Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

New Training Hospital for RCSI Medical Students

28 April 2016

St Patrick's Mental Health Services, whose Medical Director is RCSI Alumnus, Jim Lucey, Class of 1983, is the newest Irish hospital to grant clinical facilities and agree to facilitate the clinical training of RCSI undergraduate medical students.

Jim Lucey shares with us what this means...

Tell us about St Patrick's Mental Health Services and your role:

St Patrick's Mental Health Services is the largest independent not-for-profit mental health service provider in Ireland. We provide a full range of hospital and community services with nearly 12% of Ireland's inpatient complement.

I work as part of a clinical leadership team tasked with maintaining excellence and providing the highest quality care.

Our core guiding principles are that everyone has the right to live a mentally healthy life and that there is no health without mental health.

Why is this agreement important?

RCSI and St Patrick's Mental Health Services already share many connections in our history and in our people. We both have a long and distinguished history dating back to the 1700s. In more recent times we have had many links, for example, in the 1960s, Professor Norman Moore was RCSI's first Professor of Psychiatry and was also our Medical Director.

Aside from the many historical connections, we also share a commitment to healthcare education and to making a difference worldwide. We see mental health as a human rights issue.

This agreement will enhance the training opportunities available to interested RCSI undergraduate students, our next generation of healthcare leaders.

What facilities will students have access to?

St Patrick's Mental Health Services has three approved centres as well as Dean Clinics, which are community-based mental health service clinics, across Ireland.

RCSI students will be have access to training in acute, fully resourced settings, under the guidance of teams led by consultant psychiatrists working with the allied disciplines of psychology, social work, occupational therapy, and the social therapies.

Where did you do your clinical training when you were a student at RCSI?

I trained in the old St Brendan's Hospital in Grangegorman under the guidance of Professor Vincent Greene - a man of humanity with a breadth of concern that made, and encouraged, you to want to be a psychiatrist.

Whilst my training is now over 30 years ago, I remember the commitment shown to psychiatry and the proactive use of modern educational tools, including audio visual recordings. I also still remember many of my patients, and the lessons they taught me - including one remarkable individual called "Spare Bodies".

The humanity that was shown to me during my training embedded my lifelong fascination in mental health.

The memorandum of agreement will be actualised in October of 2016, at the start of the next academic year, when undergraduate students will be invited into St Edmundsbury Hospital in Lucan for their first series of lectures.