Thursday, 28 September 2017
Department of Health
National Children's Hospital Status
Following the Government’s April 2017 decision to give the green light for the new children's hospital project construction investment, detailed discussions with the preferred tenderer and the hundreds of specialists who are part of the construction team were concluded over the summer period. The construction contract for the building of the main children’s hospital and the satellite centres contract were signed in August. Confirmed dates for completion of the development of the new children's hospital and the paediatric outpatients and urgent care centres have now been agreed with the preferred contractor. The new children’s hospital will be completed by the middle of 2022. The Paediatric Outpatients and Urgent Care Centre at Connolly will open in 2019 followed by the second one at Tallaght in 2020 in advance of the opening of the main hospital in 2022. Site preparatory work has continued throughout the year and the construction phase of the project has now commenced.
On 29 August, the Minister for Health published the General Scheme for the Children’s Health Bill on the Department of Health’s website. The General Scheme was referred to the Chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health on 31 August for pre legislative scrutiny, requesting the Committee to note the priority for the Department of progressing this work. This legislation will create a single statutory entity to run the new children’s hospital. The new body will take over the services of the existing three Dublin children’s hospitals and run the new children’s hospital. The Bill provides for the establishment of a single body to govern and manage paediatric services, as well as to facilitate planning for the transition of staff and services to the outpatient and urgent care centres which will open several years ahead of the new children’s hospital opening. It will also support the organisation of the clinical and non-clinical services in an integrated manner across the existing sites before the move to the new facilities.
This new hospital is an extraordinary opportunity to transform paediatric services in Ireland by bringing together patients and staff from across the three existing children’s hospitals into a single organisation as the national tertiary paediatric service with the facilities and necessary status to take on a leadership role nationally in relation to paediatric healthcare and as an international player in paediatric research and innovation.