Trust Welcomes Health Minister to the Ulster Hospital on his First Day in Office

7th February 2024
Health minister Robin Swann and SETrust staff stand in front of the new Ulster Hospital Emergency Department

The South Eastern Trust was delighted to welcome the Health Minister, Robin Swann to the Ulster Hospital on his first day in office. The Minister, chatted with staff and witnessed first-hand the pressures they are facing every day.

Minister Swann met a range of healthcare professionals in both the Emergency Department and the Acute Medical Unit, to gain an understanding of the various challenges the health service is dealing with at the moment.

During the visit, Minister Swann also had the opportunity to see encompass, our new digital patient record system, in operation. The Trust was the first to implement this ground breaking regional digital innovation, which will be rolled out across the other Health and Social Care Trusts over the next two years.

Welcoming Minister Swann to the Ulster Hospital, Chief Executive, Roisin Coulter said, “It is a positive step to have the Assembly back in place and to have a Health Minister who is so supportive and understands the health challenges. On his first day returning to office, Minister Swann was keen to see for himself the pressures staff are under and how they continue to provide the best care to our patients, showing him that patients are at the centre of everything we do.

“Minister Swann was able to see encompass in operation both in the Emergency Department and in the Acute Medical Unit and was impressed with the benefits this new system will bring to patients.  We will work with the Minister and the Department of Health to examine better ways to deliver care for our patients.  I am delighted he took time out of his busy schedule today to engage with our staff.”

Emergency Medicine Consultant, Dr Jill Stafford highlighted current pressures within Emergency Care.  She stated, “It was really good to see the Health Minister visiting the Emergency Department at the Ulster Hospital. It shows he is keen to see the problems that are affecting patient flow and care throughout the system.”

Emphasising the importance of improving emergency care for older patients, Emergency Medicine Consultant, Dr Sean McGovern added, “There needs to be a focus on the care of elderly patients in terms of their hospital and end-of-life management.  We need to improve their journey through the hospital back into the community where they want to be most.”

Interim Clinical Manager, Maggie Magowan was delighted to give the Minister a tour of the Emergency Department and commented, “We work closely with the Department of Health and the Health Minister, especially throughout the pandemic.  Minister Swann brings to the role a real working knowledge of the challenges we are facing in healthcare across Northern Ireland.”

Commenting on the visit to the Ulster Hospital, Trust Chairman, Jonathan Patton said, “I am delighted to welcome the Health Minister to the Trust on his first working day.

“I know he was keen to speak with staff to gain a first-hand update on what the major pressures are as he takes up office.

“The Trust is ready to work with the Minister in resolving these issues.”