Southern HSC Trust


TTM Healthcare welcomes you to the NHS Southern Trust (SHSCT) in Northern Ireland - and to exciting times ahead.

We’d like to make sure you have all the support you need to make settling into your new home as easy, convenient and enjoyable as possible. To help, we’ve put together some information, advice and useful links on life in the Southern region of Northern Ireland - and which you’ll find valuable as a newcomer. From public transport to healthcare and everything in between – it will help you manage your early days here with ease.

Remember – we’re just a click away. If we can help you with any other queries or more specific information, please email

Follow this link visit the Southern Health Trust website.

About the Southern Trust (SHSCT)

One of 5 NHS Trusts in Northern Ireland, The Southern Health and Social Care Trust provides health and social care services to the Southern region of the country.

With a staff of over 13,000 (full time and part time), the Trust delivers integrated health and social care to approximately 380,312 citizens in the region. The Trust treats about 44,933 inpatients and day patients a year, sees 271,628 outpatients and more than 123,135 people at its Emergency Departments.

The Trust is committed to delivering safe, timely, high quality and cost-effective care, while its higher purpose is always to improve health and well-being and reduce inequalities by using its size as a force for good. To achieve this it works in partnership with other organisations such as those responsible for housing and education.

The Trust delivers services from several hospitals, community-based settings and in some cases directly in individuals’ homes. A comprehensive range of services is provided through the following Directorates:

Acute Services
• Adult Mental Health and Disability Services
• Older People’s and Primary Care Services (OPPC)
• Children and Young People’s Services (CYP)
• Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals

The main hospitals within the Trust are:

 Armagh Community Hospital
• Craigavon Area Hospital
• Daisy Hill Hospital
• Lurgan Hospital
• South Tyrone Hospital
• St Luke’s Hospital

Whatever your area of practice and regardless of the stage you have reached in your career – you can look towards many stimulating, challenging and rewarding opportunities within the Southern Trust. And whether you’re helping to push the boundaries of nursing practice or providing high quality day to day care – there is so much to offer.

Currency and How to Open a Bank Account

The local currency in Northern Ireland is pound sterling (£/GBP). Local shops will not accept Euro. Northern Ireland is the cheapest part of the UK to live in with the lowest cost of housing. To give you an example of how much a pound will buy you, a cup of coffee will cost you approximately £2.50 and a meal in an inexpensive restaurant will range from £10 – £15 per person. You can expect a typical weekly grocery shop for 1 person to cost around £50 - £60 per week.

You can find more on the cost of living in Northern Ireland

To ensure you are paid your salary efficiently you will need to open a UK bank account. The Trust will help you do this by arranging an appointment at one of the local banks, and you will be sent details of this. You will then need to visit the bank to activate your account as soon as possible and verify your identity. Be sure to take the following with you:

• Passport as proof of ID
A letter from Southern Trust confirming your employment and initial address.

Below is a list of banks in Portadown. It is up to you to decide which bank to choose and all have in depth information available on their individual websites.

​• Danske Bank | Danske Bank 45-48 High Street, Portadown | 0845 602 6549
• Barclays Bank | Barclays 3 High St, Portadown | 0345 734 5345
• Nationwide Building Society | 6-, 7 High St, Portadown | 0800 554 0953
Progressive Building Society | 12 Market St, Portadown | 028 3833 0103
HSBC | 52-56 Meadow Lane, Portadown | 0845 740 4404
Ulster Bank | 20 High Street, Portadown | 028 38 332281
First Trust | 24 Market Street, Portadown | 0345 6005 925
Santander | 24 Market Street, Portadown | 0845 7654321

Banks in Newry:

​• ​Santander | 63 Hill St Newry | 0800 085 1491
AIB (NI), previously known as First Trust Bank | 42-44 Hill St | 0345 600 5925
Danske Bank | 58 Hill ST Newry |0345 602 6545
Bank of Ireland | 12 Trevor Hill | 028 3026 5137
Halifax | Unit 53A, Buttercrane Shopping Centre ·In Buttercrane Shopping Centre | 0345 720 3040
Barclays Bank | 32 Hill St | 0345 734 5345

Cash machines are available throughout the Region, but not all are free to use – some charge fees. For your own security, be sure to hide your pin number when keying this into the cash point machine.

