South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust

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The South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust (SEHSCT) is one of 6 provider trusts in Northern Ireland, which supplies acute hospital services, community health, social services, mental health services, children’s services and has a regional contract to provide prison healthcare for Northern Ireland.

The Trust’s objectives are:
• To improve the health and wellbeing of the people in their Trust area in partnership with others.
• To provide person-centred, safe and effective care.
• To plan for and respond to the changing needs of their patients, clients, carers and staff.
• To ensure Best Value for Money.

About The Trust

The South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust (SEHSCT), which was established on 1 April 2007, is an amalgamation of two former trusts; the Ulster Community & Hospitals Trust and Down Lisburn Trust, and is one of 6 provider trusts in Northern Ireland, providing a range of health and social care services.

The Trust serves a population of 400,000 and is one of the largest employers in Northern Ireland. It is also the largest local employer with over 12,000 staff. As well as this, the Trust supports and funds services with a range of partner organisations in the local area, creating and maintaining further employment opportunities and thus bringing significant socio-economic benefits to the region.

Journey Towards Excellence

The organisation has an annual operating budget of approximately $5000m which has to balance with increasing demand, greater complexity of care and higher public expectations. In this ever-changing and challenging environment, key themes have been developed to ensure consistency between strategy and delivery.

The Trust has in place a robust schedule for governance, including Control Assurance, Corporate Control, Safety and Quality Committees. The Control Assurance is a holistic concept that is a fundamental process of governance. It assists the Trust in identifying their risks, determining unacceptable levels of risk and deciding where best to direct their limited resources to eliminate or reduce those risks.

The way data is collected has evolved from service-specific patient satisfaction surveys to standardised regional surveys. These regional standards are aimed at ensuring a positive care experience for customers, bearing in mind themes such as respect, attitude, behaviour, communication and privacy and dignity. Using a triangulation approach, reports provide a comprehensive picture of the patient experience whilst being cared for in a particular service area. According to these reports, themes regarding areas of lower compliance are identified and actions are taken to address them. The Trust recognises that patient and client feedback is essential to improving the quality of their service, as is reflected in their Trust Quality Improvement plan.

The organisation has adopted the ‘enhanced local resolution’ approach which focuses on the fact that complaints have to be handled in an open, fair and flexible manner.


  • The Trust has maintained an overall general satisfaction result of at least 97% over the lifetime of the organisation.
  • The Trust has achieved a complaints response improvement of 11%
  • Since its inception, the Trust has achieved year-on-year financial breakeven.
  • The South Eastern Trust hospitals are demonstrably more efficient and offer better value for money than all other Trusts in Northern Ireland
  • The Trust has consistently been the Province's top performer over the entire time the HSC Trust organisations have existed.
  • The organisation has received various recognition and awards for its efforts to increase energy efficiency, including ISO 14001 Environmental Management Standard and Gold Star in the EFQM Steps to Excellence process.
  • Investors in People (IiP) assessment report

    "The greater majority of people recognise that they are encouraged to be involved in decision-making and finding solutions, particularly by having their ideas and opinions sought at team meetings or as individuals."