Tallaght Hospital and Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown recommended as Urgent Care Centres to treat sick childrenTuesday 28 January 2014 21.06
A report for Minister for Health James Reilly has recommended that Tallaght Hospital and Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown in Dublin be the locations for two new Urgent Care Centres to treat sick children, in addition to the new National Children's Hospital.
Both hospitals lost out in a bid to be the location for the National Children's Hospital.
The Urgent Care Centres will be built and operational well in advance of the main hospital opening on the St James's Hospital campus.
The centres will mostly deal with less serious cases, to ensure the new emergency department at the new national hospital is not swamped with minor cases.
The Urgent Care Centres will help reduce the danger of a "magnet effect", which could result in many less serious paediatric cases going to the new national hospital.
The centres will not be so large as to undermine the effective working of the new hospital.
The two Urgent Care Centres will share a common information technology system, including electronic records, for ease of information and patient transfer.
The review of Urgent Care Centres involved the Department of Health, the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board, the CEO of the Children's Hospital Group Board, the HSE National Paediatric Programme and the National Neonatal Programme Leeds.
The Urgent Care Centres are expected to be built by mid 2016, subject to site studies and planning consent.
They will open from 7.30am to 10pm and are due to cater for a minimum of 30,000 outpatient attendances a year.
Among the reasons for choosing the sites were paediatric population density, level of deprivation experienced by the population, accessibility and site suitability.
Construction of children's hospital expected to start in 2015
The latest timeline for the National Children's Hospital is to have planning permission secured by spring 2015 and for construction to begin around then.
It is proposed that some services would be available there from 2018, with the hospital fully opened by 2019.
A design team is expected to be appointed shortly.
Earlier this month, John Pollock was appointed as Programme Director for the National Paediatric Development Board, which is responsible for getting the facility built.
Separately last year, Eilish Hardiman was appointed as CEO of the Children's Hospital Group, which is responsible for bringing all three children's hospitals together to work as one.