The Health Sciences Academy is a partnership between the University of Limerick, the UL Hospitals Group and the Midwest Community Healthcare Organisation.

These three partners share the primary aim, through the Health Sciences Academy, of improving health and wellbeing for people in the Midwest.

The Health Sciences Academy will achieve this by:

  • delivering transformative education and training, and
  • driving innovation in healthcare delivery and technologies through research,

which all address the needs of the health services and the people in the Midwest.

Based at the Clinical Education and Research Centre (CERC) at the University Hospital Limerick, the Health Sciences Academy’s philosophy is based on the importance of equality and inclusion through the pursuit of excellence in healthcare service, education and research

Learn more about our partners

The Faculty of Education and Health Sciences (EHS) consists of three Departments, Nursing & Midwifery, Physical Education & Sport Sciences and Psychology and three Schools, the School of Allied Health, the Graduate Entry Medical School and the School of Education. Those interested in post-primary teaching as well as those interested in working in the health sector will find some of the most progressive programmes in these fields as well as dedicated supervision from faculty members committed to the highest standards of teaching and quality research.  Discover more @ University of Limerick, Faculty of Education and Health Sciences 

UL Hospitals Group is made up of 6 hospital sites in the Midwest. The 6 sites function as a single hospital system. The 6 hospitals are:

  • University Hospital Limerick
  • University Maternity Hospital Limerick
  • Nenagh Hospital
  • Ennis Hospital
  • Croom Orthopaedic Hospital
  • St. John's Hospital (Voluntary)

UL Hospitals Group provides emergency, surgical and medical services on an inpatient and outpatient basis. UL Hospitals Group serves a population of 385,000 people in Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary.  Their academic partner is the University of Limerick (UL). The relationship with UL is important in improving standards of care, fostering education, clinical research and innovation.

Discover more @ UL Hospital Group website

The Midwest Community Health Organisation, Area 3 (CHO3) develops, manages and provides all HSE Health & Personal Social Services outside of the UL Hospitals Group to over 385,000 people in Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary, and this population is growing. These areas include:

  • Primary Care
  • Mental Health
  • Social Care (Older People & People with a Disability)
  • Health and Wellbeing 

In the Midwest, the population over 85 years of age has increased in by 13.2% between 2011 and 2016. Changes in the population and life expectancy bring different challenges for services in responding to demand and a number of increases in health spend are directly associated with this demographic pressure. There are approx. 2,500 staff employed directly in the community care area.

Chief Academic Officer Group

The seven Chief Academic Officers (CAOs) of the Hospital Groups linked to the six Medical School Universities act as the bridge between the Universities, the Hospital Groups and the acute hospitals and their affiliated Community Healthcare organisations (CHOs). As COVID-19 made itself known throughout Ireland in 2020 the CAO's began to harness their resources to focus on areas that needed urgent attention. The Chief Academic Officers of the 7 Hospital Groups began meeting weekly to discuss ongoing issues facing students and staff in their respective hospitals and universities. 

Annual Report Heath Services Academy

Chief Academic Officers

  • Professor Paul Burke - CAO, University of Limerick Hospital Group
  • Professor Hilary Humphreys - CAO, RCSI Hospitals
  • Professor Joseph Keane - CAO, Dublin Midlands Hospital Group Professor
  • Timothy Lynch - CAO, Ireland East Hospital Group
  • Professor Anthony O'Regan - CAO, Saolta University Health Care Group
  • Professor Owen Smith - CAO, Children's Health Ireland
  • Professor Helen Whelton - CAO, South, South West Hospital Group

The CAOs foster partnership for the mutual benefit of both sectors through the pursuit of excellence in education, training, research and innovation. This two/three- way bridge is the key to develop an Academic Health Science System (AHSS) in Ireland as well as enhancing the core tenets of Sláintecare. The CAOs work with colleagues in all arms of the health sector and medical schools to enhance an academic approach in the hospitals and the community to improve integrated patient care. A key aim of the Hospital Group structure, established in 2013, is to deliver healthcare through the AHSS model. The appointment of CAOs to each Hospital Group was a formal recognition of this aim and of the need for a stronger relationship between Hospital Groups, acute hospitals and their university partners. As CAOs, our primary mission is to ensure that the people of Ireland get optimal healthcare. The CAOs established a national CAO weekly forum early in the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic to assist the State. The national CAO forum developed a very productive working relationship to facilitate key initiatives in medical simulation education, to improve clinical placements for students and to stimulate research and innovation through work on the National Research Governance model and the National Irish COVID-19 Biobank (NICB).