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Developing Better Services

The New Hospital Network

  • The current configuration of 15 acute hospitals will be replaced by a network of nine acute hospitals supported by seven local hospitals, with additional local hospitals in other locations, as appropriate.
  • Under DBS the nine acute hospitals will be the Royal Hospitals, Belfast City, Ulster, Antrim, Causeway, Altnagelvin, Daisy Hill, Craigavon and the new South West Hospital.
  • Whiteabbey, Mid Ulster, Lagan Valley, Downe, South Tyrone, and Omagh have been designated as local hospitals with the eventual inclusion of the Mater (although the Mater is to continue to deliver a full range of acute services for a considerable period ahead).
  • Particular regional specialities within the Eastern Board area (dermatology, plastics and rheumatology) are being relocated and consolidated.
  • Fracture inpatient services are to be developed at Antrim and Craigavon, with fracture clinics at all acute hospitals.
  • Consultant-led maternity services are to be delivered at the network of nine acute hospitals, with the potential for development of midwife-led maternity units adjacent to consultant units.
  • Protected elective capacity is to be developed at Lagan Valley, South Tyrone, the new South West hospital and elsewhere, as appropriate.
  • Increasing availability and access to day surgery will be a priority.
Further details of the Developing Better Services programme are set out in the Ministerial announcement of February 2003 (PDF 182 KB).


Additional information on DBS:

Associated reports:
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