Monday 27 January 2020

Chorus of celebrations over planning permission to new national children’s hospital

Eilish O’Regan

Former cancer patient Ashley Kiernan joined in the chorus of celebration over the granting of planning permission to the new national children’s hospital today.

The 13-year-old Dublin schoolgirl was among the group of youngsters who gave their ideas to designers of the new hospital which is to built on the site of St James’s Hospital.

“Single rooms were a big thing. We had to share rooms with babies at times and they were crying all night,” said Ashley who is now back to full health.

“We also put down food preferences like Chinese food and Mexican food. When I was in hospital we got mostly meat the potatoes what were not very  tasty.

“We also reviewed the colours, entertainment centres,designs and gardens .”She was speaking at an event in Crumlin hospital attended by the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar and senior hospital executives and doctors to mark the go-head for the hospital.

Health Minister Leo Varadkar said the early-morning phone call he received telling him the new national children’s hospital had got planning permission was the “best call he ever received in politics.”

The minister was speaking in the wake of the decision by An Board Pleanala to give the go-head for the long awaited hospital to be constructed at the site of St James’s Hospital.

Construction should start this summer and the aim is to have it open to the country’s sickest children by 2020.It will mean the merging and closure of the existing three hospitals in Crumlin, Temple St and Tallaght.

Speaking at an event in Crumlin Hospital even where he met some of the young patients currently in hospital, he said he was fully confident the timeline will be met for the hospital,originally due to be ready by 2012.

A satellite centre will be built in Connolly Hospital in his constituency, serving children in need of accident and emergency and outpatient care.A second centre will be opened in Tallaght Hospital with both due to be in place by 2018.

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