How To Get Medical Care

You will need to register with a doctor – known as a GP – as soon as possible, especially if you are taking medication that needs a prescription. Your GP will be able to treat most illnesses but may refer you to a hospital if you require tests or if your medical condition is more serious.

You will not need to pay to see a doctor as this is covered by the National Insurance contributions you make which will be deducted from your salary.

You will need to visit the nearest GP and ask to join as a patient. Be sure to have these documents with you:

• Your passport/VISA
• Your BRP Card
• Your Tenancy Agreement (the signed copy of your tenancy agreement for Trust accommodation or private rental accommodation)
• A Bank Statement OR utility bill (letter from your copy showing your current address) OR a letter from Southern Trust confirming your employment and address.

It can take 2-3 weeks to register you as a new patient so please apply at the GP during your first week in the country.

As soon as you are registered, you’ll receive a medical card with a Health and Social Care Number (HCN) – which you will need to show when you visit any medical facility. Most GP practices are open Monday – Friday and hours will vary between 08:30 am and 5:30pm.


Below is a list of GP practices in the Craigavon area. These are located in 3 areas: Portadown, Brownlow, and Lurgan. It is up to you to choose which practice you would prefer to register with but take into consideration access to these areas via bus or walking.GP practices are usually open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.

Most GP practices will require photographic identification, an HS22X form, and proof of address in Northern Ireland to register. Some GP practices have specific days for registration and forms to complete. Registration appointments in some practices may be a few weeks in advance so it is important that you register as soon as possible in case you need to access a GP service.

If you work in the Lurgan Hospital, your nearest GP practice is:


There are 2 GP practices located in the same building in Brownlow. Please contact on the telephone numbers below for information on registering.

• Lakes Family Practice | 1 Legahory Centre, Brownlow, BT65 5BE | Tel: 028 38 311410
• Arbour Family Practice | 1 Legahory Centre, Brownlow, BT65 5BE | Tel: 028 38 311408


There are 6 GP practices in Lurgan area. These can be reached using bus, with 10-15 minutes walking required. Please contact your chosen surgery for registration process.

• Wynne Hill Surgery | 51 Hill Street, Lurgan BT66 6VW Tel: 028 38 326333
• Church Walk Surgery | 28 Church Walk, Lurgan BT67 9AA | Tel: 028 38 327834
• Lurgan Medical Practice | 7 Moores Lane, Lurgan | Tel: 028 38 327626
• Old School House Surgery | 1 Antrim Road, Lurgan, BT67 9BW Tel: 028 38 311900
• William Street Surgery | 87-89 William Street, Lurgan, BT66 6JB Tel: 028 38 322509
• High Street Surgery | 60 High Street, Lurgan, BT66 8BA Tel: 028 38 324591

 If you work in the Craigavon Area Hospital, your nearest GP practice is:


There are seven GP practices in Portadown Health Centre. The centre is located as shown in the map below. It can be reached by bus into the town centre with a 5 minute walk. Alternately you can walk to the health centre from Craigavon Hospital which is approximately 4 km (45 minute walk). Please contact your chosen practice from the list below for information on registering. The address is: ​Portadown Health Centre, Tavanagh Avenue, Portadown, BT62 3BU.

