Thursday, 13 January 2011
Department of Health and Children
Hospitals Building Programme
Question 9: To ask the Minister for Health and Children if she will provide an update on the development of the national children's hospital; when planning permission will be granted; when construction is expected to commence; when the project will be completed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1755/11]
The new National Paediatric Hospital is a priority for the Government.
The National Paediatric Hospital Development Board has formally asked An Bórd Pleanála for the project to be considered under the Strategic Infrastructure legislation. Two meetings were held with An Bórd Pleanála in November and December 2010 as part of the pre-consultation engagement by the Development Board. This pre-planning consultation is expected to conclude by the end of this month, with a formal planning application expected to be submitted following review by the Development Board at its January 2011 meeting.
The Development Board anticipates that the planning process is likely to include a public oral hearing. It estimates that a decision on planning permission will take a number of months, as would be normal for projects of this size. The Development Board will, of course, continue to work intensively on the detailed planning of the project as An Bord Pleanála's consideration of the planning application proceeds.
Subject to planning permission being granted, construction of the new hospital is scheduled to commence in the fourth quarter of this year with completion of construction scheduled for the end of 2014.
I met with the Chairmen and Chief Executive Officers of the three children's hospitals on the 16th of December last. At this meeting I emphasised the need for early progress on establishing robust governance structures for the new hospital. The Chairs and CEOs all committed to a process aimed at agreeing such a governance structure as soon as possible. The first meeting of the group established to bring this work forward will take place tomorrow, Friday 14 January.