Thursday, 15 July 2021
Department of Health
National Maternity Hospital
404. To ask the Minister for Health if he is satisfied that the originally announced proposals for the new national maternity hospital continue to be part of the plan; if particular issues have arisen which might derail the plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32807/21]
416. To ask the Minister for Health the current status and progress of the proposed new national maternity hospital; if the originally intended location of the hospital has been confirmed; if agreement has been reached in respect of the site with the donor; if specific conditions are being imposed or introduced; if there has been a deviation from the original plan and proposal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32825/21]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 404 and 416 together.
The Government is committed to the development of the new National Maternity Hospital (NMH) planned for the St Vincent’s University Hospital Campus at Elm Park, as set out in the Programme for Government. Significant progress has been made on the capital project, with planning permission for the hospital secured in 2017 and, in 2018, the awarding of the contract for substantial enabling works.
However, the ownership and governance arrangements are more complex. The proposed corporate and clinical governance arrangements for the new NMH at Elm Park were set out in the Mulvey Agreement, which was finalised in 2016 following an extensive mediation process between the NMH and the St. Vincent’s Healthcare Group, published thereafter and noted by Government in 2017. The Mulvey Agreement provides for the establishment of a new company - National Maternity Hospital at Elm Park DAC - which will have clinical and operational, as well as financial and budgetary, independence in the provision of maternity, gynaecology and neonatal services. The draft legal framework that has been developed is designed to copper fasten these arrangements.
I have been very clear that I will not bring anything to Government unless it provides assurances around all legally permissible services being provided in the new NMH. In addition, the safeguarding of the State’s investment must also be affirmed beyond doubt.
In that context, there has been further engagement with the stakeholders in relation to this project, and this will continue as we move toward the finalisation of the legal arrangements. However, I will not be making any further comment on the nature of this engagement until it concludes.