Rehabilitation is a dynamic and critical component of the therapeutic continuum and one that is essential if patients are to regain or maintain their life roles and quality of life after serious illness or injury. The Programme will is working in the following key solution areas:

  • Clinical Governance

Developing regional rehabilitation networks, contributing to expansion of local rehabilitation teams (hospital and community) and establishing effective evidence based protocols, pathways and care bundles

  • Acute Hospital Care

Ensuring rapid access to specialist rehabilitation in all hospitals admitting patients after major trauma and neurological injury

  • Complex Specialist Rehabilitation

Ensuring access to a national centre of excellence for patients with complex rehabilitation needs

  • Post-acute Rehabilitation

Developing at least four regional specialist inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation units

  • Community Rehabilitation

Developing and reconfiguring community based rehabilitation services to shorten length of stay, prevent unnecessary re-admissions and achieve successful, sustained discharge to home

  • Primary Care

Contributing to education and support for primary care practitioners through the development of online resources on the management of disabling neurological conditions and limb absence

  • Trauma Database

The National Clinical Programme for Rehab Medicine is engaging with other key stakeholders in HSE and Department of Health with respect to the development of trauma services in Ireland. After Trauma, many patients will need input from rehabilitation services. A significant number of patients will have complex needs requiring input from a specialist multidisciplinary team.

Specialist rehabilitation is a critical component of any Trauma network (BSRM Core Standards for Specialist Rehabilitation following Major Trauma, 2013).


National Rehabilitation Hospital

In Ireland, in-patient complex specialist rehabilitation for children, and those of working age predominantly, who have acquired disability related to sudden neurological injury / illness and acquired limb absence is delivered only in the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH). The NRH provides a comprehensive range of specialist rehabilitation services to patients who, as a result of an accident, illness or injury have acquired a physical or cognitive disability and require specialist rehabilitation[1]. Services delivered by the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) are predominantly high-cost and low volume, and provided to patients with uncommon or highly complex conditions.

Specialist rehabilitation is delivered through specialty programmes whose scope comprises brain injury (including stroke), spinal cord system of care, prosthetic, orthotics and limb absence (POLAR) and paediatric and family centred. All clinical programmes are accredited by CARF[1]. The NRH has developed a full continuum of care which includes rehabilitation programmes in comprehensive integrated Inpatient care (CIIRP), outpatients, home and community care, and vocational services (the Rehabilitative Training Unit). Significant work has been invested by the NRH and NCPRM in helping the former HSE regions, now the new hospital groups and CHO’s recognise the overwhelming unmet need for specialist in-patient and community rehabilitation services outside Dublin. Read more at