​• Bannview Practice | Floor 1 | Tel: 028 38 351497
Dr O’Connor and Morgan | Tel: 028 38 351347
Meadows Practice | Tel: 028 38 359909
Riverside Practice | Tel: 028 38 351393
Orchard Practice | Tel: 028 38 351145
Burnett, Winter, and McDonald Practice | Tel: 028 38 350269

If you work in the Daisy Hill Hospital, your nearest GP practice is:​

• Clanrye Medical Practice | Newry Health Village Monaghan Street Newry BT35 6BW | Tel: 028 30267639
Cornmarket Surgery | Cornmarket Surgery, Newry, Co.Down, BT35 6BW | Tel: 028 3026 1221
McVerry / McEvoy Medical Centre | The Health Village Monaghan Street Newry Co. Down BT35 6BW | Tel: (028) 3026 5853

If you work in the South Tyrone Hospital, your nearest GP practice is:

​• Ardmore Medical Practice | 57 Thomas St, Dungannon BT70 1HW
Northland Surgery | 6A Quarry Lane, Dungannon BT70 1HX
Campbell Surgery | 10 Quarry Lane, Dungannon, Co.Tyrone, BT70 1HX

If you work in St Luke’s Hospital/ Armagh Community Hospital your nearest GP practice is:

• Archway Surgery | Dobbin Lane, Armagh, Bt61 7QG | Call: 02837 521400

 If you are involved in an accident or become ill and need emergency medical assistance, please visit your nearest emergency department or dial 999 for an ambulance. 

How to Register with a Dentist

As well as a GP, you should also register with a dental practitioner or dentist. You can choose from:

An HSC Dentist – you and your family will be treated for a fee set by the Department of Health, which subsidises this treatment. Treatments available from your Health Service dentist include:
A Private Dentist - you and your family will be treated for a fee which is NOT regulated by the Department of Health and is not subsidised. A private dentist may also provide specialist treatments and cosmetic dentistry that is not available under the Health Service.

Some dentists in your area are:

Lurgan Area:

Magee Dental Care | 24 William Street Tel: 028 38 32244
• G.P. McCleary & associates | Church Walk | Tel: 028 38 327834
• Haughey E Dental Clinic | 42 North Street | Tel: 028 38 327626
• Best Dental care | 80 High Street | Tel: 028 38 322257
• Robert Dental care | 5 Robert Street | Tel: 028 38 322509

Portadown Area:

DJ Maguire BDS & associates | 83A Bridge Street | Tel: 028 38 334116
• Dental Excellence Portadown | 45 Thomas Street | Tel: 028 38 332656
• Carleton Dental Practice | 27 Carleton Street | Tel: 028 38 334672
• R. Alan Smith | 1 Connaught Park Tel: 028 38 334844 Maguire PJ 45 William Street | Tel: 028 38 332944
• Armstrong A | 74 Gilford Road | Tel: 028 38 333659

Brownlow Area:

• Brownlow Area | PD McGuigan Dental Surgery, 5 Legahory Centre | Tel: 028 38 322080

Newry Area:

Yew Tree Dental Practice | 45 Patrick St Newry BT35 8EB
• Appletree Dental Care | 1 Kilmorey St, Newry BT34 2DH
• Ballybot Dental Surgery Limited | 25 Patrick St Newry Bt35 8EB

 How to Rent Property in the Area

As a new member of the Southern Trust team you will be staying in Trust accommodation in the centre of Belfast for 6 weeks. This will give you time to look for a rental property. As you will need to move out of your Trust accommodation at the end of the 8-week period, you should start looking for rental property during your first week in the Northern Ireland .

Property prices in Northern Ireland are well below those in other areas of the UK and in the Republic of Ireland. In the Southern trust area of Northern Ireland you can rent a 3-bedroom house from approximately £450 to £550 a month.

Finding a property

In recent years, more and more people in Northern Ireland are renting their homes from a private landlord. This type of arrangement has both advantages and disadvantages. You have more choice over the type and location of your home and you don't have to pay for the cost of repairs and improvements, but you don't have the same security that you would in a home you own or rent from a social landlord. 

Deciding to rent privately

Before you decide to look for private rented accommodation, you should make sure that it’s the right housing choice for you and your household. Some alternative may suit your needs such as Bed & Breakfast accommodation or taking a room in a shared household.

