Bad decision for the care of our children

Sir, The refusal by An Bord Pleanála to sanction the development of the new children's hospital will have a profound negative impact on the delivery of health care for the sick children in the greater Dublin area for the sickest children from around the whole country who require tertiary care.

Last July Children in Hospital Ireland welcomed the commencement of the planning process. We are shocked that the development of the hospital will not now go ahead as planned. The decision will mean that a new children's hospital will not be available for sick children and their families for many years to come.

Staff in our current stretched and inadequate children's hospital facilities will continue to struggle to provide a 21st century service in 20th Century buildings not suitable for a modern health service.

There has been universal agreement on the need for a new hospital, particularly among families whose children require specialised and continuing hospital care. For these families today's decision will be a great disappointment. Sincerely, Mary O'connor, CEO Children in Hospital Ireland,

Carmichael Centre, Coleraine House, Coleraine Street, Dublin 7