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

Thursday, 3rd April 2008-5 Million HRB Centre to be Established at RCSI

03 April 2008

The Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney TD today announced €5 million in funding for the establishment of a Health Research Board (HRB) Centre for Primary Care Research which will have its base at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). The centre, which will be funded through the Strategy for Science Technology and Innovation (SSTI), will be led by Head of the Department of Family Medicine and General Practice at RCSI, Professor Tom Fahey.


Pictured from l to r are Dr. Mairead O'Driscoll, Director of Research Funding and Strategy at the HRB; Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney TD and Professor Tom Fahey, Head of the Department of General Practice and Family Medicine at RCSI.

The research team from RCSI, Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and Queens’ University Belfast (QUB), the Coombe Hospital, Tallaght Hospital and St James’s Hospital will undertake a programme of work that examines the quality of care provided to vulnerable patient groups - the elderly, children, pregnant women and drug users.

Through the research programmes the team hope to: - - identify quality standards for safer prescribing of medicines for Irish patients, - improve diagnosis in primary care so that patients receive appropriate and timely treatment or referrals if required - develop new Information and Communications Technologies that will improve patient care and promote self-management among patients with chronic illness.

Announcing the funding, Mary Harney said; “It is a clear sign of progress to see national health priorities being targeted in a coordinated manner that will focus expertise and effort, help achieve economies of scale and encourage information sharing that will lead to improvements in patient care.”

According to Professor Tom Fahey, Principal Investigator at the centre and Head of the Department of Family Medicine and General Practice; “Funding for this HRB Centre for Primary Care Research is important because it recognises that we can do more to identify and improve the quality of medical care that vulnerable patient groups in Ireland receive.”

Health Research Centres are virtual hubs for research across a number of disciplines and institutions, driven by a common health priority and a commitment to improve health care. As part of the announcement, the University College Cork (UCC) also received €5 million in funding for the establishment of HRB Centre for Diet, Diabetes and Obesity.

According to Mairead O Driscoll, Director of Research Funding and Strategy at the HRB; ‘These Health Research Board Centres are the first to be established in Ireland. They will meet a demand for a better understanding of how to tackle dietary problems and the needs of vulnerable patient groups. Our objective is to support research linked to national health priorities to improve people’s health and the effectiveness of the health system and these centres will help to achieve this.’