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Developing elective surgery at Daisy Hill Hospital

22nd June 2023

Daisy Hill Hospital’s surgical team has been working hard to increase planned surgical activity on the site.

Last October, former Health Minister Robin Swann announced that Daisy Hill had been appointed as a regional elective overnight stay centre for patients requiring planned surgeries.

Daisy Hill has four in-patient theatres, along with dedicated endoscopy and a paediatric theatre.

Following a downturn in elective activity due to the pandemic and ongoing pressures on medical beds, the team have been rebuilding and recruiting to their service in preparation for returning to pre-pandemic levels of surgical activity. They have also been working with regional colleagues to explore how waiting lists across Northern Ireland can be addressed and are developing plans for the elective overnight surgical hub on the third floor of the hospital.

Eight new surgical nurses have been recruited within the last five months to Daisy Hill theatres, with ongoing training planned through to the autumn to allow more surgical lists to start. Since January, the team have looked after 225 elective patients, 104 of these staying overnight for general surgery, ENT, urology, gynaecology and breast surgery.

Whilst increasing surgical activity, the team also hope to improve access to gynaecology and early pregnancy services and are also planning for the arrival of a new temporary MRI scanner on the Daisy Hill site.

Updating on progress, Director of Surgery and Clinical Services for the Southern Trust, Cathrine Reid, said:

“We would like to pay tribute to all of our staff who have worked tirelessly to sustain services during a very difficult few years and particularly, all of our surgical staff who we know and understand have been frustrated by the inability to undertake more surgery for more patients due to other pressures.

“Whilst we absolutely acknowledge the continued workforce issues across our services, the development of Daisy Hill as a regional elective centre is reassuring for our surgical team who are keen to use their expertise to benefit the many people who have been waiting far too long on procedures.

“With excellent surgical facilities on site, investment in training and equipment, we are in a position to take on most specialties at Daisy Hill and have recently expanded to include urology and breast procedures which had never been done before.”

Clinical Director for Anaesthetics at Daisy Hill Hospital Dr Aidan Cullen, added: “We have a very strong and enthusiastic anaesthetics team at Daisy Hill supporting all planned and emergency surgical activity, the busy maternity service and other wards and departments, 24 hours a day. We already support the area wide elective caesarean section service from Daisy Hill and continue to work with surgical colleagues to introduce more theatre lists across a range of specialties. We continue to work with colleagues regionally in developing our plans for the elective overnight centre to achieve better outcomes for patients living across the Southern area and beyond.”


Photo caption:
Amie Nelson, Head of Service, Cathrine Reid, Director of Surgery and Clinical Services, Lynn Lappin, Interim Assistant Director for Surgery & Out-Patients, Staff Nurses, Phiyona Johny, Jade Davies, Healthcare Assistant Philip Hughes, Staff Nurse Eimer McShane, Clinical Sister, Jenny Hughes, Dr Aidan Cullen, Clinical Director, Anaesthetics, Clinical Sister, Bridgeen Conachy, Declan McClements, Interim Assistant Director of Surgery & ATICS, Eileen Mullan, Trust Chair.