Investigation into SWAH surgery situation

A MAJOR “unprecedented” probe by the health regulator into the situation at the South West Acute Hospital (SWAH) is gathering pace, with both staff and patients set to have their voices heard on the impact of the removal of emergency surgery from the Enniskillen hospital.

Since the Western Trust announced the suspension of emergency general surgery (EGS) at the SWAH in November 2022, local patients requiring any unplanned surgical procedure – outside of obstetrics and gynaecology – have had to make a more than 100-mile roundtrip to Altnagelvin in Derry.

As reported in the pages of this paper for almost two years now, this has been creating many difficulties and challenges for both staff and patients alike. A dedicated group of community campaigners in the form of Save Our Acute Services (SOAS) has also been working tirelessly to highlight these pressures and problems.


Now the independent Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) has launched the first phase of a review of these patient pathways associated with the suspension of SWAH EGS, and their direct and indirect impacts.

“In carrying out this review, RQIA will be seeking the views of service users with experience of receiving care associated with the temporary suspension of Emergency General Surgery at the South West Acute Hospital (SWAH), Enniskillen,” said a RQIA spokesman.

“Further details on how service users can provide their input into the RQIA review will be published soon, via our website and Twitter/X @RQIANews.”

To read more on this story see this week’s Fermanagh Herald. Can’t get to the shop to collect your copy? No problem! You can download a copy straight to your device by following this link

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