Altnagelvin Area Hospital

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Altnagelvin Area Hospital
Western Health and Social Care Trust
Altnagelvin Area Hospital SMC 2011.JPG
LocationDerry, Northern Ireland
Care systemHealth and Social Care in Northern Ireland
Hospital typeDistrict General Hospital
Affiliated universityQueen's University of Belfast National University of Ireland, Galway University of Ulster
Emergency departmentYes

Altnagelvin Area Hospital is the main hospital for the North West of Northern Ireland. It provides services to the city of Derry as well as County Londonderry, but also some specialist and acute services for parts of neighbouring County Donegal, County Tyrone, County Antrim and County Fermanagh. It has 500 beds, employs over 2000 health care professionals, technical and support staff, and offers the most comprehensive medical services outside Belfast in Northern Ireland. Although, the population of the city of Derry itself is only in the region of 130,000, the Trust serves a population of over 275,000 people for some services, and nearly 400,000 for others (such as maxillofacial surgery).

Past and future[edit]

It was the first hospital built in the whole of the United Kingdom after the Second World War in 1960. It is situated in a picturesque part of Waterside area of Derry. The hospital tower itself consists of 11 floors, and is one of the tallest buildings in the city.

With the downgrading of services in Tyrone County Hospital in Omagh, and consolidation of health services in the region as a whole, it is anticipated that Altnagelvin will increasingly be serving as the regional hub in the provision of acute care for patients.


In January 2011, it was revealed that 18,500 xrays taken in 2009 and 2010 in Altnagelvin's Medical Imaging Department had not been examined by a radiologist. As a result, four patients suffering from cancer had their diagnosis also delayed by several months.[1]

In March 2011 a political row developed when Health Minister Michael McGimpsey announced the postponement of plans to develop a regional radiotherapy unit at the hospital.[2]

Specialties represented[edit]


South Wing

The hospital is currently undergoing expansion and development. The latest phase of expansion was launched in 2004, and expected to cost over £100 a million over a period of 10 years. Recent developments has included the establishment of an outpatients renal hemodialysis unit in 2005, and the opening of a new laboratory and pharmaceuticals facility in 2007.

University affiliations[edit]

The hospital is a teaching hospital, and has research and teaching links with the University of Ulster, Queen's University of Belfast and the National University of Ireland, Galway.[3] In particular, it is in a unique position of being the only hospital in either Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland to have a consistent tradition of accepting medical students on ward-based attachments from universities from both sides of the border.


  1. ^ Late X-ray hospital 'short-staffed'
  2. ^ Will cancer unit go ahead? Dublin and McGuinness say yes, McGimpsey says no
  3. ^ "General information guide for undergraduate medical student placement in Altnagelvin hospital" (PDF). Western Health and Social Care Trust. August 2009. Retrieved April 14, 2012.