Finding a place to rent

There are a number of ways to find properties available to rent.  Before you start looking, you should think about what kind of property you need. Think about:

• What size of property you need (how many bedrooms)
• How much you can afford to pay in rent and bills per month
• the areas you would like to live in. Is it walking distance to work, does it have access to a regular public transport

Finding a property

Once you have a good idea of the type of property you require and the location that best suits you, you can start looking for suitable properties.  There are a number of ways to find property available for rent.

Check online

There are a number of dedicated property websites, such as PropertyPal, PropertyNews Private listing websites like Gumtree  and Facebook Marketplace also contain details of homes to rent. Researching properties online can give you a better idea of what you should expect to pay for a particular type of home in specific areas.

To look for rental property in your area contact one of the local estate agents below:

Portadown Area:

​• Hannath Estates Agents | 8 Bridge Street Portadown | 028 3839 9911
• Joyce Clarke Estate Agents | 2 West Street Portadown | 028 3833 1111
• The Property Spot | 83 Armagh Road Portadown | 028 3833 9700
• Williams Estate Agents | 28 West Street Portadown | 028 3833 4157
• Stevenson & Cummings Estate Agents | 25 Mandeville Street Portadown | 028 3835 0883
• Hendron Estate Agents | 3a Thomas Street Portadown | 028 3835 1321

Armagh Area:

​• ​CPS Estate Agents | 29-31 Thomas Street Armagh | 028 3752 8888
Gerard Gaffney Estates Agents | 9 Thomas Street Armagh | 028 3751 8989
Propertylink | 13 Scotch Street Armagh | 028 3751 1166
Maison Real Estate Agents | 1 Abbey Street Armagh | 028 3751 5949

Newry Area:

Best Property Services | 108 Hill Street Newry | 028 3026 6811
• Digney Boyd Estate Agents | 98 Hill Street Newry | 028 3083 3233
• Hanna Hillen Estate Agents | 89 Hill Street Newry | 028 3026 9003
• Collins & Collins Estate Agency | 2 Marcus Street Newry | 028 3026 6602
• Shooter Property Services | 82 Hill Street Newry | 028 3026 0565

Dungannon Area:

Trevor Law Estate Agents | 6 Thomas Street Dungannon | 028 8772 9586
• Tom Henry & Co Estates Agents | 26 Church Street Dungannon | 028 8772 6992
• Maneely & Co Ltd Estate Agents | 16 Market Square Dungannon | 028 8772 7799
• Maison Real Estate Agents | 44 Circular Road Dungannon | 028 8788 0080

Lurgan Area:

Jones Estate Agents | 32 High Street Lurgan | 028 3832 2244
• S McAttavey Property Services | 40 North Street Lurgan | 028 3834 5485
• MSR Estate Agents | 49 Church Place Lurgan | 028 3834 4888
• Kingham Property Services | 4 North Street Luran | 028 3834 8383

You should also look out for adverts in shop windows or on notice boards and ‘to let’ boards outside properties. Ask friends and colleagues too – they may well know of accommodation available.

 Important to Know!

• Be clear on the kind of place and space you need - the size, type and location.
Think about your budget and what you can afford.
Be sure to choose a place that is convenient with regards to getting to work, schools, shops and public transport. Think about how close you are to friends, family, medical care, availability of secure parking and your social life.
All private landlords must register immediately prior to the letting of a new tenancy.
Landlords normally ask for a deposit equivalent to 1-2 months’ rent up-front to secure a property. PLEASE CONSIDER THIS WHEN APPLYING FOR A SALARY ADVANCE
You will also have to pay 1 month’s rent in advance.
You may be required to provide references or name a guarantor. A guarantor can be a family member or friend who will offer a commitment to pay the landlord your rent if you are unable to do so. A guarantor cannot be your employer or a work colleague unless they are a friend or a family member and acting on your behalf in that way. If you do not know anyone who can act as a guarantor, the letting agency will accept your application if you can provide a double security deposit + 1 month’s rent in advance (equal usually to 3 months’ rent in advance).

