Monday 5 December 2016

Maternity hospital row must be sorted

Published 02/05/2016 | 02:30

The National Maternity Hospital on Holles Street Photo Damien Eagers / Irish Independent
The National Maternity Hospital on Holles Street Photo Damien Eagers / Irish Independent

A row over the site of a new National Maternity Hospital will evoke that sinking feeling among many citizens. It recalls the tangled series of disputes about a similar children's facility which caused some 20 years of delays.

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News of the maternity site dispute comes days after An Bord Pleanála finally gave clearance for the new children's hospital, ending a tragic litany of bad-tempered disputes in which the country's sick children were the big losers. The lessons from that reprehensible saga must be taken on board quickly to avoid a repeat in the case of efforts to improve maternity services.

Plans to move the country's biggest maternity facility, the National Maternity Hospital, from its overcrowded and inadequate historic site in Holles Street, in the heart of Dublin, were announced to great acclaim three years ago. It is proposed to relocate it at a new series of buildings on the St Vincent's Hospital campus in Donnybrook.

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