40,000 babies to be born in 'high risks' hospital
Published 16/02/2016 | 02:30
More than 40,000 babies will be delivered in the overcrowded National Maternity Hospital in Dublin before the outdated facility moves to a state-of-the-art site.
The health watchdog found patient welfare was at 'high risk' in Holles Street because of poor hygiene controls and overcrowding. Vulnerable newborns in the intensive care unit are in danger of infection, Hiqa said.
Holles Street Master, Dr Rhona Mahony, admitted the busiest maternity hospital in the country, with 9,000 births annually is "not fit for purpose".
However, construction of a new unit is in danger of being delayed to 2020 as no planning permission has yet been submitted, the Irish Independent has learned.
The dire need to move the hospital from its cramped 19th century building to a new purpose-built maternity hospital on the grounds of St Vincent's Hospital was dramatically highlighted again yesterday after inspectors - who made an unannounced visit to the busy maternity hospital in October - warned sick babies are at high risk of infection.
The NMH move from Holles Street to St Vincent's is part of the €3bn capital plan.
While the original pledge in 2013 was that a new hospital would be ready by 2018, it is not now not expected until at least 2020.
A spokesman for St Vincent's Hospital said talks are ongoing.