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Saturday 21 October 2017

Delay in report on new children's hospital site

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

DECISIONS on the new national children's hospital are to be delayed again after the review group looking at its future said it needs more time before issuing a report.

The review group, chaired by businessman Frank Dolphin, was due to report to Health Minister James Reilly at the end of next week, but this deadline has been put back until early June.

The group has received around 50 submissions on the proposed location of the hospital and will make recommendations based on a series of options to Dr Reilly, who will bring it to Cabinet.

In a letter to the minister, Mr Dolphin said it could not meet the original deadline because it had yet to complete meetings with stakeholders and interested parties.

He said a "large volume of submissions have been made to the group and relevant information has yet to be assessed".

Plan

The original plan to build the €650m hospital on the site of the Mater had to be scrapped after An Bord Pleanala turned down planning permission.

Dr Reilly said yesterday he was not looking at the proposed sites. "I'm not looking at them all . . . that's what I appointed the review group to do. I have every faith in them," he said.

Speaking in Dublin, he rejected accusations that he was delaying the publication of a report that will contain recommendations on the reorganisation of smaller hospitals.

The 'Framework for the Development of Smaller Hospitals' report was due to be published earlier this year. He insisted that the document was "still being worked on".

Meanwhile, Dr Reilly yesterday launched a new oversight body at the Royal College of Surgeons.

The new National Office of Clinical Audit will be able to analyse and compare treatment outcomes between individual doctors within hospitals and between hospitals around the country.

Irish Independent

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