This page provides information on referring patients to the Mater Hospital and includes outpatient consultant services, pathology, radiology, emergency services, ECMO, renal medicine, and respiratory medicine.

Select your referral type

Please select your referral type by clicking on one of the below options and the relevant information will be displayed for you.


Consultant outpatient clinics

All GPs can now refer to all consultants/specialties using Healthlink.

How does this work?

Electronic GP Referrals are sent in from the GP practice via HealthLink and integrated into our hospital system within 24 hours by our Central Referrals Office. We are the first hospital in the country to have this integrated system in place. Once a referral has been processed to our hospital system, an acknowledgement of receipt of referral is automatically communicated back to the GP via Healthlink.

What happens next?

When the referral has been triaged by the consultant, the following is communicated electronically to the GP:

  • If a patient is for an outpatient appointment, an outpatient procedure or to be placed on an inpatient/daycase waiting list
  • The triage status of the patient
  • Average wait time of specialty/consultant as per the triage status
  • Return to referrer - if an outpatient referral is to be returned to the GP, the reason for this will also be communicated back.

What if I am not signed up to Healthlink?

If you are not yet signed up to Healthlink, referrals can be sent as normal through the postal service and will be processed via our Central Referrals Office. This will apply for an interim period only as the ultimate aim is to manage all referrals electronically through Healthlink.

Pathology / Blood tests

Blood tests

Patients must have fully completed request form or letter with them when they come in for their blood test. Please ensure the letter or form includes all relevant information - please see Pathology Specimen acceptance criteria.

Patients can book appointments online or over the phone. For more information on appointments, see Blood Tests. Results are issued directly to the GP.

Outpatient blood tests are carried out in the Whitty Wing, Level 1. The best entrance to use is the Whitty entance on the North Circular Road.

Pathology lab referrals

The pathology laboratory provides local, regional and national diagnostic services in all laboratory medicine disciplines; please see our Pathology Test Repertoire document for listing of services provided.

It is essential that users of the pathology service adhere to laboratory policy when submitting samples for testing. This is important to ensure speedy and accurate provision of results. Of particular importance are the following:

  • GPs should avail of Healthlink for all laboratory orders and to receive reports electronically.
  • If this is not possible, GP’s should submit a fully completed and legible request form with all relevant details completed.

  • The emergency telephone contact number of the GP should be provided, in the event of a result requiring a clinical intervention, becoming available outside normal GP clinic hours.
  • Samples must be transported appropriately and in a timely manner to avoid delays which may affect the results. See our Instructions for GP’s for transport of specimens to the pathology laboratory.
  • ​Enquiries about results should be made through the Pathology laboratory office. Advice on interpretation of results and sampling procedures will be directed to the appropriate person. The telephone enquiry service should be used for emergency enquiries only.
  • ​Routine samples from GPs and external hospitals should be received in the laboratory before 3.30pm from Monday to Friday. For urgent specimens please contact the laboratory directly on the contact telephone numbers below. 
  • For advice from clinical consultants during routine hours, please contact consultant secretaries directly using our consultant contact directory here. 
    For advice from clinical consultants outside of routine hours, please contact the hospital main switch on 01 803 2000. 

Information on specific tests, turnaround times and required specimen types for all pathology investigations are outlined in the following documents:

In cases where more than one blood specimen is to be taken from a patient, there is a recommended sequence in which specimens should be taken. Please consult the document titled 'Order of draw for GPs' for information.

Data Protection

Our pathology laboratory complies with the Mater Hospital Data Protection policy which details the rights of patients and staff members, and the obligations of hospital staff to act in an ethical and responsible manner in maintaining the security, confidentiality and integrity of all personal information, in line with the Hospital Confidentiality & Data Protection Act 2003 and HSE Standards and Recommended Practices for Healthcare Record Management.

Laboratory Quality Policy & MEDLIS Newsletter

Laboratory Accreditation

  • The Mater Hospital pathology laboratory is accredited by the Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB) to undertake testing as detailed in the scope of tests listed on the INAB website (Registration Number 232MT) in compliance with International Standard ISO 15189 and the EU blood Directive 2002/98/EC. 

Departmental Opening Hours:

Department:Routine Opening hours:
Blood transfusion  Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm.
 Saturday: 9am to 12pm.
Clinical chemistry and diagnostic   Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm.
 Saturday: 9am to 12pm.
Haematology  Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm
 Saturday: 9am to 12pm.
Cellular pathology  Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm
 Saturday: 9am to 12pm.
Immunology  Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm
 Saturday: 9am to 12pm.
Microbiology  Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm
 Saturday: 9am to 12pm.
Pathology laboratory office

 Monday to Friday: 8am to 4.30pm
 Phone lines are open for verbal results Monday to Friday, from 11.00am to 12.30pm and from 2.00 pm to 3.30pm.
 Telephone numbers : 01 8545072, 01 8545073, 01 8032078.

