to anyone breaking the Smokefree rule outside.

The messages have been recorded by local schoolchildren from Ards and Dundonald, as well as  health professionals, the smoking wardens and members of the public.

The Trust became Smokefree in March 2016. If you still see smokers at our entrances polluting the environment for patients to walk through, push the button to make your voice heard.  Every push is counted!

Pictured (L-R): Smoking wardens Jim McKeown and Chris Quinn demonstrating the new tannoy system at the Ulster Hospital.



We invite you to Being Together in Belfast, an event for women living with and beyond ovarian cancer on Friday 12 April 2019 from 9.45am - 4pm at the Park Avenue Hotel, Belfast.

March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month. In Northern Ireland there were an average of 221 people diagnosed with ovarian cancer from 2012-2016 and 126 deaths.

The South Eastern HSC Trust has recently launched the Infant Mental Health Strategy at an event held in the Civic Centre in Lisburn.  The strategy provides a framework to guide, inform and review activity across a range of Health & Social Care services working to improve the social and emotional development of young children and families.

Make sure you know about the flu and how to protect yourself!

The South Eastern Trust were delighted to welcome a distinguished expert to the Ulster Hospital recently to promote the benefits of Smoking Cessation interventions in acute care settings.

GRAHAM- Bam Healthcare Patnership (GBHP) recently presented a cheque of £2000 raised from their Annual GBHP Charity Golf Day to the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust for Friends of Kiwoko Hospital.

On Tuesday 12 February 2019 the South Eastern HSC Trust held a Midwifery Careers Day programme with the aim of fulfilling its commitment to ensuring that young people within our geographical area are offered a work experience opportunity that may support them to progress towards career goals and pathways, both academic and vocational.

The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust along with the other Health & Social Care Trusts across Northern Ireland have now signed up to two Equality Commission initiatives.  These initiatives are the Mental Health Charter and the disability access initiative ‘Every Customer Counts’.

Our Social Work staff recently spent the day with Colin McGrath, MLA to experience what it is like working as a Social Worker.

The Trust has previously consulted publicly and extensively on the introduction of car parking charges across Ards, Lagan Valley and Downe Hospital sites in line with Department of Health Policy

The staff and residents of Newcroft Lodge were delighted to be part of a very special birthday celebration recently. Maria Ferguson celebrated her 100th birthday on 25 January surrounded by her family, friends, her minister Rev. Alan Sleith, Hillsborough Presbyterian Church and Rt. Rev. Charles McMullen, the Moderator of the General Assembly for the Presbyterian Church along with his wife Mrs Barbara McMullen.

The Children's Celebration Event was recently held in The Great Hall.

South Eastern Trust Presents Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs!

NHS England and NHS Improvement have announced that Hugh McCaughey, Chief Executive of the South Eastern HSC Trust, is to lead on driving improvements in care and efficiency across the NHS.

Take a sneak peak at our new Acute Services Block.

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