SWAH shop hours leave in-patients stranded

THE opening hours of the convenience shop at the South West Acute Hospital (SWAH) has caused a storm on social media.

A thread on the popular Enniskillen Banter Facebook page highlighted the fact that the shop is closed at the weekends to the annoyance of in-patients and visitors.

“Having the misfortune of having a stay in the SWAH. To my horror, I thought I would treat myself to a little pick me up in the shop only to discover it doesn’t open throughout the weekend,” one of the group’s members explained in a post.


“In my mind, this is unacceptable for both in-patients and visitors. Please give your views on the above, as the saying goes the more noise creates the better results.”

Unsurprisingly, it generated more than 150 comments, with many people angry at the situation.

“[The] shop should stay open normal shop hours because it is the only place to get things if you are an in-patient,” one person wrote.

“It should stay open all days as it’s a trip to another shop seeing its location,” another commented.
Another point made by a member of the group was that it “wasn’t great for staff who are also working weekends as well as patients and visitors.”

In response, the Western Trust clarified the convenience shop’s opening hours and operational procedures.

“The opening hours are as follows: 8:00am-17:00pm, Monday to Friday. The store opened for longer hours, including weekends, pre-Covid.

This falls under the responsibility of PFI contractor, Northern Ireland Health Group,” a Trust statement read.


Despite the shop’s opening hours being an issue, the hospital staff was complimented on their care and professionalism.

“The shop should be open. But I will also say I had to attend A&E lately and the staff was wonderful … friendly … professional and very thorough,” an appreciative group member wrote in the comments.

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