Friday 18 October 2019

Children’s hospital project director to leave role

John Pollock will vacate his post at the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board in June.

Construction of the new National Children’s Hospital is taking place in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)
Construction of the new National Children’s Hospital is taking place in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

By Michelle Devane, Press Association  

The project director of the new National Children’s Hospital has handed in his resignation.

John Pollock will step down from his role at the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (NPHDB) in June.

His decision comes after the former chairman of the board, Tom Costello, stepped down last month.

The new hospital, being constructed on a 12-acre site at the St James’s Hospital campus in Dublin, has been marred in controversy over spiralling costs.

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An artist’s impression of the new hospital (Niall Carson/PA)

The overall cost has soared from an original estimate of 650 million euro to more than 1.7 billion euro, and it is expected to rise further.

In a statement, Mr Pollock said he is “very proud” of what he has achieved since he took up the role in 2014.

He added: “The project has now moved into the final phase of construction, and with this under way I believe it is an opportune point for me to move from the project. I plan to do so later this summer.”

Fred Barry, the interim chairman of the NPHDB, said Mr Pollock had taken the new hospital from a vision to something that is now much closer to becoming a reality.

He said Mr Pollock leaves the project with the certainty that it is on track to be completed by 2022.

The new hospital is scheduled to open its doors in 2023.

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Construction is ongoing at the new hospital site (Niall Carson/PA)

Mr Barry said: “The board is disappointed that John has taken the decision to step down from his role at this time, however we respect his decision.

“The board, NPHDB team and I believe families and children in Ireland owe John a significant debt of gratitude for the personal commitment that he has shown to this project, as well as the huge skill and expertise that has brought it through the design and planning phase and the commencement of build.

“We are grateful to John for committing to staying until June 2019, this will ensure a smooth transition as we move to a new phase of this important infrastructural project and as the process commences to recruit a new project lead.”

The board thanked Mr Pollock for his “commitment, dedication and unique contribution” to the project and wished him future success.

An independent inquiry set up to assess the cost overruns of the project had been expected to be completed by the end of this month, but it is now due to be published next month.

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