Tallaght Hospital & WALK Launch a New Trainee Programme for Those With Learning Disabilities

Walk LaunchSeptember 25th 2017 Tallaght Hospital & WALK have launched a new programme specifically for people with learning disabilities. The new WALKways Tallaght Hospital programme will see 11 trainees join the Hospital and spend 11 months experiencing working life across the Hospital’s many different departments. This programme is run as a partnership between Tallaght Hospital and WALK, a local community group involved in the education and training of young people with intellectual disabilities, across Leinster.

This morning a ceremony was held in the Hospitals Centre for Learning & Development, to formally launch the trainee programme. This followed the completion of the Hospital’s induction programme by the trainees. The trainees were presented with their new staff ID by the Tallaght Hospital CEO David Slevin, Chairman Liam Dowdall as well as the CEO and Chairman of WALK Joe Mason & John Bourke. Patrick Brennan a representative of the trainees planted a tree along with the CEO’s and Chairmen of both Tallaght Hospital & WALK, in a symbolic gesture to mark the launch of the new programme.

The 11 candidates were chosen over the summer in a special recruitment process. They will each undertake three placements, lasting approximately 14 weeks, within various Hospital Departments including the Children’s Hospital, speech and language therapy, medical records, catering, portering and physiotherapy. Within each department, they will be educated and provided with a range of work skills with a view to obtaining QQI level qualifications.  At the end of the programme, WALK will seek to place the trainees in paid employment with the assistance of a Business Support Network which will be set up to provide links into local industry. Each trainee will also be assigned to a Business Support Network member as a mentor in order to get job-ready.

Liam Dowdall, Chairman of Tallaght Hospital, said “This exciting new initiative is ideal for Tallaght Hospital which has long been engaged and active in the local community. I wish to extend a warm welcome and congratulations to our incoming trainees. I hope they have a very worthwhile and fulfilling experience here at the Hospital. We pride ourselves on our important values of people caring for people. I am confident that the new trainees will be part of putting that ethos into action.”

Sharon Larkin, Acting HR Director at Tallaght Hospital, commented that “I am proud to be part of this very important initiative, it’s such a positive step towards recognising the positive aspects of diverse team working and fits so well with the culture and values of the Hospital. I would like to take the opportunity to thank WALK and in particular the Job Coaches who have worked so closely with us since the start of the year in order to successfully launch the programme. We look forward to continued success and in particular for the trainees who are the focus of our combined efforts.“

Catherine Kelly, Director of Services at WALK, added, “This exciting new partnership with Tallaght Hospital offers an excellent opportunity to experience the world of work at a major hospital. We have worked closely with the Hospital over the summer to identify suitable trainees to take part in this first year of the programme. I am very much looking forward to hearing about their experiences and I wish them the best of luck. Anyone with an interest in the area should consider applying for the programme next year.”


About Tallaght Hospital
Tallaght Hospital is one of Ireland’s largest acute teaching hospitals, providing child-health, adult, psychiatric and age-related healthcare on one site. The hospital has 495 adult beds and 67 paediatric bed with 2,600 people on staff. The Hospital is a provider of local, regional and national specialities. It is also a national urology centre, the second largest provider of dialysis services in the country and a regional orthopaedic trauma centre. 

Tallaght Hospital is one of the two main teaching hospitals of Trinity College Dublin - specialising in the training and professional development of staff in areas such as nursing, health and social care professionals, emergency medicine and surgery, amongst many others. Tallaght Hospital is part of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group which serves a population of over 1.2 million across seven counties.

A new satellite centre is to be built at Tallaght Hospital as part of the National Children’s Hospital project as a key element of an integrated clinical network for paediatric services nationally.

The Hospital’s Emergency Departments catered for 49,512 Adult Attendances and 33,717 Paediatric Attendances in 2016. A further 252,418 patients were treated through the Hospital’s adult and paediatric outpatient clinics in 2016. The Hospital’s operations are supported by 200 general practitioners in surrounding communities.