RCSI to sign €22m contract for new training facility in Blanchardstown

New centre at Connolly hospital will be used to give medical students clinical knowledge early in their training

An image of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland’s €22m new education and research centre at Connolly Memorial Hospital in Blanchardstown

An image of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland’s €22m new education and research centre at Connolly Memorial Hospital in Blanchardstown

 

The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) is investing €22 million to build a new education and research centre at Connolly Memorial Hospital in Blanchardstown. RCSI is due to sign a contract on Monday with Northern Ireland building company Felix O’Hare for the facility, due to be opened in 2024.

The development will be RCSI’s second such facility on a hospital site after its Smurfit education centre at Beaumont hospital in north Dublin. The college says it is also planning further developments with a proposed new “signature building” adjacent to its headquarters close to St Stephen’s Green in Dublin.

Prof Ronan O’Connell, the president of RCSI, said it hopes to announce details of that project soon.

The new Blanchardstown facility will have capacity for 120 students. It will include a research centre for allergies but will be used primarily for teaching clinical skills and knowledge to undergraduate medical students. It will also be used to train physician associates, who are not fully qualified doctors but are medical professionals who work under the supervision of doctors.

Prof O’Connell said the development is happening in light of major change currently under way in the education of doctors, who traditionally are taught in an academic setting for several years before learning clinical skills late in their training. He said the Blanchardstown facility would be used to bring clinical experience for students much earlier in their training via “integrated pre-clinical subjects”.

He said that once the contract with the builders is signed RCSI hopes to get them onsite and for work to begin quickly. It is not receiving State funding for the facility, although the HSE will have a laboratory there.

“The development of this new clinical centre of academic excellence represents a significant investment for RCSI,” said the professor. “The opening of the new centre will be transformative for our educational programmes, and will greatly enhance the RCSI student experience.”