Sunday 4 December 2016

Children's hospitals in Dublin 'sub optimal' and 'in poor condition' - hearing

Clodagh Sheehy

Published 30/11/2015 | 10:53

An artist’s impression of the entrance to the new National Children’s Hospital.
An artist’s impression of the entrance to the new National Children’s Hospital.

DUBLIN'S existing children’s hospitals are “sub optimal” and will become increasingly difficult to manage, a Bord Pleanala planning hearing has been told.

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The oral hearing is examining proposals for a new €650m National Children’s Hospital on the campus of St James’ Hospital to replace the three existing hospitals.

Jarlath Fitzsimons, a lawyer  representing  the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board set out the case for the new development at today's opening session of the three week hearing.

He pointed to the fact that two of the existing children's hospitals buildings are “in poor condition”.

“There is an overwhelming need for this development”, he added saying that the co-location on the St James campus would give the new hospital access to numerous sub medical specialist services.

The hospital had also been designed to interface with the proposed new Maternity Hospital on the campus, he added.

The new Children’s Hospital development includes two Urgent Care satellite clinics at Tallaght and Blanchardstown, residential facilities for parents at St James and a research centre.

It is due to be completed by 2020

More than 120 written observations have been submitted to An Bord Pleanala in relation to the oral hearing and most of these raise objections.

The hearing will deal with the design of the hospital, the traffic impacts during construction and the operation of the hospital.

The concerns have also been raised about he model of care for the new hospital.

Objections have come from a range of groups which include local residents associations, the Jack and Jill Foundation and An Taisce.

There are also concerns about how the new Children’s Hospital will impact on any future development of the existing St James’s Hospital on the same campus.

The National Paediatric Development Board, responsible for overseeing the building of the hospital, is estimated to have spent €30m on the project by the end of this year. 

The current Board was appointed in August 2013 under the chairmanship of Tom Costello.

An Bord Pleanala expects the hearing to take at least three weeks and a decision is due by February 15th 2016.

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