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

RCSI and Saint John of God Hospital renew Memorandum of Understanding

17 May 2017

Collaboration between two healthcare organisations continues to enhance educational opportunities available to pharmacy students

The School of Pharmacy at RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) and the Pharmacy Department of Saint John of God Hospital, one of the leading providers of mental health treatment and care services in Ireland, are delighted to announce the continued partnership with the signing of an extension of a Memorandum of Understanding. The original agreement was signed in 2013.

Over the past four years, Saint John of God Hospital and the RCSI School of Pharmacy at have experienced many great successes relating to work-based educational initiatives between the two organisations. Clinical work placements and structured site visits have enhanced the experience of pharmacy students, giving them insight into the Hospital's multi-faceted approach to the treatment of mental health difficulties and person-centred care. The agreement is also facilitating collaborative research between the two organisations.

Pictured (l-r) is Prof. Richard Blennerhassett (Clinical Director, SJOG); Prof. Paul Gallagher (Head, School of Pharmacy, RCSI); Prof. Hannah Mc Gee (Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, RCSI; Dolores Keating (Head of Pharmacy at Saint John of God Hospital and Honorary Senior Lecturer at RCSI) and Emma Balmaine (Chief Executive of SJOG)

According to Dolores Keating, Head of Pharmacy at Saint John of God Hospital and Honorary Senior Lecturer at RCSI, the Memorandum continues to be an important step forward for the Hospital: "As a teaching hospital, education is a core part of the ethos and mission of the organisation. Pharmacists have an important role to play in the delivery of high quality mental health services. We have received very positive feedback from pharmacy students who reported that they now feel better able to support people experiencing mental health problems on their recovery journey, which is very encouraging to hear. Through this collaboration and co-operation, the Pharmacy Department at Saint John of God Hospital and the School of Pharmacy in RCSI are mutually committed to the ongoing development and promotion of a person-centred model of care for optimal mental health and well-being in accordance with best practice."

Speaking at the hospital to mark the announcement, Professor Hannah Mc Gee, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, RCSI said: "I am delighted to sign this memorandum with our colleagues from St John of God Hospital which will build on the fantastic work carried out by our collaboration over the past four years. This partnership gives our students access to clinical patient care scenarios and provides some unique opportunities for research, with the main beneficiary from our work together being the patient. The patients who take part in these scenarios are vitally important to the teaching, learning and assessing of our students and help to shape RCSI pharmacy graduates' role as care-givers in healthcare. I thank Dolores Keating and Professor Paul Gallagher (Head of the RCSI School of Pharmacy) for their roles in leading this important partnership between both our organisations".

The Memorandum has been extended for a period of indefinite duration, with annual reviews to take place with both parties.

RCSI is ranked in the top 250 institutions worldwide in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2016-2017). It is an international not-for-profit health sciences institution, with its headquarters in Dublin, focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide.