The new Paediatric Urgent Care Centre at Connolly Hospital will open on Wednesday as planned.

A meeting this evening between senior consultants and Children's Hospital Ireland to discuss staffing and safety concerns by doctors has ended.

The facility will operate with reduced opening times from 10am to 5pm, Monday to Friday initially. It had been due to open from 8am to 6pm.

It does not have overnight beds.

The Irish Hospital Consultants' Association (IHCA) said it was regrettable that the facility cannot operate to the full extent as originally planned.

It said that patient safety must take precedence. 

The IHCA said it welcomed the efforts which had been made by the management of Children's Health Ireland to address and mitigate patient safety risks at the facility, which had been highlighted by the paediatric consultants.

Representatives of the Irish Medical Organisation and the IHCA met Children's Hospital Ireland last Friday, to discuss the issue and a further meeting was arranged for today.

At last week's meeting, an updated risk assessment and mitigation plan to support services opening safely was discussed.

The risk assessment mainly covered paediatrics and emergency care, laboratory services and radiology.

In a letter to CHI today, in advance of the latest meeting, radiologists said that the safety risks remained and that "the scramble to provide a solution as the clock runs down to Wednesday's proposed opening is creating real pressures on everyone concerned".

It said that on mitigation measures for paediatrics and emergency care, the proposal is to cut the opening hours to 10am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

On laboratory services, the alternatives proposed are point of care testing, or asking the existing laboratory at Connolly to undertake this role.

On radiology, mitigation proposals include diverting paediatric radiology services from the three base children's hospital sites, to the new facility and also outsourcing services to a company as a short term solution.

Radiologists said today they were are opposed to proposals for their specialty area, due to the domino effect, particularly on Temple Street Children's University Hospital.

In advance of the meeting last Friday, around 30 consultants wrote to CHI, seeking the postponement of the opening of the facility due to a shortage of consultants.

The new satellite centre is part of the overall new National Children's Hospital project at St James's and will support the facility when it opens around 2022, along with a similar satellite facility planned for Tallaght Hospital.