The New Hospital
Enhancing quality care for Ireland's children and young people is the primary driver for developing the new children's hospital.
It is universally accepted within the paediatric healthcare community that the sickest children, requiring access to highly specialist professionals, equipment and facilities, can only be accommodated in one children's hospital. There is also unanimous agreement that the child population and projected healthcare demands of Ireland can support only one national tertiary hospital and there is an urgent need for capital investment in children's healthcare services.
Excellence in clinical care
The vision for the new children's hospital and the Ambulatory and Urgent Care Centre in Tallaght, behind which the Minister for Health and Children, the Development Board, the HSE and the paediatric healthcare community have unified, is for a hospital that will deliver excellence in clinical care, teaching and research in an environment that is fully supportive of children, young people, their families and staff.
The amalgamation of Dublin's three children's hospitals into one organisation will give the required cohesion, depth and breadth of medical sub-specialties to provide such care for Ireland's sickest children.
After several years of planning, the project to build the new children's hospital has reached an important milestone in reaching the formal planning application stage following a year of design development.
We are pleased to say the new children's hospital planning submission process has commenced in October 2010 and the Government's policy to develop a world-class healthcare system that contributes to the health of children, young people and their families is making steady progress.
The hospital design developed over the past year confirms the suitability of the site at Eccles Street to accommodate a children's hospital with capacity designed in to both adapt and expand for future long-term requirements.
Meeting future needs
This is the largest, most complex and significant capital investment project ever undertaken in healthcare in Ireland. To date, the project team has focused on healthcare planning to analyse current clinical activity and project future paediatric healthcare demands to accommodate Ireland's growth in birth rates.
A business case has also been developed, which clearly demonstrates the clinical benefits and value of this capital investment to transform paediatric services.
The new hospital will benefit from improved clinical effectiveness through inter-professional working that optimises clinical resources and leads to better outcomes for children.
The hospital will accommodate 445 beds, including in-patient and day care beds, which will meet the healthcare demands of the child population which is projected to peak in 2021. The configuration of these beds reflects current international best practice with more critical care and day care beds within the overall bed complement. The hospital, with its Ambulatory and Urgent Care Centre at Tallaght, will also provide out-patient, day care and emergency services to children and young people.
There will be an opportunity within this hospital to develop a reputation for excellent clinical outcomes, using advanced medical technology. The development of a strong research profile and excellent educational opportunities will attract and retain the highest calibre of staff.
A modern environment will support essential non-clinical services, including play areas, a family resource facility, accommodation for parents and siblings, all of which contribute to a more rounded, holistic and emotionally supportive care setting for children, young people and their families.
Engaging with stakeholders
A capital project of this size and complexity requires an intense programme of engagement with numerous stakeholders and involves significant planning.
Over the past year, the project team has engaged directly with children, young people, parents, healthcare professionals, local community, international leaders in paediatric healthcare and hospital design and other stakeholders to design a children's hospital that will meet the requirements of the growing children population.
We thank all those who have enthusiastically engaged with us throughout the early stages of this process and welcome the continued opportunity for future engagement throughout the life of the project.