Brain Disease | St. James's Hospital Foundation Brain Disease | St. James's Hospital Foundation

Brain Disease

Brain Disease

Target Brain Disease

There are approximately 30,000 patients with chronic neurological complaints living in the community serviced by St James’s Hospital. The team want to make a major shift in the way they deliver their clinical care, by developing a new space for patients – called The John Kirker Brain Disease Centre.


Any financial support and sponsorship, will go towards the project and to supporting the hospital to make this a reality. The patient experience desperately needs this space for patients, and this fundraising is vital to make it happen.


About the neurology team at St. James’s

We treat a large number of people with a range of brain diseases, including; Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Motor Neurone and other complex brain diseases.


Despite the scale of our case load of nearly 1800 admissions a year, the neurology service is one of the smaller and least developed neurology services in the country.


Dr Colin Doherty (Department Head, Neurology Consultant) describes what he wants to do, to achieve better patient care experience;


‘Over the past five years the neurology service has become one of the best performing services in the country with waiting times down to 3-4 weeks for new patients with certain conditions and further reductions in our wait times in the Out-Patients Department (OPD). We have also put in place innovations in electronic referrals and clinical information systems, and demonstrable improvements in safety and quality.


Despite the excellent treatment which is currently delivered for patients by our team, we need to now address the care surroundings and comfort for patients needs through this appeal for up-dating our facilities.


When the National Children’s Hospital is expected to open on the St James’s campus, patients transitioning from the modern environment will have an expectation to move into similar settings at the adult hospital. We need to be ready for these transitions. We have a problem with accommodating patients with mobility issues and it requires some mobility testing to be carried out in prefab corridors currently.


We have a relatively low-cost solution, through building a new modular brain disease centre, at an estimated cost of €500,000. We need private investment and donations to achieve this goal’.

The Appeal – John Kirker Brain Disease Centre at St. James's Hospital

Dr John Kirker


In the 1960’s and 70’s the first neurologist to see patients on the site was the recently deceased, distinguished and much loved John Kirker who saw mainly epilepsy patients. Dr Kirker was the first doctor to introduce brainwave monitoring to Ireland in the 1950’s. Dr Janice Redmond was the first general neurologist to be appointed as late as the early 1990’s just as Dr Kirker was approaching retirement. Since then there has been significant but much needed expansion.

John Kirker Brain Disease Centre

Possible new interior for the Brain Disease Centre

Our aim is to raise funds to build the John Kirker Brain Disease Centre to implement a new model for patient care in neurological disease, on our existing site, through a process of re-design and renovation of new facilities, with new electronic based work procedures, to greatly improve our care environment.


We intend to create a bright airy welcoming and easily accessible space where the emphasis will be on settling the patient and their families in a comfortable clean surround and without the hard edged trappings of typical ‘clinical’ rooms. In so far as possible, the aim is to bring services and specialist personnel to the patient, rather than the other way round. This will require a unique modular design and a process flow-system that employs the latest techniques from innovative healthcare institutions around the world.



If you would like to discuss a possible donation or organising further fundraising event you can contact Fiachra O’Riordan on or phone 01 410 3954.


Or you can donate at Katie and Colin’s New York fundraising page.