Royal College director pays a visit to SWAH

ELECTIVE surgery at the SWAH is continuing to grow, with the hospital being lauded as “a great example” of reform of the health service.

While Fermanagh patients are continuing to have to travel two hours to Altnagelvin in urgent situations, following the Western Trust’s removal of emergency general surgery from the Enniskillen hospital, efforts are continuing to grow the SWAH as a centre for elective surgery.

Last week the new NI director of the Royal College of Surgeons England (RCS), Niall McGonigle, visited the SWAH where he met with staff and senior clinical leaders, was shown the first-class facilities at the hospital, visited its theatres, elective and ambulatory wards.


He also heard about the Trust’s theatre utilisation programme at the hospital.

The Trust has said it is “incrementally building” its capacity for elective operating lists at the SWAH to help reduce waiting lists.

Between April 1, 2023 and January 31, 2024 a total of 1,672 elective surgeries were carried out at the hospital.

Of these, 511 were general surgery, 78 were paediatric, 777 were gynaecology surgeries, and 306 were carried out by the community dental service.

Of those, 312 patients were operated on through the Elective Overnight Stay Centre, which was set up at the hospital last year and is open to patients on waiting lists across the North. A total of 171 of these patients were from the Western Trust and 141 were from other Trusts.

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