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St James's claims site ideal for children's facility

YOUNG people suffering a range of conditions -- from cancer to severe burns -- will benefit from having ready access to on-site specialist care if the new national children's hospital is built at St James's Hospital in Dublin, it was claimed yesterday.

St James's Hospital yesterday published the presentation made to the review group examining the future of the children's hospital, saying such a facility on the site would cost €410m.

It added that the site has distinct advantages over other bidders because of the specialist care that is already in place there.

This includes radiotherapy for cancer patients and the national burns unit, which would mean young patients in the children's hospital would no longer have to travel for this type of care.

It estimated that it would be possible to construct the children's hospital for €410m on the St James's site and complete it by 2015.

The building costs to construct the children's hospital and a maternity hospital would be €510m.

The submission was backed by St James's and Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin.

Fit-out costs would be extra, adding around €80m to the children's hospital bill and €25m to the maternity hospital.

The Irish Independent reported earlier this week that the backers of the Mater Hospital site submitted costs claiming they could deliver both hospitals for a total of €582m, with the children's facility ready by 2016.

A government-appointed review group, chaired by businessman and former HSE chairman Frank Dolphin, will produce a report for Health Minister James Reilly in two weeks, after assessing a range of bids.

In terms of design, St James's promises that the children's facility, on the 15.5 acre site, will: "create a hospital that does not feel like a hospital. Architecture would generate a sense of fun."

It would be linked to the adult hospital via a 10-metre long corridor and both hospitals could be connected at all levels.

The red Luas line already services the St James's campus and connects with Heuston and Connolly mainline rail stations.

Irish Independent