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:
- Letter from the Minister for Health and Children, Michéal Martin, TD (PDF 64 KB)
- Average travel speeds in Northern Ireland (PDF 41 KB)
- Estimates of hospital catchment populations for inpatient activity in Northern Ireland (PDF 22 KB)
- Summary of estimated catchment populations hospitals v specialities (PDF 60 KB)