Delivering Ireland's New Children's Hospital

Welcome and delight from families and clinicians in response to An Bord Pleanála’s decision to grant planning permission for the new children’s hospital on a campus shared with St. James’s Hospital

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The Children’s Hospital Group, the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board, the three children’s hospitals, St. James’s Hospital, Minister for Health Leo Varadkar and the Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital jointly welcome the positive decision announced by ABP today

“A Giant Step Forward for Children’s Healthcare in Ireland”

The decision by An Bord Pleanála to grant planning permission for the new children’s hospital on a campus shared with St. James’s Hospital and the Paediatric OPD and Urgent Care Centres at Tallaght and Connolly Hospital was warmly and widely welcomed today. Families of sick children, the country’s leading paediatric clinicians, the staff of the three children’s hospitals and the CEOs of Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin; Temple Street Children’s University Hospital and the National Children’s Hospital at Tallaght all welcomed the decision by An Bord Pleanála to give the go ahead for the new children’s hospital to be built on a campus shared with St. James’s Hospital.  The Children’s Hospital Group and the project developers, the National Paediatric Development Board, outlined the positive impact that this decision will have on future services for generations of young people in Ireland.

Commenting this morning Eilísh Hardiman, CEO, the Children’s Hospital Group said: This truly is a watershed day for children, young people and their families. Today’s decision will positively transform how paediatric services are delivered for children and young people here in Ireland. These buildings are a significant catalyst for how the new national model of care will be delivered. We are now firmly on our way to making this long awaited children’s hospital a reality. Anyone who deals with paediatric services in Ireland – as a patient, a parent or as a member of staff – fully understands how badly this new facility is needed.   I would like to take this opportunity to thank the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board and the Design teams BDP & O’Connell Mahon, and all that contributed to getting us to this milestone”.

The CEOs of Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin; the Temple Street Children’s University Hospital and the National Children’s Hospital at Tallaght Hospital, Helen Shortt, Mona Baker and David Slevin, jointly stated: “This is an historic and exciting development for children’s healthcare services in Ireland. Our staff in the three children’s hospitals will be working in a world-class, modern hospital that is custom-built to deliver the best care and treatments available. Our doctors, nurses and care professionals have had the opportunity to input into the designs and are delighted that what was a vision and plan is now firmly becoming a reality. We look forward to continuing to work with the Project Team to finish these designs and to prepare for coming together under one roof for the first time – for the benefit of children, young people and their families.”

Speaking about the positive benefits that the decision will deliver for patients and staff of St. James’s Hospital, Lorcan Birthistle, CEO of St. James’s Hospital said: “We welcome today’s announcement and look forward to continuing to work with the Children’s Hospital Group and with the NPHDB to ensure that the design and location of the hospital best meets the needs of children and adolescents. We are excited at the opportunity this decision presents to further develop world class services on our campus and we look forward to the development of The Coombe Hospital maternity and women’s health services on campus in the future.”

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar TD said; “This is fantastic news for all the children of Ireland – it will produce a state of the art hospital of which everyone can be proud.”

Welcoming the announcement, Dr Sharon Sheehan, Master of the Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital said: “By ultimately combining the specialties of the maternity, paediatric and adult hospitals in this tri-location, the quality of care for our women and babies will be greatly enhanced. We look forward to developing this model of healthcare excellence, ensuring a seamless continuity of care for our patients”.

Louis Roden, a parent and long-time campaigner for a new children’s hospital represented the view of many parents of sick children today when he said: “This decision has been a long time coming. For many parents, including myself, this hospital is coming too late for their children to benefit from it but nevertheless, I am delighted that we are now moving forward – and in the right direction. It is important that everyone now works together as a matter of urgency and gets behind what will be a fantastic facility. Most importantly one that is best positioned to deliver the best clinical outcomes for the children of Ireland.”

Professor Owen Smith, Special Advisor to the Children’s Hospital Group and Consultant Paediatric Haematologist at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin said: “Today’s planning decision also includes approval for the development of a Children’s Research and Innovation Centre on the St. James’s Campus. While this part of the project has received less attention to date, this Centre will be at the heart of innovation and research – helping to find cures to diseases that currently pose a seriously threat to children and young people. Our ability to partner in research with colleagues on the St. James’s Campus will fundamentally change the approach to research and hospital staff will be a major catalyst for driving breakthrough results and outputs.”

John Pollock, Project Director, the NPHDB said: “We have been working towards this day for over two years and families and clinicians have been focused on securing this result for decades.  We will be on site this summer and are on track to have a world class facility for those who badly need it, ready for handover to the Children’s Hospital Group in 2020. We look forward to getting the project underway and working to deliver the associated community benefits that will be forthcoming from an investment of this scale and significance.”

Concluding, Eilísh Hardiman said: “So many people have played their part in getting us to this milestone day – the staff in the children’s hospitals, the CEOs, Management Teams and Boards of the hospitals, the community around the St. James’s Campus, the Children’s Hospital Group Board and the Development Board, the HSE and the Department of Health – but most importantly the voices of the child and the parents and families of sick children have ensured that the need for this hospital was fully understood by successive governments. I want to thank everyone who has played their part – this truly is a day for the whole of Ireland to celebrate.”

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