Central specimen reception  Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm.

Issues / Complaints 

  • For minor complaints, please telephone the appropriate Pathology Department. 
  • For more serious complaints, please contact the Laboratory Manager or the Director of Pathology.


GP referrals are accepted at the Mater Hospital for:

  • General rays
  • Chest x-rays
  • Dexa scans (Bone Density)
  • Ultrasound
  • Barium follow through
  • Barium Swallow/meal

A referral letter is required for all of the above services provided by the radiology department.

The referral letter must:

  • Be on headed paper and signed by a registered prescriber including IMC number
  • Include all patient demographics are provided (Name, address, date of birth, contact number)
  • Include all relevant clinical information for the exam requested
  • We accept referrals by post, fax and hand delivery.

Getting results

A hard copy of the radiology results will be sent to the referring GP within 7-10 working days of the exam being performed.

Emergency services

There are four main emergency services in the Mater Hospital. Below is an outline of when and how to use/refer to each service.

1. Emergency department - our walk in emergency services are available 24 hours a day 365 days a year. There is a €100 charge but this does not apply if patients have a GP referral letter. Patients with minor injuries, STIs or eye emergencies should be referred to the appropriate service below instead of the Emergency Department.

We have a GP Liaison Nurse in the hospital. The role of the GP Liaison Nurse is to act as a communicative link between our Emergency Department and local community services to provide a complete and enhanced service to the patient.

You can contact the GP Liaison Nurse Monday to Friday from 7.30am - 4pm on 01 8032835.

For more information, see our emergency department page here.

2. Smithfield rapid injury clinic - this is a walk in service. €100 charge applies without GP letter. Please note this service is for acute minor injuries only. 
For more information, see our rapid injury clinic page here

3. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) clinic - 3 clinics per week. No referral required, however patients must ring to make appointment.Urgent appointments outside of clinic hours, patients must go to the main Emergency Department.
For more information, see our STI clinic page here.

4. Eye emergency department - From Monday to Friday between 8am and 4pm, patients can attend the eye emergency department with a referral letter from a GP or Optician. Outside of these hours, GPs need to contact the on-call eye emergency doctor on 01 803 2000 to discuss an emergency eye injury before they can refer a patient to the hospital. GPS can see our EED out of hours pathway document here for more information.

Eye Emergency Department & COVID-19 Notice

"From Wednesday 18 March 2020 all eye emergency services will be curtailed to scheduled emergency appointments only to reduce attendances at the hospital.

The eye emergency department will be closed to walk-in patients.
No patients will be reviewed unless referred via the eye emergency email system. Each referral will be read by one of the Eye Emergency Department Consultants on a twice daily basis and patients contacted directly to arranged timed review slots. 
If you have seen a patient who you feel requires urgent/emergency review in the eye emergency department please email your referral letter to and advise the patient not to attend the Mater but to await contact from our eye emergency department. 

  • Please include details of reason for referral, visual acuity, any prior ophthalmic history and patient contact details (phone number / email) so we can contact them with details of when to attend.
  • Please also include whether or not they have had any recent travel history to high risk areas, any close contact with COVID 19 cases or if they work in a health facility and if any respiratory or flu like symptoms.

Unless all information is provided patients cannot be seen. 
If the referral is deemed non-emergent the patient will not be seen in EED but will be sent an OPD appointment when the current COVID-19 situation has resolved. 

If you need to speak with one of the eye emergency team about a referral please phone 01-8034794 or 01-8034079 between the hours of 8:30am-4:30pm, or outside these hours, please contact the on-call ophthalmologist through switch.
This arrangement will be reviewed on a daily basis. We thank you all for your cooperation at this time."

Heart Valve / Tissue Donation

The Mater Misericordiae University Hospital (MMUH) is the authorised heart valve / tissue establishment for donor selection, consent, procurement and release of heart valves / tissue for clinical use.

Irish heart valve / tissue bank is responsible for the processing, testing, storing and issuing of aortic and pulmonary valves, conduits and patches. The European Directive 2004/23/EC and its technical annexes ensure a standard of quality and safety in relation to the heart valve / tissue bank activities. This applies to the donation, procurement, testing, processing, preservation, storage and distribution of all heart valves / tissues. The heart valves / tissue are mainly used for paediatrics, young adults and patient with endocarditis. Each heart valve / tissue has a shelf life of five years.

Donors being considered for heart valve / tissue donation may be referred from hospitals in the Republic of Ireland.

Initial Referral:

The initial referral for neonatal heart valve / tissue donation should be made through the Heart / Lung Transplant Coordinator on call, who  may be contacted through the main hospital switch number 01 8032000. The Transplant Coordinator can also assist with further information or guidance.

Guidelines, Documents and Requirements:

ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygention) Service

The Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) service, based in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in the Mater Hospital, provides comprehensive short-term support for patients with acute, severe potentially reversible lung or heart failure who continue to deteriorate despite optimal conventional therapy. Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) is also known as extracorporeal life support (ECLS).

