'Hospital should be upgraded, not moved'

LONG-TERM Crumlin Children's Hospital patient Emma Fogarty said that moving the hospital location site would cause more hardship to desperately ill children.

Emma had to travel the excruciating journey up to Dublin from her home in Abbeyleix for regular check-ups for the debilitating skin condition EB.

The Laois girl was rushed to Crumlin as a new-born baby when doctors were unable to diagnose her condition -- her skin is so delicate that she blisters on touch.

She said that both parents and the patients themselves would suffer if the hospital was built in the centre of Dublin city.

"Most times I was in hospital it wasn't a very good experience so the long journey ride was a very anxious one," she said.

Emma (25), who is now being treated in St James's Hospital for her condition, said she speaks to parents and patients who just about manage the way the situation is now.

"It would be worse if it was in the city centre -- coming from the country we wouldn't know how to drive through the city really, we could easily get lost," she said.

"Plus a lot of EB patients are in constant pain so it doesn't help being stuck sitting in a car travelling to the city.

"It's still hard for me to take the journey to James's now and I'm only an hour away. And it's hard to find parking in James's Hospital, let alone in the city," she added.

Emma believes that the best way forward would be to upgrade the existing hospitals.

"The first thing I would like to change is to make the hospital that bit more homely," she said. "Also, the parents' accommodation should be improved for parents that want to stay in with them, and parking should be improved with special dispensations for patients and parents," she added.