UL Hospitals Group signs Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Limerick

23rd October 2015

UL Hospitals Group and the University of Limerick (UL) have further strengthened their long standing relationship with the signing of a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ between the two institutions on Monday (19th October 2015).

The ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ (MoU) between UL Hospitals Group and UL sets out the nature of their working relationship and the mutual expectations and responsibilities between the two parties. Its primary purpose is to promote the development of academic linkages across both institutions, particularly in the areas of clinical education and training as well as research and innovation.

The MoU was signed at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) this week by Group CEO Colette Cowan, and the President of UL, Professor Don Barry with the Chairman of the Board of UL Hospitals Group, Professor Niall O’Higgins and the Minister for Finance Mr. Michael Noonan also in attendance.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan was on site on Monday to inspect building works at the €12.75 million Clinical Education and Research Centre (CERC), a partnership project between UL Hospitals Group and UL and co-funded by both the HSE and UL.  The new CERC building, due to be completed in September 2016, will accommodate and support the comprehensive educational, training and research needs of both the UL Graduate Entry Medical School and the UL Hospitals clinical community across all disciplines including nurses, midwives, health and social care professionals and medical staff.

A national reorganisation of acute hospital services in 2013 brought about the formation of UL Hospitals Group, the first of seven hospital groups in the country to be established with UL as its strategic partner.  UL Hospitals comprises University Hospital Limerick, University Maternity Hospital, Limerick, Ennis Hospital, Nenagh Hospital, Croom Hospital and St. John’s Hospital.

The recently established UL Health Research Institute (HRI)  and the UHL Clinical Research Unit at UHL , who will eventually  both be based in the new CERC building, is an example of how the two organisations are working together for the ultimate benefit of people in the region and nationally.  

Speaking this week at the signing of the MoU, Professor Niall O’Higgins , Chairman of UL Hospitals Group said, “The close relationship between the University of Limerick and the UL Hospitals Group adds greatly to the quality of care given to patients by promoting high standards of clinical practice, education and research. The presence of medical, nursing, physiotherapy and other students has placed the hospitals into the premier rank of teaching hospitals in the country. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding confirms the commitment to continue this development. The construction of the Clinical Education and Research Centre, now well underway, is further evidence of the strong upward surge of the hospital services in the region. “

Speaking from University Hospital Limerick,  Professor Don Barry, UL President, paid tribute to the UL Hospitals Group and the Health Service Executive, “We are very happy to be officially committing to our relationship with the University Hospitals Group with this MoU today.  The University and in particular the students of our Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS) receive huge support from healthcare community – the many practices, clinics and hospitals, their consultants, doctors, nurses, therapists, managers and all of the healthcare professionals who gave so willingly of their time to engage our students and allow them their first glimpses into their future careers.  We are looking forward to the opening of the Clinical Education and Research building, a shared facility to be located on the University Hospital Limerick campus which will enhance the delivery of our healthcare programmes but also support the post-graduate education services required by the University Hospital Limerick community. “

UL Hospitals Group also provides an ever-expanding role in the education and training of undergraduate students from UL across a range of clinical disciplines including Medicine, Nursing & Midwifery and the Clinical Therapies.  There has also been collaboration around postgraduate education and continuing professional development (CPD). 

Added Professor Colette Cowan, CEO of UL Hospitals, “ It is well recognised that hospitals with an academic focus are better able to attract and retain staff of the highest quality, leading to an expansion in both the range and quality of the services provided and ultimately patient care.  We are looking forward to developing this relationship further with UL and promoting the academic links across both of our organisations.”