MERIT Project

The Medical Emergency Responders Integration and Training (MERIT) project was established in UCD in 2004. It is a highly successful collaboration between UCD Centre for Emergency Medical Science, the National Ambulance Service, and general practitioners nationwide who voluntarily respond to out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in their community.

Funders include the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council and the Department of Health.

The project’s aims include:

  • To establish structures to train, equip, monitor, and integrate general practitioners into delivery of agreed aspects of pre-hospital emergency care
  • To explore the establishment of liaison structures between general practitioners, Ambulance Services and GP co-operatives in these regions
  • To facilitate the provision of defibrillators for use by general practitioners within their current practice settings
  • To explore the development of functional links between the PHECC, the healthcare professions and pre-hospital emergency care delivery
  • To explore the potential for establishment of a PHECC NQEMT (healthcare professionals) register
  • To develop a model for national roll-out of integrated pre-hospital emergency care structures
  • To establish systems aimed at the provision of specific forms of advanced care by small groups of trained and well supported doctors, working in close co-operation with the Ambulance Services

To date, 500+ GP practices across Ireland participate in the MERIT Project of which approximately 210 GPs have signed up to MERIT3.


The MERIT3 Project was established at UCD in 2015.  MERIT3 has the same aims at its core but has further progressed the links between the National Ambulance Service (NAS) and participating GPs. A structure has been created and implemented whereby the NAS can alert MERIT3 GPs to out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA), usually within 10km radius of a designated Eircode.

In particular, in rural areas with longer emergency medical services response times, our MERIT3 GPs may play a vital role in providing early life support for OHCA patients and thereby increasing chances of survival for these patients.

If you are a practicing GP and would like to become involved in the MERIT3 project please contact us for further information. 

If you have any general queries about the project please do not hesitate to contact us.


Tel: 01 716 6640 |

Privacy Notice for Participating Patients

Who are we?

This privacy notice is for patient data included in the Medical Emergency Responders Integration and Training (MERIT) project, UCD Centre for Emergency Medical Science, School of Medicine, University College Dublin. You can contact us at

The University fully respects your right to privacy and actively seeks to preserve the privacy rights of those who share information with the University. Any personal information which you volunteer to the University will be treated in accordance with Irish and European Data Protection legislation.

Why and how we collect and process the information and for how long we keep it?

We collect data for the purpose of UCD MERIT Project based on public interest/public task. We collect the following types of information from our MERIT3 doctors after they have responded to an alert from the National Ambulance Service; incident number, patient age, patient gender, cardiac event type and incident location type (e.g. house, sports facility) and the county in which the incident occurred. This information is collected through paper forms. We will keep this data for 10 years as outlined in Article 4 (6) of the UCD Research Data Management Policy. Data is anonymized in adherence to Article 6 and Article 9 of GDPR. Required information for the project is patient gender, age, location, health status (hospital transfer or confirmed death at scene). Upon obtaining the confirmed health status of the patient, we remove the incident number from our records.

Who has access to the information and who we share it with?

Internal access: The data collected will be accessed by the UCD Centre for Emergency Medical Science, School of Medicine, University College Dublin.

External access: The University will never share your data with any third parties.

What are your rights?

If you have any queries about this project please contact in the first instance and we would be happy to assist you.

  • Right to be informed if, how, and why their personal data are being processed
  • Right to access and get a copy of their personal data
  • Right to have their personal data corrected (rectification) or supplemented if it is inaccurate or incomplete
  • Right to have their personal data deleted or erased, if incorrect or no longer needed
  • Right to limit or restrict how their personal data are used; but this is not an absolute right and only applies in certain circumstances
  • Right to data portability allows individuals to obtain and reuse their personal data for their own purposes across different services; it allows them to move, copy or transfer personal data easily from one IT environment to another in a safe and secure way, without affecting its usability
  • Right to object to processing gives individuals the right to object to the processing of their personal data in certain circumstances; individuals have an absolute right to stop their data being used for direct marketing
  • Right not to be subject to automated decisions without human involvement, where it would significantly affect them
  • If you have concerns about your rights as participant, you can contact the UCD Data Protection Officer by email

If you are not satisfied with UCD’s response or believe we are not processing your personal data in accordance with the law, you can complain to the Irish Data Protection Commission. For more detail see:  https ://