You will need to give your Letting Agent the following details:

• Job title: staff nurse
Annual Salary: £25,655
Employer: Southern Health & Social Care Trust (Name of hospital)
Permanent contract

 Tell the letting agent that you will be living in the country for the same amount of time given on your CoS and VISA. This will give the landlord peace of mind that you will be staying in the property for the term of the lease.

 How To Take Public Transport

Getting around in Northern Ireland is so easy! The country has an excellent bus and rail service operated by Translink. Running countrywide, the service includes Ulsterbus, Goldline(connecting NI's major destinations and Dublin), Belfast's Metro Bus and Glider services and NI Railways.

To get timetable details, travel costs and general information about using public transport, visit:

The Southern Health and Social care Trust boasts a wide range of transport networks within the Portadown-Lurgan area, the Portadown – Newry area, and further afield to Belfast and Dublin.


‘Ulsterbus’ is a public transport operator in Northern Ireland as part of ‘Translink’ that serves the Southern Health and Social care Trust area. Bus timetables will give you up to date information of times and routes or this can also be accessed via the link a brief guide a single journey from Craigavon Hospital to Portadown will cost £1.60 and from Craigavon to Lurgan will cost £2.30.

There are multiple bus stops in and around the Craigavon site which host a number of bus routes, most commonly including number 46, 47 which provides the Portadown-Lurgan service. This number will be displayed a long with the destination town on the front of the bus.


‘NI Railways’ and ‘Enterprise’ also part of ‘Translink’ is the train operator for Northern Ireland.Timetables will show the most up to date information regarding routes and times or this can be accessed by the following link: Both Lurgan, Portadown have train stations within walking distance of the town and Newry town centre has a free shuttle bus service that will take you to the train station which is just outside the town.As a brief guide a train journey from Portadown to Lurgan will cost £3.20 and from Portadown to Belfast will cost £8.40

It is worth asking about special offers and return tickets instead of single journeys as this may work out to be a cheaper option.Alternatively there are a number of pre-pay options such as the ’a-link card’ or weekly/ monthly tickets that will avoid needing to have cash for individual journeys.For bus services these can be processed at the local Ulsterbus depot in Craigavon.

How to Get a Local Taxi

​Taxis are also an economical option for short journeys. Taxis charge meter-reading fares. If a taxi doesn’t have a meter, be sure to ask the fare to your destination before setting off. Taxi ranks are also available within the city or at some points of entry and are London-type black cabs. Some taxi companies in the Southern region include:

​• ​A 2 B Taxis | Ashgrove Manor, Portadown, Craigavon, County Armagh, BT62 1UD | 028 38333399
Z Cabs | 2a High Street, Portadown, Craigavon, County Armagh, BT62 1HZ | 028 38351111
Eden Cabs | 7 Bridge Street, Portadown, Craigavon, County Armagh, BT62 1JD| 028 38339000
Eazy Cabs | 1a Atkinson Avenue, Portadown, Craigavon, County Armagh, BT62 3HY | 028 38394040
Country Cabs | 34 North Street, Portadown, Craigavon, County Armagh, BT62 4BR | 028 38353333
Fonacab | 08290333333

 How to Find Children’s Day Care

Child minding is the largest form of registered day care for children aged 0 – 12 years. Registered child minders are self-employed day care providers who work in their own home to provide care and learning opportunities for other people’s children within a family setting. Child minders by law must be registered with the local Health and Social Care Trust.  

To get help with choosing a child minder you should contact The Child Minding Association (NICMA) – an organisation that supports child minders, parents and children. They will give you details of child-minding services that have vacancies.  

