Brought by Gardai


The Gardaí are often called to deal with individuals who present with unusual or concerning behaviours.

  • If the individual is not posing an immediate risk to themselves or others (for example, an elderly lady who is confused and wandering) the Gardai will contact the pre-hospital emergency medical services i.e. ambulance
  • If the Gardaí are concerned the individual is posing an immediate risk (for example an intoxicated man threatening to jump in the river) the individual will be brought to the Garda station and assessed by a doctor. If the doctor is concerned that there is a physical health problem influencing the individual's behaviour (individual lacks capacity and there is an immediate risk) the doctor will request the assistance of the Gardaí in conveying the patient to an emergency department for appropriate management of the physical health problem (for example substance intoxication/ delirium)

Garda doctor

  • Will call the emergency department and communicate the clinical handover to the department in addition to writing a referral letter Emergency Department

Emergency department

On arrival in the emergency department:

  • the Gardaí will stay with the patient in the department until the patient is assessed by a senior emergency medicine physician and an immediate safety plan is initiated
  • Emergency medicine physician will prioritise a patient escorted by the Gardai and complete a brief clinical assessment as soon as possible
  • Brief clinical assessment based on presentation, information from Garda doctor, information from the Gardai
  • Determine the immediacy of the risk (medical and behavioural)
  • Determine the patient's likely compliance with care in the emergency department and capacity to refuse treatment
  • The immediate safety plan may include:
  • Emergency medicine physician will determine when the Gardai handover of care is complete

A patient who is detained in Garda custody

  • If the patient is detained in custody, as per the respective criminal act, the Gardai will remain with the patient throughout their care in the department

Content by Dr Íomhar O' Sullivan. Last review Dr ÍOS17/06/21.