Minister announces surgery centre plan for Daisy Hill Hospital

Date published: 19 October 2022

Health Minister Robin Swann has announced that Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry will be an Elective Overnight Stay Centre, caring for patients who require at least one night in hospital after surgery.

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Elective Overnight Stay Centres are being established as part of the reorganisation of general surgery services. The Mater Hospital in Belfast was announced as the first of these new facilities in June. Daisy Hill Hospital has now been designated as the second.

Elective surgery involves planned operations and treatments. Elective Overnight Stay Centres will treat patients who are intermediate complexity cases and need overnight care. They will focus on general surgery, but will include other specialties.

The Health Minister stated: “I am very pleased to be able to deliver this very good news for Daisy Hill Hospital.

“In addition to providing its existing wide range of services already, it will now become a vibrant Elective Overnight Stay Centre providing planned care not just for its local population but also for the region. Surgeons and patients alike will travel to Daisy Hill from different parts of Northern Ireland.

“The development of Elective Overnight Stay Centres is a key proposal in the Review of General Surgery which I published in June. Daisy Hill Hospital will not be the last of these facilities. I can confirm that the Department and Western Health and Social Care Trust are working on proposals for a similar centre at South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen.

“Today’s announcement on Daisy Hill underlines my commitment to making the best use of our hospital network and ensuring all our hospitals have a sustainable and vitally important place in that network.”

Elective Overnight Stay Centres are part of a wider health care reform initiative, involving dedicated hubs for planned surgeries and procedures. The aim is to enhance the quality and consistency of care, improve productivity and help bring down waiting lists.

As part of this reconfiguration, Regional Day Procedure Centres have been established at Lagan Valley Hospital in Lisburn and Omagh Hospital.

The Minister detailed today’s decision on Daisy Hill Hospital in a speech to the Northern Ireland Confederation for Health and Social Care (NICON) annual conference and in a Written Assembly Statement.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Minister’s Written Assembly Statement is available here: DoH Ministerial announcements and statements 2022 | Department of Health (
  1. The Review of General Surgery spells out the challenges of the current configuration of general surgery services in Northern Ireland. These include the fragility of emergency surgery in hospitals with lower patient turnover, including long-term problems recruiting and retaining surgeons in hospitals. Problems include rotas, succession planning, skill mix, supporting services and disciplines, best practice and maintaining quality care.
  1. Emergency general surgery at Daisy Hill was suspended on safety grounds earlier this year, due to staffing gaps in the surgical team.
  1. The Western Health and Social Services Trust has this week highlighted the fragility of emergency general surgery at South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen.
  1. General surgery is undertaken by highly skilled clinicians who typically operate on common abdominal complaints including elective gall bladder surgery, hernia repairs and bowel repairs.
  1. Emergency general surgery relates to the treatment of patients presenting with conditions such as acute appendicitis, perforated bowels and obstructed bowels.
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  4. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service For Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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