South Eastern Trust Goes Out To Public Consultation About Future Model of Urgent and Emergency Care in Ards & North Down Area

8th February 2023

The South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust is proposing to develop a new Consultant led Urgent Care Centre, alongside the Emergency Department at the Ulster Hospital.

In order to achieve this, the Trust is proposing to close the Minor Injuries Units in both the Ards and Bangor Community Hospitals.

Senior Emergency Department Consultant, Dr Andrew Dobbin explains, “Our Urgent and Emergency medical and nursing teams strive to provide the highest standard and quality of care to the people who need us.

“We believe that change is required and the creation of an Urgent Care Centre at the Ulster Hospital, 4.7 miles from Newtownards, would provide the population with a more comprehensive service than is currently available at the Ards Minor Injuries Unit and ensure that the service is more sustainable for the future.

“Having the new Consultant led Urgent Care Centre alongside the Emergency Department at the Ulster Hospital would give easy access to medical assessment and clinical investigations. This service would include longer opening hours than are currently available in Ards.”

We value and respect our staff and discussions have taken place with them regarding the proposal. This engagement will continue during and following the consultation period and the Trust will work with Trade Unions to assess the impact on staff and any concerns they may have.

The Trust remains committed to both the Ards and Bangor Community Hospitals and will examine ways to make best use of any available space for local services.

The consultation will last for 12 weeks, beginning on 8 February 2023 and closing on 3 May 2023.  A copy of the consultation document and information on the consultation process can be found on the Trust’s website at the following link:

The Trust plans to hold a series of public and online events to have a conversation about the proposed changes. The dates will be published on our website and in the local media in the coming weeks. 

Our aim in consulting with the public and our key partners is to ensure that people fully understand the need for change and have an opportunity to consider the proposal and its implications.

We would like to thank the public, our partner organisations and elected and community representatives for their continued understanding and for the support offered to our dedicated and committed staff as they continue to work tirelessly to protect and care for our community.