Queen officially opens new hospital

Published: 26 Jun 2012 16:50

The Queen and Prince Phillip were welcomed to the new South West Acute Hospital outside Enniskillen by Health Minister, Mr. Edwin Poots and by the Chairman of the Western Health and Social Care Trust, Mr. Gerard Guckian this afternoon, during the second part of her official Jubilee Tour to Northern Ireland.

The Dean of Clogher, the Very Rev. Kenneth Hall accompanies the Queen from the Deanery on her way to St. Michael's Church.

The Queen and Prince Phillip were welcomed to the new South West Acute Hospital outside Enniskillen by Health Minister, Mr. Edwin Poots and by the Chairman of the Western Health and Social Care Trust, Mr. Gerard Guckian this afternoon, during the second part of her official Jubilee Tour to Northern Ireland.

The Minister said: "It is an honour to welcome Her Majesty the Queen to the new South West Acute Hospital to perform the official opening.

"This £276million development is a pioneering facility and is one of the most modern hospitals in Europe. With state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, the South West Hospital will provide a range of services including accident and emergency, x-ray and imaging, coronary care, intensive care, maternity and children's services amongst many others.

"This hospital is a beacon of health provision, not only in Northern Ireland and the UK, but in Europe. The new facility will ensure that all the people of this area can access the right clinicians and the right treatment as quickly as possible.

"We should be proud that we are leading the way in healthcare provision. It will bring significant benefits to patients and staff and residents of the Fermanagh and Tyrone area and is a great example of the continued investment in health service modernisation in Northern Ireland."

Mr. Guckian said, "The Western Trust is very proud of the new hospital which opened to patients last week. We are delighted Her Majesty the Queen has performed the official opening today. The opening marks the beginning of a new chapter for the hospital and signals the Western Trust's ongoing commitment to providing high quality care to patients."

The Queen heard about the history of hospital services and the new £276m South West Acute Hospital from Dr. Jim Kelly. She then visited the Children's Ward while Prince Philip visited the phsiotherapy unit and the MRI Scanner.

Earlier the Queen and Prince Phillip met the public in Enniskillen during a short walkabout as she completed the first part of her Jubilee visit to the town today.

After meeting representatives of various groups and organisations in St. Michael's Church, the Queen walked across to a group of pupils from Jones Memorial Primary School and many other people gathered outside the church at Halls Lane.

Shortly after, the Queen and Prince Philip left for a private lunch.Later she will officially open the new South West Acute Hospital.

Earlier, the Queen and Prince Phillip have been greeted by Canon Peter O'Reilly as they entered St. Michael's Church in Enniskillen.

She had earlier met families of victims of the Enniskillen bombing at the Deanery at St. Macartin's Cathedral.

A special Service of Thanksgiving to mark her Diamond Jubilee, attended by dignitaries, took place at St. Macartin's Cathedral at 12 noon.

The service started later than planned after a delay of an hour after the Queen's travel arrangements were affected by bad weather.

She was greeted at the gates to the Cathedral by The Very Rev. Kenneth Hall. The bells of the Cathedral were ringing.

Her Majesty went on to meet The Most Revd Alan Harper, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland; The Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson, Archbishop of Dublin and The Right Revd John McDowell, Bishop of Clogher.

The Thanksgiving Service, coordinated by the Lord Chamberlain's office and attended by a congregation of around 750, was conducted by The Very Revd Kenneth Hall.

The Lesson, St. Matthew 7:1-5,12,24-27, was read by The Rt Hon Peter Robinson MLA First Minister of Northern Ireland.

The Prayers of Intercession were led by the Revd Ken Lindsay, President of the Methodist Church in Ireland; His Eminence Cardinal Sean Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland and the Right Revd Dr Roy Patton, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.

The Sermon was delivered by The Most Revd Alan Harper, Archbishop of Armagh, who later also went on to pronounce the Blessing.

The Rt Revd John McDowell, Bishop of Clogher, led the Diamond Jubilee Prayer, a prayer written at the Queen's direction by the Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral for Her Majesty's Jubilee.

Thousands lined the streets of Enniskillen including pupils of Enniskillen Model Primary School and Devenish College to get a chance to get a glimpse of the Queen.

Crowds had gathered in Enniskillen since 4.30am.

Barriers had been erected along the main thoroughfare.

Children from Ballinamallard PS greeted her when she arrived at St. Angelo.

In an unprecedented move, the Queen's visit was announced some weeks ago.

The Queen was last in Fermanagh in 2002 when she visited Ballinamallard.

Follow us on twitter @impartialrep or our reporters @RodneyEdwards and @JulieKenwell for updates.

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