Description of Department/Service

The Department of Psychiatry is a HSE-run facility in Tallaght University Hospital (TUH) that provides scheduled and emergency psychiatric services for a catchment of 262,000, including Tallaght, Ballyfermot, Clondalkin and Crumlin.

The Department has a 52-bedded inpatient unit and provides acute inpatient care for four Community services within the Dublin South central region. The Department provides a service to all adults over the age of 18 in the catchment area and has specialised Psychiatry of Later Life, Mental Health for Intellectual Disability and Rehabilitation Teams. The Department works under a single directorate with the Department of Psychiatry in St. James’s Hospital, and the overall extended catchment area is 406,000.

There is a close working relationship between the management teams and senior clinicians of the Psychiatry Dept. and TUH, representatives of both teams meet every two months. This is to develop and enhance the services delivered to patients in the Psychiatry Dept. and the  general hospital, and from these settings, back into the community.

The Psychiatry Service is predominantly community-based, with multidisciplinary teams working mainly in primary care centres. The multidisciplinary teams are involved in planning of care to provide a seamless transition of care between the community and acute unit.

The clinical services provided by the department include:

  • General Adult Community Mental Health services
  • Psychiatry of Later Life Service
  • Rehabilitation Service
  • Mental Health and Intellectual Disability
  • Home based treatment teams
  • Acute in-patient admission unit
  • Liaison Psychiatry Service to TUH (Adult &Later Life)
  • 24 hour cover for the Emergency Department, TUH

The Department is approved for basic and higher specialist training by the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland and for training by the Irish College of General Practitioners. The department provides structured undergraduate teaching to students of the Trinity College Dublin (TCD) Medical School as well as contributing to postgraduate Nurse education and Allied Health Profession education.

The Academic Department of Psychiatry in TUH is involved in teaching and research, and works with HSE clinical services, TUH and clinical colleagues with part-time academic appointments. Our undergraduate teaching is chiefly to medical students. The TCD Discipline of Psychiatry also offers postgraduate courses in psychological therapies and in biological aspects of psychiatry. We have a broad research agenda with key strengths in clinical research and neuroimaging. We work closely with the TCD institutes of Neuroscience, Translational Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and a global network of collaborators. Professor Brendan Kelly's chief interests are in psychiatry and the law, human rights and the history of psychiatry. Professor Veronica O’Keane, an expert in mood disorders, has numerous research projects underway, including the REDEEM (Research in Depression: Endocrinology, Epigenetics and Neuroimaging) project which involves measurement of stress hormones and inflammation, and imaging of the emotional centres of the brain. The study is being conducted in association with TCD. This is a long-term project investigating patients with depression from the time of presentation until they get better. There are many research opportunities for trainees working in the department. We also offer post-membership opportunities for training in clinical research, leading to a PhD, or for post-docs, fellowships to establish themselves as an independent young researcher. We currently have an Aspire Fellow who is investigating psilocybin as a treatment in psychiatric disorders.