Drumm appointed to paediatric hospital board


THE OUTGOING chief executive of the Health Service Executive (HSE), Prof Brendan Drumm, has been appointed to the board responsible for developing the new national paediatric hospital.

The Department of Health confirmed that it appointed Prof Drumm to the National Paediatric Hospital Board on August 16th at the nomination of the HSE. He replaces senior HSE official Brian Gilroy who stepped down from the board. Mr Gilroy is currently acting chief executive of the HSE pending the arrival of Cathal Magee to the post next month.

The new national paediatric hospital, which is to be developed on the site of the Mater hospital in Dublin, has been at the centre of much controversy for many years.

In recent weeks, the row over whether the Mater hospital is the most suitable location for the new facility has re-ignited following comments made by cardiac surgeon Maurice Neligan that he had changed his mind over backing the Government’s current plan.

Prof Drumm has been a supporter of the plan to develop the new paediatric hospital on the Mater site.

Minister for Health Mary Harney who has also strongly backed the current plans for the new paediatric hospital, has insisted that the project will go ahead, despite the economic downturn and the criticism over the proposed location. At a conference in June the Minister said that construction of the facility was expected to get under way next year.

A detailed design brief for the new hospital has been finalised and planning permission for the project is expected to be sought shortly.

Speaking at the same conference in June, the chief executive of the national paediatric hospital development board, Eilish Hardiman, forecast that the cost of the facility would be less than the predicted €750 million, due to the downturn in the building sector and greater competition.

The hospital will contain 392 inpatient beds, all in single rooms, with facilities accommodating parents who wish to stay overnight. There will also be 81 day care beds, split between the new ambulatory and urgent care centre in Tallaght and the Mater site.