Coombe unveils hospital proposal


The Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital in Dublin has said that significant savings could be made by building the new national children's hospital on a site off  the South Circular Road.

The Coombe today published further details about its bid to have the new hospital located at its facility in Dublin 8.

The 20.5-acre site, which adjoins the Coombe, comprises the disused Player Wills cigarette factory, the Bailey Wilson scrap metal salvage site next door and the derelict Boys' Brigade playing fields, which are now in the ownership of Dublin City Council.

The hospital said the new facility could be built for as little as €358 million. This compares to a cost of €650 million for the Mater site, which was refused planning permission in February.

It is also significantly cheaper than proposals to base the hospital at St James's or at the Phoenix Park racecourse.

The Coombe said it its tri-located proposal encompassing paediatric, maternity and adult services, could also benefit from alternative funding mechanisms.

The hospital said that if its proposal was implemented, there would be no need to build a new maternity unit, thereby saving as much as €100 million in costs. It also said building a multi-storey car park instead of an underground one would accrue further savings of €20 million.

The Coombe said its hospital had undergone significant infrastructural development in recent years and would have the most modern labour ward in the State by 2013.

It claimed that following the building of the children's hospital, up to 60 per cent of the site would be free for future campus development which could include a research facilities and a school for sick children.

Highlighting other benefits, the Coombe said its site was already zoned for a hospital, was immediately available and had a positive planning history. It added that the new hospital could be completed faster than other proposals and without any interruption to the existing Coombe and St James's hospitals.

The hospital also said the site would be easily accessible with links to primary and national road routes, quality bus corridors and the Luas red line, which connects with both Heuston and Connolly mainline railway stations.

The Mater Hospital submitted a revised plan to locate the new National Children's hospital on its site earlier this month.

Under the new design, the top six storeys have been removed from the original plan.

St James's Hospital in Dublin published its proposals for a national children's hospital last week. It claimed the construction and fitting out of the hospital could be done for €484 million while the overall cost for the provision of a separate maternity hospital would be a further €120 million.

At least 15 separate locations have now been suggested as the possible location for the new national children’s hospital.