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Plans for National Children’s Hospital Unveiled

St James Hospital

Plans for National Children’s Hospital Unveiled

The plans for the new National Children’s Hospital that will be built on the grounds of St. James’ Hospital have been unveiled.  Reactions have been overall positive with some describing the structure as ‘breathtaking’. It was proposed in 2012 that the children’s hospital, that was originally meant to be built in Phibsboro, would relocate to St. James’ after planning permission was denied for the Eccles Street location.  Though it was hoped that the hospital would open in 2015 this date has been pushed back to 2019. It would seem the drama and complications surrounding the Children’s Hospital has finally come to an end and parents of little patients can look forward to this beautiful hospital to look after their little darlings.

The building will be oval shaped and looks almost like a stadium from above. While the majority of the building is seven storeys, some of its parts will taper down to four storeys in height. The original plans detailed a fourteen storey hospital, this was latterly reduced. The facility will sport a therapeutic roof with facilities for recovering patients. The hospital will have 380 single-patient bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and parents will have the comfort of overnight beds. The critical care unit will be fitted out with 42 beds and the neonatal critical care unit with 18 beds. For family members there will be family accommodation near the entrance with 60 beds available.

The hospital will be located on the Rialto side of St. James’ allowing commuters to avail of nearby Luas services. There are still some access concerns for country patients who wish to avail of the hospital, particularly, regarding parking and navigating the frequently congested South Circular Road. The hospital will cost €650 million to develop, but unfortunately so far it has been estimated that the tax payer lost roughly €40 million because of the delays in plans, and these monies will most probably not be recovered.

Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar TD, who was very excited about the unveiling of the plans, and was presenting the visuals to a group of children, who seemed equally in awe, stated: “It’s clear from the open-plan building, the garden, the sport facilities, and the state-of-the-art wards that this is a unique building.”

Minister Varadkar complimented the artistic significance of the building saying: “This is the largest health infrastructure project in the history of the state. But it’s only when you see a model or an artist’s impression that you realise just how much work has gone into the project, and I want to commend the Development Board for reaching this stage. We will all be really proud of this iconic Hospital when it’s built.”

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