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Royal College of Surgeons NI Director Visits SWAH


Royal College Of Surgeons Visit SWAH

We were delighted to welcome the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) Northern Ireland Director Mr Niall McGonigle to the South West Acute Hospital recently.

Mr McGonigle, alongside RCS colleagues took time to view the first-class theatres and facilities at SWAH, engaging with Senior Clinical Leaders, Nursing and Support staff working in our theatres and elective and ambulatory wards. He also got to hear about the Trust’s theatre utilisation programme which has seen SWAH Hospital theatres reaching their full commissioned sessions each week, alongside the Overnight Elective Stay Centre at SWAH which is helping to reduce Northern Ireland waiting lists.

The Trust has been incrementally building the capacity for elective operating lists in SWAH and Omagh Hospital theatres to help reduce waiting lists. Between 1 April 2023 – 31 January 2024 SWAH has seen a total of 1,672 patients operated on.


Welcoming Mr McGonigle to South West Acute Hospital, Western Trust Chief Executive Neil Guckian said:

“The elective work taking place in SWAH is a great example of how health care reform can deliver for patients. We are very proud of the service our staff and facilities are providing to Western Trust patients and those who travel to SWAH from across Northern Ireland for their surgery.”

RCS England NI Director Niall McGonigle said the visit was timely in light of NI’s significant elective waiting lists and workforce stresses.

“I would like to thank the Western Trust for extending the invitation to visit these first-class theatres and meet staff who are working incredibly hard to maximise elective surgical activity. We know we have high waiting lists and surgical hub sites such as SWAH and Omagh are green shoots of recovery despite the challenges. Surgical hub sitesinvolve ring-fencing staff, beds and resources solely for the purposes of planned surgery. Separating these resources means that planned operations can go ahead even during periods of heightened emergency pressures. A strong supported workforce underpins all our goals and will result in patients being treated quicker for their elective operation and off NI’s long waiting lists.”