THE National Maternity Hospital is to move from its site in Holles St to the campus of St Vincent’s Hospital, Health Minister James Reilly has announced.
He said the plan is to have a new purpose-built maternity hospital ready by 2018 on the new site in Elm Park, Dublin 4.
The existing building in Holles St, built in 1894, is no longer fit for purpose and is not suitable to meet the demands of modern maternity care and the 10,000 births it delivers annually.
An indicative sum of €150m has been approved in the HSE’s Capital Plan to allow this project to proceed.
He said: “This project heralds a new and exciting chapter in maternity care for women and infants in Ireland. Mothers and babies have been assured of a quality service in Holles Street down through the years.
“Now they can be assured of the same service in a state of the art, custom built, modern health care facility, providing care to international standards in the most appropriate surroundings and with access to the facilities and staff of a major acute hospital; in short - the best care in the best environment.”
Dr Rhona Mahony, Master of Holles Street, said: “Our vision is to create an environment which facilitates clinical excellence so that women and infants attending the hospital to receive the highest standard of care.
“Currently, it is situated on Holles Street in an old building no longer fit for purpose. A new facility is urgently needed.
“The relocation will address this need and will achieve our strategic aim of close location with St Vincent’s University Hospital. We look forward to working with the Minister, the Department of Health, the Health Service Executive (HSE) and St Vincent’s University Hospital to make this vision a reality.”
In 2008 a KPMG Independent Review of Maternity and Gynaecology Services in the Greater Dublin Area Report recommended that Dublin maternity hospitals should be located alongside adult acute services.
Co-location of maternity hospitals with adult acute services can provide access to the full range of medical and surgical specialties and clinical support services in sufficient volume and complexity to provide added value. This is particularly important for high-risk mothers and babies.
Dr Reilly said: “This commitment by the Government underpins a determination to provide strong maternity services for Ireland. It will also strengthen the very successful relationship with University College Dublin as part of the Dublin East Hospital Group.
“Staff at the hospital have worked very hard in difficult circumstance for some time now. This project signals a clear desire to provide the best possible services to women and their families. It also demonstrates clear support for the staff who serve our families.”