Friday 22 September 2017

Construction firm that wins contract has until 2020 to build new national children's hospital

An artist's impression of the new National Children's Hospital
An artist's impression of the new National Children's Hospital
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

The contractors who build the new national children's hospital on the campus of St James's Hospital are to be chosen in January, with a view to having it constructed at the end of 2020, the Oireachtas Health Committee has been told.

John Pollock of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board said the two satellite urgent care centres, to be located at Connolly and Tallaght hospitals, should be ready by 2018.

The final cost of the hospital - expected to be much higher than the estimated €650m - would not be known until all of the construction bids due this week were analysed, he said.

"A masterplan for the development at St James's shows the Coombe maternity hospital can also be accommodated on the 50-acre site," he said.

However, the Connolly4kids group, made up of retired doctors and parents, warned the St James's location was a grave mistake and may cost lives.

They want it built at Connolly Hospital.

Parent Aisling McNiffe, whose son Jack attends Crumlin Hospital, spoke movingly of her fears of being caught up in traffic jams around St James's.

However, Mr Pollock said there was no ideal location, but St James's was the best site.

Dr Sharon Sheehan, master of the Coombe, said she supported the choice of St James's.

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