Emergency Medicine

The aim of the Emergency Medicine Programme (EMP) is to improve the safety and quality of patient care in emergency departments (EDs) and to reduce waiting times for patients.

The EMP is led by a multidisciplinary working group that includes consultants in emergency medicine, emergency nurses, representatives of pre-hospital care and the therapy professions. It is supported by the Irish Committee for Emergency Medicine Training, the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine, the National Board for Ireland of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, the Office of the Nursing and Midwifery Services Director, the Therapies Professions Committee and Clinical Design and Innovation of the HSE.

  • National Clinical Lead: Dr Gerry McCarthy
  • National Programme Manager: Mary Flynn
  • National Nurse Lead: Fiona McDaid
  • National Administrator and Project Support: Sinead Reilly

National Working Group

  • Dr Gerry McCarthy, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Cork University Hospital, National Clinical Lead
  • Mary Flynn, National Programme Manager, National Emergency Medicine Programme
  • Fiona McDaid, Clinical Nurse Manager 3, Emergency Department, Naas General Hospital, National Nurse Lead
  • Breda Naddy, National Programme Manager, National Emergency Medicine Programme
  • Sinead Reilly, National Administrator and Project Support, National Emergency Medicine Programme
  • Dr Fergal Hickey, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Sligo University Hospital; President of the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine (IAEM)
  • Dr Carol Blackburn, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Children's Health Ireland (CHI) at Crumlin
  • Dr Emily O'Conor, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Connolly Hospital, Dublin
  • Dr Anna Moore, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore
  • Rosie Quinn, Physiotherapist, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda (Therapy Professionals Representative)
  • Michelle Barlow, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore
  • Anne Scanlon, Clinical Skills Facilitator, University Hospital Limerick
  • Samantha Power, Clinical Nurse Manager 2, Paediatric Emergency Department, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda.

The team can be contacted at emp@rcsi.ie or you can follow our progress on Twitter

EMEWS training

The Emergency Medicine Early Warning System (EMEWS) is a national clinical guideline, recommended for use in EDs when patients are waiting longer for review by a treating clinician than is recommended based on their Manchester Triage System (MTS) category. Based on international experience, if a patient flow into and through the hospital were more optimal, there would be little need to introduce a schedule of on-going monitoring. It is the responsibility of the hospital's CEO/GM to optimise patient flow and ensure timely and appropriate action is taken to eliminate/minimise ED crowding.

Emergency Department Activity and Profile (EDAP)

This project that was developed by the EMP, OpenApp and the Health Intelligence Unit (HIU). The purpose of EDAP is to provide 'close to real-time' data that is clinically and managerially relevant. It uses the Business Information Unit (BIU) PET data to describe the activity of the department, allowing for the input of ED profile/resources information as well as 'daily events' data to put context on that activity. Some information on patient profiles within an ED's catchment area is also available. This allows users to understand the performance of their own ED in the context of the resources available including staff, infrastructure, access to diagnostics.


The Emergency Medicine Programme (EMP), in collaboration with the National Quality Improvement (QI) Team, deliver QI training and coaching using a method called Clinical Microsystems. This method uses a team focused, multi-disciplinary approach to improvement work for staff in Emergency Departments and Injury Units. The EMP selected the Clinical Microsystem approach to guide quality improvement in EDs in Ireland because it is a pragmatic and intuitive improvement approach that has been used to good effect in the ED setting. The methodology is closely linked with the IHI methodology and elements such as plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycles are common across the two methodologies.