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

Out of hours emergency

We recognise that students may experience personal difficulties out of hours or at weekends. Sometimes you may just need to talk to somebody who will listen and help you gain some perspective or point you in the direction of support or advice.

A number of professional specialist services are available to students who need to talk at any time. Some of these services can be found by following the out of hours services link.

On very rare occasions, a student may experience a personal emergency and need urgent assistance. In these circumstances, the priority must be accessing as quickly as possible the services you need to assure your safety and well-being.

What constitutes an emergency?

For the purposes of out of hours services, an emergency will involve circumstances where there may be an immediate and serious danger or threat to an individual student’s safety or well-being. This could include the following circumstances:

  • an expressed immediate intention to commit suicide
  • immediate physical danger
  • becoming seriously ill and being in need of assistance
  • being involved in a major incident
  • experiencing severe emotional distress and/or thoughts of self-harm
  • experiencing a serious psychotic episode
  • being a victim of an assault
  • missing person for 48 hours or more
  • being involved in an accident
  • being admitted to hospital for a serious condition
  • being arrested

In all these cases, your safest action is to immediately seek assistance from the emergency services by contacting 999 or 112 or to secure immediate medical assistance by going to your nearest emergency room. If you are with a fellow student or an individual who is experiencing such an emergency, these are the actions you should also take on their behalf. If you are on campus, you can also contact campus security at +353 (0)1 402 2219 and trained first responders will come to your assistance.

Informing CoMPPAS in relation to a personal emergency or critical incident

It is important to inform RCSI CoMPPAS if you have experienced a personal emergency or critical incident of the kind outlined above. This can be done by emailing or by contacting the CoMPASS office during office hours. As indicated, your first action should be to seek immediate emergency or medical assistance or to do so on behalf of your fellow student. Following the occurrence of a personal emergency or critical incident, an assessment of your support needs will be made and we will contact you to follow up in relation to this. Sponsored students should also inform their sponsors of the situation at the earliest opportunity to ensure all possible support can be provided.

Although distressing and stressful, issues relating to pending appeals, disciplinary matters, or examination matters do not meet the criteria of an out of hours emergency. Concerns in relation to these matters should be directed to our office or contact the relevant department or our welfare team officers during normal office hours.