Group behind Mater bid to launch campaign


THE CONSORTIUM behind plans to build a national children’s hospital beside the Mater adult hospital in Dublin has said it will unveil a public information campaign shortly to “fully demonstrate” how the Mater site remains the best location.

Speaking on behalf of the Mater Misericordiae Children’s University Hospitals, chairman Donal Walsh said the consortium, comprising the Mater, Temple Street children’s hospital and the Rotunda maternity hospital, was “entirely confident” it would fulfil criteria set down by the National Paediatric Hospital Review Group.

The group, chaired by Dr Frank Dolphin, was set up by Minister for Health James Reilly after An Bord Pleanála rejected an application for the Mater site.

Mr Walsh’s comments came after Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, who chairs Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin, said the hospital was giving its full support for the development of the national children’s hospital on a campus at St James’s adult hospital.

In a letter to St James’s, the archbishop said: “We are convinced that the development of the national paediatric hospital on the St James’s campus offers an exceptional opportunity to develop a world-class centre of integrated healthcare in Ireland.”

Mr Walsh said yesterday the consortium was made up of the chairmen, chief executives, clinical leads and the chairmen of medical boards of the three hospitals.

It was confident its submission would deliver a hospital that will provide the very best care for the children of this country”.

The plans will offer the fastest way to deliver the hospital – by 2016, he said.

They will also highlight that the adult hospital opened on the Mater site last Friday had been designed so that “critical areas in the adult and children’s hospitals, such as emergency department, intensive care units and theatres, while each independent, will be truly adjacent to each other on a floor by floor basis”, Mr Walsh added.

The public information campaign would outline the revised plans for “a truly national, truly world class children’s hospital,” he said. It would also reiterate that the Mater hospital site had been chosen by a series of national and international review groups since June 2006.

The Mater hospital and St Jamess hospital sites are among at least 15 the review group will consider. Others sites include land at Newlands Cross which would be close to Tallaght, a site at the Navan Road, and the former Glass Bottle Company in Ringsend.

The review group is expected to report towards the end of this month.