 The Child Minding Association (NICMA)

•16 – 18 Mill Street, Newtownards, Co. Down, BT23 4LU
Tel: 028 91811015

 You can also place your child at a day nursery, playgroup or crèche. Day nurseries are usually privately run and provide day care for children aged between 6 weeks and 5 years old. Many also run after school clubs for primary school-going children aged 4 to 11 years. To find out more visit

How to Enrol Children for School

​Northern Ireland offers an excellent education system and schooling is usually FREE of charge. It is compulsory for all children in Northern Ireland aged between 4 and 16 years old to attend school. All Northern Ireland schools follow the Northern Ireland Curriculum - based on the National Curriculum used in England and Wales. Children work towards General Certificates of Secondary Education (GCSE’s) by age 16. To make sure you secure a place for your youngsters, you should start planning as soon as possible.


 Pre-school education is available for children aged 3 – 4. Some of this is free and some will be at a charge. Pre-school education is normally provided in nursery schools, but depending on your child’s birthday, some is provided in primary schools as a ‘reception class’.

Primary School

All children who are 4 years old on or before the 2nd of July must begin their primary education from the beginning of the school year following their 4th birthday.

Primary School Education is divided into three key stages:

• Foundation stage: year 1 and 2
Key stage 1: years 3 and 4
Key stage 2: years 5, 6 and 7

Post-Primary Education

 Children normally progress to post-primary education at age 11. As a parent, you have the right to say which post-primary school you would like your child to attend. However, as each school has a maximum number of places, it is not always possible for each child to be placed in the school of choice. Post-primary education starts in year 8 and covers Key stage 3 and 4 (11 – 16 years).

 University and College

After school, youngsters can choose to go to university or college – which are normally fee-paying. You can get information for all levels of Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education – together with application forms – on the Education Authority website You can also contact the Education Board for the Southern Region at:

• 3 Charlemont Place The Mall Armagh BT61 9AX
Phone: 028 37512200

Where to Shop for Food

There is a great choice of food in Northern Ireland and no shortage of places to shop. It is usually cheaper to shop in the larger supermarkets. Here are some grocery stores in your area:

​• Lidl |
Sainsburys |
Tesco |
Asda |
Sals Halal | 28 Bridge St, Portadown, Craigavon BT62 1JD
SuperMarket Svaja | 72 Meadow Ln Portadown Craigavon BT62 3NJ

Where to Find Places of Worship

As a multi-cultural area, you will find a convenient spiritual home or place of worship in your area:


Below is a list of chaplains that are linked to the Craigavon site and represent the main religions in Northern Ireland. You may wish to select your chosen religion from the list below and contact the clergy for advice on suitable religious services in the area. This can be done by phoning switchboard in the main Craigavon hospital or click here for the website Chaplaincy Services | Southern Health & Social Care Trust (

• Rev. Jim Hagan | Presbyterian
Rev. Ivan Thompson | Presbyterian
Sr Myrtle Morrison | Church Of Ireland
Rev. Derek Dunn | Church Of Ireland
Sr. Fiona Galligan | Roman Catholic
Fr. Michael Maginn | Roman Catholic
Rev. Ken Robinson | Methodist
Rev. Aian Ferguson | Methodist

Places of Worship

The nearest Protestant Church to Craigavon is Seagoe Parish Church located on the Seagoe Road, a 15 minute walk from Craigavon Hospital.

The nearest Roman Catholic Church in Portadown is St Patrick’s church in William Street in the town centre, 40 minutes’ walk or by bus.

Christian - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints | 33-41 Brownstown Rd, Portadown, Craigavon BT62 3HW
Christian - Portadown Baptist Church | 117 Thomas St, Portadown, Craigavon BT62 3AH

Muslim - Craigavon Mosque & Community Centre | Legahory, Craigavon BT65 5BE
Muslim - Northern Ireland Muslim Family Association | 1Rugby Rd, Belfast BT7 1PS

Hindu - ISKCON Belfast Krishna temple | 2a Brooklands Grange, Dunmurry, Belfast BT17 0SA | Phone: 028 9062 0530

​More Information on Life in Northern Ireland

Follow this link for more info on things like the weather, public holidays, mobile phones, local laws and how to discover the best of Northern Ireland. 

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