National Maternity Hospital close to securing new site
NEGOTIATIONS ARE at an advanced stage about transferring the National Maternity Hospital at Holles Street in Dublin to the Elm Park development near St Vincent’s hospital on the Merrion Road.
The Elm Park mixed office and residential development was built by developer Bernard MacNamara but is currently controlled by receivers appointed by National Asset Management Agency (Nama).
Nama’s approval would be required for any transaction involving the property. It is understood that talks on relocating the 118-year-old National Maternity Hospital to modified buildings at the Elm Park development are under way between the hospital, the Department of Health, the Department of Finance and the Nama
A Nama spokesman confirmed yesterday that it was “engaged with the Department of Health in respect of this matter”.
A spokesman for Minister for Health James Reilly said last night: “Serious negotiations with Nama are ongoing in relation to a possible relocation for Holles Street maternity hospital.”
The spokesman declined to comment on the location of the site at the centre of the discussions but said it was a Nama property.
The spokesman for the Minister said the negotiations had not been finalised.
The Elm Park development had been mooted as a possible location for the proposed new national children’s hospital.
However it is understood that the negotiations about moving the National Maternity Hospital on to the Elm Park site is not part of an overall plan in relation to the new children’s hospital.
It is likely that any relocation of the National Maternity Hospital to the Elm Park development would involve it sharing some services with the nearby St Vincent’s Hospital.
The National Maternity Hospital is understood to be experiencing serious capacity issues at its current location.
On her appointment earlier this year as the new master of the National Maternity hospital, Dr Rhona Mahony said the hospital was busier than at any time in its history.
She said almost 10,000 babies had been delivered there last year and productivity was up by 30 per cent compared to 2007.
“So it is a huge challenge just even managing the numbers,” she said.
Dr Mahony also acknowledged that infrastructure at the hospital was “a big problem”.
“This is a very, very old building, it is not custom-built for 2012,” she said.