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Foundations To Be Laid For The New Children’s Hospital

Dublin, April 26th, 2017: The National Paediatric Development Board (NPHDB) and the Children’s Hospital Group Board (CHGB) today warmly welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Health Simon Harris TD that Government has approved the construction investment decision for the building of the new children’s hospital and the two associated Paediatric Outpatients and Urgent Care Centres at Connolly and Tallaght Hospitals.

This decision paves the way for the laying of foundations at the new children’s hospital project on a campus shared with St James’s Hospital and the new facilities at Connolly and Tallaght Hospitals.

The NPHDB, appointed by the Government in 2013 to design, build and equip the new children’s hospital, has overseen an immense programme of work over the past three years which has seen the completion of a beautiful design for this state-of-the-art children’s hospital and the two Paediatric Outpatients and Urgent Care Centres. This work has been carried out on behalf of the Children’s Hospital Group which, together with the Boards, executives, clinicians and staff of the three Dublin children’s hospitals, as well as, current and former patients and their families, has helped to inform all aspects of the design to ensure that it meets the current and future clinical needs of Ireland’s sickest children and young people and the local needs of the greater Dublin area.

Full planning permission for the hospital, the two Paediatric Outpatients and Urgent Care Centres, a Children’s Research and Innovation Centre and a 53-unit family accommodation centre was granted by An Bord Pleanála in April last year.  A comprehensive tendering process was completed recently to select a construction company to complete the build of the hospital and the two Paediatric Outpatients and Urgent Care Centres. The 12-acre site on the St James’s Hospital campus has been fully cleared and is now ready for the laying of foundations of what will be one of the biggest buildings in Ireland. The size of Dundrum Shopping Centre and the length of Grafton Street, the new hospital will include over 6,150 rooms, 4 acres of outdoor gardens and external space and 380 individual inpatient rooms each having their own en-suite and a bed for parents to sleep near their sick child.

Parent and long-time campaigner for a new children’s hospital in Ireland Louis Roden, Chairman of the New Crumlin Hospital Group, said: “This is a great day, another critical milestone in helping us realise the vision and dream of ensuring that the sickest children of Ireland are treated in a modern world class facility, one that is fit for purpose. Staff, parents but most importantly the children of Ireland have had to put up with a lot of sub-standard facilities for far too long. It is fantastic that we finally have the green light and will soon see walls being built. This day has come too late for my children as they will have moved into the adult system by the time the hospital is open along with countless others who endured the endless delays. Nonetheless I take great joy in knowing that soon, other parents and children will get the facilities they deserve. We now need to ensure that the hospital opens without any further delay. The opening day can’t come quickly enough.”

Professor Owen Smith CBE, Consultant Paediatric Haematologist at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin said: “It is hard to put into words the positive impact that this new children’s hospital will have on the health outcomes and overall welfare of children and young people. My clinical colleagues across the three children’s hospitals and I, together with the Children’s Hospital Group team have spent many hours with the project and design team helping to inform the planning of the clinical spaces in what will be one of the finest hospitals in the world. The ability to work across all specialities within the paediatric community under one roof while also sharing knowledge, skills and resources with our colleagues in St. James’s will have a phenomenal impact on how children and young people are treated and clinical outcomes can only improve.”

John Pollock, Project Director, NPHDB said: “The Board and staff of the NPHDB, together with the international design team, are delighted that we now have the green light to move ahead to the next critical phase of the project. We have completed the first part of our three-pronged remit – we have a beautiful design and are ready now to proceed to the build phase. We have selected a preferred construction partner and are ready now to sign contracts.  Cost experts, Linesight have conducted international benchmarking exercises and they have demonstrated that the construction cost of the hospital compares favourably with hospitals recently built in the UK, the US and in the Middle East. Our core objective is to build and equip a modern, state of the art hospital that delivers value for the people of Ireland but which importantly is designed, built and equipped in a manner which will enable clinicians and staff, who have informed the design, to do their jobs to the best of their ability.”

Eilísh Hardiman, Chief Executive, Children’s Hospital Group: “While today, the focus is on the three new buildings – what we are really celebrating today is that the capital investment required to support the development of a single children’s hospital central to a clinical network of services which represents a significant leap forward in paediatric healthcare in Ireland. Over the past three and a half years we have been working closely with boards, management and staff at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Temple Street Children’s University Hospital and the National Children’s Hospital at Tallaght Hospital to drive forward with our plans on how the three hospitals can come together as a single organisation in a way that will improve the experience and outcomes for children and their families, and make it better for our staff. This challenging work continues to make progress with plans in development for a digital hospital that will act as the first implementation of the national electronic healthcare record. This work will be given further focus as we start to see bricks being laid. We are on the cusp of changing how paediatric services are delivered in Ireland. It is a time of real and significant change for all of us involved in caring for children, young people and their families and we are delighted for patients, their families and our staff.”

The Youth Advisory Committee is a group of young people – users of the Dublin children’s hospitals – who have fed into the design and delivery of services at the new children’s hospital for the past number of years. In a joint statement today, they said; “As current and former users of hospital services we have spent many hours talking to the team who are designing the new children’s hospital.  We have told them what we thought would help children and their families who stay in hospital for long periods of time.  Important things such as a bed for parents or guardians to stay in the same room as their child, the ability to choose your own food, open spaces and places where teenagers can gather together with their friends were all high on our list and have been included in the design.  We are extremely happy that the funding has been secured and we look forward to the opening of the new children’s hospital.”


In a joint statement Helen Shortt, CEO of Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Mona Baker, Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, and David Slevin, CEO of Tallaght Hospital; said; “On behalf of the Boards and the staff of the three children’s hospitals we welcome the announcement today that the construction investment for the new children’s hospital and two OPD & Urgent Care Centres (planned for Connolly and Tallaght Hospitals) has been approved.  The Children’s Hospital Group and the National Paediatric Development Board have brought the project to this significant point bringing it to closer to seeing bricks laid at the site of the planned new children’s hospital. These facilities will be a big improvement for children, young people, families and staff. The design and the range of facilities that will be available under one roof will be exceptional.  The hospitals are looking forward to the opening of the new hospital and to seeing continuing improvements in clinical care and outcomes for the children and young people in our care.”

Dr Sharon Sheehan, Master / CEO, Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital; said “Today’s decision brings us another step closer to tri-location of adult, paediatric and maternity services on the one hospital campus.  A proposed site for the Coombe Women & Infants University hospital has been identified in the Site Master Plan for the St James’s campus, and the new children’s hospital design has incorporated the required operational links with both maternity and adult hospitals which will facilitate the move by the Coombe to this shared campus. We look forward to bringing the full breadth and depth of women and infant services that operate in the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital onto the St. James’s Hospital campus site to tri-locate with St. James’s Hospital and the new children’s hospital. Our women and infants deserve no less”.

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