Health and care services

St John’s Hospital: Our strategic plan

Our strategy, which has been developed with input from our staff, patients, and healthcare partners, lays out a clear five-year plan with a focus on developing and improving our services to patients.

A key pillar of the strategy is building a 150-bed state-of-the-art new unit. The bottom line is that if St John’s can expand its excellence to do more and treat more people, there will be an instant return on this investment.

The strategy was developed by the board following deep consultation with all staff, its partners at the University of Limerick (UL) Hospitals Group, UL, GPs, the St John’s Hospital Patient Partnership Forum, and the wider public. It is built around the hospital’s vision of being a leading provider of healthcare services where innovation and excellence are at the heart of the patient experience.

The proposal addresses the necessary capacity requirement to tackle public waiting lists by accommodating a very significant proportion of the scheduled care work in the region. It provides solutions to the critical needs associated with the public waiting lists. St John’s already has the sixth busiest endoscopy list and 12th busiest elective surgery list in the country, as well as the busiest LIU in the mid-west region and second busiest in the country.

The strategy is both patient and people/staff centric but very much contingent on the delivery of the new, state-of-the-art 150-in-patient bed facility that will take the hospital from an 89 to 200 bed hospital. The new facility will deliver an additional 31,390 bed days per annum in the Limerick region and meet HIQA and SARI standards for infection, prevention, and control. It will also deliver a safer patient environment, and an increase in in-patient access by 150 per cent.

Background to our Capital Development Plan

Our infrastructure development plan over the next five years forms a key element of our strategy. It will build on the strong foundations that presently exist within our clinical service models and will help to signpost our direction for the future.

Underpinned by the national strategy for healthcare reform, we are evolving our plans to enable us to meet current and future challenges associated with the reform agenda.

The impact of the Covid pandemic on clinical services has resulted in the need to speed up service transformation to achieve fully integrated care through redesign, financial resourcing, and resources to support implementation of the Sláintecare Reforms for Healthcare, working with HSE partners in the acute and community sectors to transform service provision in the mid-west.

Our focus lies on proactively responding to healthcare needs by ensuring we have the capacity to safely deliver services in the post Covid pandemic era, to reduce public waiting lists and speed up where we can on the further development of integrated care pathways between our hospital and the community. Our plans emphasise the connections between the high-quality services we provide while working with our HSE partners to achieve better outcomes, more effectively.

We propose to undertake a programme of building and clinical service developments that will greatly assist in speeding up and enhancing the delivery of care. With an emphasis on transformational change at local level, each element of our plan facilitates the upscaling of services to enhance overall service provision in Limerick and the mid-west. Our plan has a particular focus on scheduled care, clinical support and recovery services and management of patients with chronic illness who require a step-up from community level care.

There are important levers required to support the progress of each aspect of these developments, the biggest challenge being capital investment. The condition survey of our hospital commissioned by the HSE in 2018 shows a clear and cogent case for serious capital investment in St John’s Hospital. This five-facet survey report on the existing buildings outlines clearly their physical and functional deficiencies which strengthens the case for a new bed block.

Speaking at the strategy launch in July 2022, CEO of St John’s Emer Martin said: “St John’s has made an incredible contribution to healthcare in Limerick for almost two-and-a-half centuries and to this day delivers outstanding results. However, it has also been long since acknowledged that the facilities here are simply not fit for the purpose or the people; our exceptional people who come to work here every day and the patients that they give that exceptional care to. That, essentially, is what this strategy is all about, finding a way to deliver this outstanding care in a modern, high-tech hospital to more people across Limerick and the mid-west.

“So, by any measurement, except of course for the facility itself, St John’s is a model hospital, and it makes absolute sense to not only address the shortcomings in the existing hospital but, in doing so, give more people access to this standard of care in the mid-west. We have the capacity on the site to do this and in a region that clearly needs key solutions like this to help address pressures on the system. It’s a win-win for healthcare in the mid-west, for the UL Hospitals Group and the people of the mid-west.”

Martin added: “We recognise that what lies ahead may be challenging but we have the determination, resolve and resilience to fulfil our plan. The bottom line is that if St John’s can expand its excellence to do more, and treat more people, there will be an instant return on this investment.”

Key features of our planned integrated service model

• An elective hospital of choice for acute medicine including specialist areas of respiratory, renal and endocrinology services

• To increase our medical assessment unit service to a seven-day service

• Continue to operate the busiest injury unit service in the mid-west

• Develop rapid access clinics in our key speciality areas

• Continue our role as a regional service provider for our clinical recovery and support unit

• Continue our role as a regional service provider for interventional pain treatments

• Enhance our role as a regional service provider for endoscopy and bowel screening

• To further develop our elective surgery including extended stay surgery and as a key provider of diagnostic work, e.g., radiology

• Enhance our role as an exemplary teaching hospital for multidisciplinary staff in conjunction with the University of Limerick and UL Hospitals

• Enhance our role as a leading provider of innovative solutions to healthcare problems in conjunction with the University of Limerick and UL Hospitals Group





St John’s Hospital
St John’s Square, Limerick, V94H272
T: (061) 462 222

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