The worldwide use of ECMO for adult patients has increased over the last 15 years.Outcomes after ECMO have improved where there is careful patient selection and the experience and technical expertise of ECMO service is well established. Patients being considered for ECMO in the Mater Hospital ICU may be referred from other hospitals in Ireland.

ECMO Patient Referral:

The initial request for consideration for ECMO should be made through the Critical Care Medicine consultant on duty who can be contacted by the Mater Hospital switchboard  (01) 803 2000.

Please ensure that you have reviewed the referral documents below for indications and contra-indications prior to referring patients for consideration for ECMO. These are guidelines and if you require further advice, please contact the Mater Hospital ICU.

Referrals to the Department of Renal Medicine

Please include as much of the following information as possible in the referral letter to optimise triage of referrals:

  • Background general medical and surgical history
    • Include information on diabetic retinopathy screening results in diabetics
  • Medication history including dates that any potential nephrotoxins were started / stopped
  • Symptoms of CKD such as tiredness, itch, reduced appetite, swelling or any urological symptoms
  • Any relevant family or social history
  • Examination
    • Particularly mention the presence of rash, oedema, palpable bladder or any other relevant significant positive findings
    • Current blood pressure, weight or body mass index
    • A dipstick urinalysis result is essential
  • Results (where available)
    • Current and also baseline / historic renal profile results
    • Full blood count, liver & bone profile, lipid profile, HbA1c (if diabetic)
    • Urinary ACR or PCR or 24 hour urinary protein
    • Results of relevant  results where available e.g. renal ultrasound or other results e.g. CT abdomen, 24 hour blood pressure monitor

Who and when to refer

eGFR (mls/min)

Urgency Comments
< 15 Immediate Discuss the case with the renal team 


Discuss the case with the renal team unless eGFR is known to be stable
30–60 Routine

Refer the patient if they also have:

1. A confirmed progressive fall in eGFR by >5 ml/min in 1 year

2. A fall in GFR category or stage

3. Microscopic haematuria or red cell casts

3. Albumin-creatinine ratio (ACR) > 30 mg/mmol or protein-creatinine ratio (PCR) > 50 mg/mmol

4. Unexplained anaemia (< 11g) after exclusion of other causes

5. Abnormal potassium, calcium, phosphate or acidosis

6. Suspected systemic illness e.g. SLE

7. Uncontrolled hypertension (BP > 140/90mmHg) despite 4 agents at therapeutic doses
> 60 Not required Don’t refer unless there is evidence of kidney damage or other reasons – see below
  Renal referral irrespective of eGFR

Acute kidney injury


A rapid decline in renal function over hours or days.Can be an acute on chronic decline in function. Depending on severity, the case may need to be discussed with the renal team

Haematuria Varies
Referral to Urology first if: frank haematuria or isolated microscopic haematuria (especially > age 40)
 Referral to renal team if: urological investigations are negative or the haematuria is combined with a reduced GFR, hypertension or proteinuria
Urgent: if accompanied by proteinuria, red cell casts or a rapidly progressive decline in eGFR


Urgent: PCR > 300 with low albumin +/- oedema (nephrotic syndrome)

Routine: ACR >70 or PCR > 100 but not nephrotic


ACR > 30 or PCR > 50 with microscopic haematuria 
Hypertension Varies

Urgent: malignant hypertension

Routine: uncontrolled (>150/90mmHg) despite 4 agents at therapeutic doses 

Kidney stones Routine Renal & urology referral if nephrolithiasis is recurrent or extensive 
Hereditary kidney disease Varies E.g. Polycystic kidney disease
Urgency will depend on the eGFR or other symptoms
Electrolyte abnormalities Varies

E.g. Persistent hyperkalaemia
Urgency will depend on the severity of the problem

Lung Cancer Rapid Access Service

The rapid access lung clinic was established at the Mater Hospital in 2011, as part of the national cancer control programme strategy.

GP Guidelines and Referral Form:

Further information regarding our respiratory medicine service is available on our respiratory clinical service page here.

Adult Lung Transplantation Referral Form

Our referral forms have been designed to streamline the referral process for potential lung and heart-lung transplant recipients. Referral for lung transplant can be made by consultant respiratory physician only.

Please complete the below referral form in all its parts and email it directly to:

(If you have any issues with completing or saving the above form, it may be due to the Adobe version you have on your computer. Please complete the alternative form below in all its parts and email it directly to:

Sub-Acute Spinal Pain Referral Form

This referral form can be used by GP practices to refer patients with sub-acute spinal pain to orthopaedics, to access our spinal pain pathway.  These referrals will be triaged based on the clinical information provided by GPs to the most appropriate avenue to manage the patient's symptoms.

Please complete the below referral form and email it directly to: