Letter of support for Children's Hospital from medical boards

Wednesday 07 November 2012 20.00
Boards urge Health Minister to proceed with plans for maternity hospital on St James's site
Boards urge Health Minister to proceed with plans for maternity hospital on St James's site

The medical boards of the three Dublin children’s hospitals have backed the decision to site the new National Children’s Hospital at the St James’s Hospital campus.

In a letter to the Minister for Health James Reilly, the chairpersons of the medical boards of the three hospitals said that ‘with one voice’ they welcome the Government decision.

The letter said that the children’s hospitals at Tallaght, Temple Street and Crumlin value the co-location of the new Children’s Hospital with a major adult teaching hospital.

They said they are committed to the primary vision of a tri-located hospital.

It urged the minister to proceed without delay with plans to build a maternity hospital on the St James’s site.

The letter was signed by Dr Colm Costigan, the clinical director of the three Dublin paediatric hospitals and Professor Alf Nicholson, clinical lead of the HSE’s national paediatric programme.

The chairperson of the board of Temple Street Children's University Hospital said it is "very unlikely" it will challenge the decision to site the new Children's Hospital at the St James's Hospital campus.

Dr Stephanie Ryan said the hospital was united in its belief that a new children's hospital was needed.

She said the three existing hospitals need to be combined as they are currently trying to provide services in sub-optimal conditions.

She was speaking at a ceremony to mark the 140th anniversary of Temple Street Hospital.

Separately, the Ombudsman for Children has said the Government needs to assure the public when making critical decisions that cost a vast amount of money, like the location of the Children's Hospital, that the decision-making process has been driven by the interests of children.

Emily Logan said it was very disappointing to see the length of time it has taken for the decision and that she had spoken about the notion of transparency and more transparent decision-making in her role as Ombudsman.

Ms Logan, who worked for 23 years in the three children's hospitals at various times, called for those involved to work together to ensure a single hospital was provided in the interests of children.

She said that yesterday she met with around 60 people in the Rialto community, where the new hospital is to be built, to discuss the Children’s Referendum.

She said there were families and children in certain communities living in consistent poverty and these social issues which underpin children's health were really important for the future of children.

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