Royal Hospital Donnybrook

About Royal Hospital Donnybrook

The Royal Hospital Donnybrook (RHD) is the oldest hospital of its type in Ireland. It was established in inner city Dublin in 1743 and moved to its current location of Donnybrook, in 1804. Set in 13 acres of grounds, the hospital provides rehabilitation services, continuing care and respite to adults of all ages. The hospital is an independent, voluntary, charitable organisation.  

As the oldest continuously operating hospital of its type in Ireland and Britain, The Royal Hospital Donnybrook (RHD) has built up particular expertise not only in the care of the elderly, but also in providing for the special needs of the chronically ill and disabled adults.  The hospital operates on a not-for-profit basis and services are publically funded by the Health Service Executive.

Clinical Services

The Royal Hospital Donnybrook (RHD) provides hospital care for people requiring rehabilitation, respite, complex continuing care and day hospital services.  The total service provided is characterised by teamwork involving medical, nursing and therapy expertise including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, clinical psychology, nutrition and medical social work.

Broadly defined, the hospital provides services for people who have:

  • Cerebrovascular accidents (50%)
  • Multiple Sclerosis (and other neurological disorders) (20%)
  • Sequelae of trauma (15%)
  • Osteo and rheumatoid arthritis (15%)

In addition, the Day Hospital caters for the needs of  up to 25 patients every day.  Twenty eight elderly general rehabilitation beds and 12 elderly stroke rehabilitation beds cater for approximately 150 admissions each year..  These services have been added by the RHD over the past decade and allow for a cost-effective, step-up rehabilitation facility that complements the more expensive acute care hospital services. Approximately 80% of patients return home within 70 days.

The RHD has also developed a small sheltered housing complex, Cullenswood, which provides 32 residents with independent living facilities in a beautiful, tranquil setting. A second development, comprising 20 apartments in the adjacent Bloomfield Park development, opened in 2008.

The Royal Hospital Donnybrook provides its services to a catchment area whose population was 324,308 in 1996, while the Central Statistics Office forecasts that it will continue to see strong population growth. For instance, in the over 75 age category, it is anticipated that the population will grow by over a third (38%) up to 2021.

Student Experience

Our Medical Students rotate through the Royal Hospital Donnybrook as part of our Medicine in the Community module in Stage 5 (undergraduate medicine) and Stage 4 (graduate entry medicine).