A MAJOR development has taken place in local health care in Co Down. The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust recently welcomed representatives of Queen’s University, Belfast, to mark the occasion of granting University Teaching Hospital status to the Ulster Hospital, Dundonald. This is in recognition of the years of teaching of medical and nursing students that the Ulster Hospital has provided to Queen’s undergraduates in the past and also to mark the introduction of an Undergraduate Sub-deanery in the Trust.
A large slate plaque denoting this status was presented by the University which will be positioned in the main foyer of the Ulster Hospital in the near future. The group also reviewed plans to develop a Medical Education Centre on the Ulster Hospital site to ensure that the high standard of clinical teaching can be continued well into the future.
Speaking at the event, Mr Charlie Martyn, Trust Medical Director, said “The Trust is delighted to accept this plaque which signifies strong links between the Trust and Queen’s University and formally recognises that the Ulster Hospital is a major teaching hospital.
“The Trust would like to formally recognise the contribution of all medical staff in teaching students who ensure they receive high quality level education in providing medical care into the future.
From a nursing perspective, Charlotte McArdle (Director of Primary Care, Older People & Nursing, South Eastern HSC Trust) further added, “I am delighted that the Ulster Hospital has been officially conferred as a University Teaching Hospital. This occasion marks the introduction of the Medical Sub-deanery in the Trust. There are approximately 200 Queen’s nursing students in the Trust at any one time and they too will have an affiliation with and benefit from our status. The promotion of integrated learning among healthcare professionals and team working were also discussed.
Queen’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Peter Gregson said, “The creation of educational sub-deaneries and teaching hospitals provides an integrated framework which enables academics and clinicians to work together to deliver the highest standards of medical education. These developments also recognise Northern Ireland’s hospitals, such as the Ulster Hospital, which perform a critical role in delivering high-quality clinical placements for our students.”