Major upgrade to respiratory laboratories

28th July 2021

The respiratory and sleep investigations departments at both Daisy Hill and Craigavon Area hospitals have both now reopened following major renovations.

Senior Respiratory Physiologists Eimear Gillis and Jill McFarland with Ryan Kerr, Estates Team and Kay Carroll, Head of Service in the newly revamped respiratory and sleep investigations department at Craigavon Area Hospital.

The respiratory and sleep team diagnoses both adults and children for a range of conditions like lung cancer, COPD, asthma, sleep apnoea and post-Covid-19 symptoms.

A £210,000 investment has helped to improve ventilation, create more space and install new equipment, now giving the team capacity to see up to 70 patients a day across both sites.

At the height of the pandemic, the team of respiratory physiologists was redeployed to work in the intensive care unit at Craigavon Hospital. This time was used to revamp their departments to meet Covid-19 requirements.

The Daisy Hill department reopened along with the Emergency Department in October with an additional two rooms and two new lung function systems.  The Craigavon department reopened last week, having also undergone extensive renovation.

Kay Carroll, Head of Service for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust has welcomed the reopening of both departments:

“I would like to pay tribute to our respiratory physiology team who like so many staff, showed such flexibility and dedication by relocating and contributing their skills to support the intensive care team in our response to Covid-19.

“Many of the procedures used by our respiratory and sleep team generate respiratory droplets and are potentially high risk of spreading infection, so it was absolutely vital as we resume these services that we do everything we can to keep staff and vulnerable patients safe.

“Thanks to our Estates team who have worked tirelessly in our response to the pandemic, we now have a very safe and comfortable space at both acute hospitals, specifically designed to carry out aerosol generating procedures and respiratory investigations without risk.

Micheala Lagan, Senior Respiratory Physiologist, Kerrie Smyth, Respiratory and Sleep Services Manager Southern Trust, Lorna Burns, Respiratory Assistant, Andrew Cunningham, Assistant Head of Estates Development Services, Eamon Nogher, Project Manager Felix O’Hare Construction and Head of Service Kay Carroll in the newly renovated respiratory and sleep investigations department at Daisy Hill Hospital.

“We are absolutely delighted with these new facilities which are of the highest standards and our increased space means that we are able to help to diagnose many more people each day.”

The Trust appeals to anyone with an outpatients appointment to please make sure you attend, or contact the department if you can’t, so it can be allocated to someone else.

Have a look inside the newly renovated departments here