Written answers

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Department of Health

National Children's Hospital

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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415. To ask the Minister for Health the extent to which the new children’s hospital is progressing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17270/22]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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The new Children’s Hospital (NCH) project comprises the main hospital on a shared campus at St James’s, the Outpatient and Urgent Care Centre at Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown, and the Outpatient and Emergency Care Centre at Tallaght University Hospital.

In September 2021, the main contractor on the NCH project, BAM Ireland, substantially completed and handed over the paediatric outpatient and emergency care centre at Tallaght, in line with the contractor's schedule, and the facility opened on 15 November 2021, following a period of operational commissioning. The new facility will accommodate up to 17,000 outpatient and 25,000 emergency care attendances per year.

Together with the Outpatient and Urgent Care Centre at Connolly Hospital, which opened in July 2019, these new facilities will improve access to urgent, emergency and outpatient care for a significant number of children. In 2021, there were over 13,300 outpatient attendances at Connolly and almost 11,400 patients presented for urgent care as per updated CHI figures.

Work on the St James’s site is ongoing and progressing well with major milestones reached in 2021, including the completion of the concrete frame with over 150,000 cubic metres of concrete poured, the topping out of the building (where the highest point on the building was completed- a significant milestone in any construction project), the infill concrete slabs over the steelwork frame, the closing in of the concourse and approximately 17,000 square metres of glazing and 5,800 square metres of external façade installed.

To date, 86,000 square metres of internal partitions have been installed, with the equivalent of over 26 kilometres installed in 2021, and the fit out of most internal areas is now underway, including the south fingers comprising Outpatients, Cardiology Wards, and Therapies spaces, and the ‘Hot Block’ comprising Emergency Department, Critical Care and Theatres. Work in 2022 will be focused on the progression of the internal fit-out of the over 6,000 internal spaces. Internal fit out ranges from first fix in some areas, whereas others are much further progressed, with ceilings and joinery being fitted.

The NCH was connected to a permanent supply of power from the ESB network recently, which is another important milestone in the project.

The National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (NPHDB) has advised that the main contractor’s current schedule outlines completion can be achieved by December 2023 which would mean the NCH at St James’s could open in the second half of 2024, after the necessary commissioning period. The NPHDB is working to ensure that contractor will meet its own schedule.


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