New ED at Ulster Hospital

8th September 2023

The South Eastern Trust opened the new state-of the-art Emergency Department (ED) at the Ulster Hospital at 00:01am on Wednesday 6th September 2023.

The Emergency Department, which is in the Acute Services Block (ASB), is the final stage of the £280m Phase B redevelopment project.

The Emergency Department is designed to provide care in modern treatment spaces and investigation rooms. They have been constructed using the latest innovations in design and technology and are well-equipped to provide secure, safe, high quality services to patients.

This new department is equipped with advanced resuscitation facilities, treatment cubicles, paediatric cubicles, excellent triage facilities and a dedicated ambulance arrivals area.

There’s a large waiting area to help patient flow through initial assessment to treatment and discharge, or onward admission to an appropriate ward, if required.

The recently opened Imaging Department is beside the Emergency Department to maximise access to diagnostics.

The Trust is delighted that in addition to our new 24/7 Emergency Department, a new Consultant led Minor Injury Unit will also open on the same day.

It will operate 7 days a week 8am to 6pm on the site of the former Emergency Department, at the Ulster Hospital.

The Minor Injury Unit will also be staffed by specialist nurses, medical staff and other health care professionals who are able to assess and treat patients of all ages with minor injuries that are not critical or life-threatening. These include:

  • injuries to upper and lower limbs
  • broken bones, sprains, bruises and wounds
  • bites – human, animal and insect
  • burns and scalds
  • wound infections
  • minor head injuries
  • broken noses
  • foreign bodies in eyes, ears, nose and skin
  • arm or leg pain
  • simple rashes
  • red eyes or minor eye injuries

Following triage, if required, some patients may be moved to the Emergency Department.

The Clinical Director of Emergency Medicine Dr Andrew Dobbin explained, “The new Emergency Department is a purpose built space which will really benefit our patients and our staff. It now has at its disposal all the latest technology, which will help both diagnose and treat patients in need of emergency care.

“I am also delighted that we will be able to use the former Emergency Department for an enhanced Minor Injury Unit, which will help preserve the Emergency Department for emergencies only and improve the flow of patients through our hospital.”

The Chief Executive of the South Eastern Trust Roisin Coulter said, “The Trust is excited and proud to open this new Emergency Department and operate an enhanced Consultant led Minor Injury Unit, which will provide a more comprehensive, long-term, sustainable urgent and emergency care service for the community.

“This new, fit for purpose, bright, modern ED will enable our staff to continue to deliver high quality care to acutely unwell patients in a superior work environment. Patients are at the heart of everything we do and their safety is our priority.”

There is a dedicated main entrance to the new Emergency Department in the Acute Services Block. However, all other services and wards in the ASB will continue to be accessed via the Critical Care Complex. The route is clearly signposted.

There is a ‘drop-off’ area outside the ED for critically ill patients and anyone with a mobility issue.

A contactless payment car park has been built close to the entrance of the new Emergency Department which has 140 spaces for patients and relatives.

The new Emergency Department at the Ulster Hospital is expected to be fully operational by 8am on the 6th September. 

Link to video of new Emergency Department: