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Concerns over €650m children's hospital


St James Hospital

St James Hospital

St James Hospital

Parents have expressed their concern at proposed plans for the new National Children's Hospital, describing it as a "short-term solution".

The €650m project, which is scheduled to be completed in 2019, is set to be built adjacent to St James's Hospital in Dublin's city centre.

The new hospital will include 384 in-patient beds - 62 of which will be critical care beds - and is expected to deal with 250,000 patients annually.

Several parents who frequently use the facilities at the current children's hospitals believe that the location of the planned project is flawed.

One of the concerned parents Mark Fitzpatrick (38), whose 20 month-old son, Eric, suffers from a rare and severe form of epilepsy, feels an "awful lot of concern" with regards to the proposed site. "For me, the site is completely inadequate for future building, it's a no-brainer," he told the Herald.

"There is absolutely no planning for the future with the planned site. No room to expand, no proper green area. It's a short-term solution to a long-term problem," he added.

However, a spokesperson for the Children's Hospital Group Board (CHGB) stated that the St James's site was the chosen location by the Government some time ago, and that work had already begun on the project.

"The site was chosen some time ago by the Government after extensive consultation with staff, parents and indeed children. Work has already begun on the hospital location.