The national children’s hospital: A timeline

Centre was first proposed in 1993 but it was over 20 years before permission was granted

Eilish Hardiman, CEO of the Children’s Hospital Group, Minister for Health Leo Varadkar, Jace O’Rourke (2-and-a-half-months-old) and John Pollock of the  National Paediatric Hospital Development Board  celebrate  the granting of permission for the new children’s hospital in Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Eilish Hardiman, CEO of the Children’s Hospital Group, Minister for Health Leo Varadkar, Jace O’Rourke (2-and-a-half-months-old) and John Pollock of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board celebrate the granting of permission for the new children’s hospital in Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

1993: A single tertiary paediatric hospital based in Dublin is proposed by the faculty of paediatrics at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.

It recommended the centre be built on an adult hospital site.

2001: A government publication called Quality and Fairness: A Health System for You is published, promising a national review of paediatric services.

2005: Then minister for health Mary Harney initiates a review of tertiary paediatric hospital services in September.

2005: A month later, then HSE chief executive Prof Brendan Drumm addresses the Oireachtas joint committee on health and children.

“While I cannot make a determination in advance of a detailed planning process, the centre [National Paediatric Hospital] should ideally be in the city centre or close to the Mater site,” he said.

2005: The HSE commissioned the Children’s Health First (McKinsey report) in December.

The terms of reference specify “its recommendations will be used to inform HSE future decisions on paediatric care”.

2006: The McKinsey report was completed in February. It recommended a single national children’s hospital, which would mean merging the three existing children’s hospital in Dublin.

2006: A HSE taskforce picks the Mater campus as the site of the hospital in June and this is endorsed by government. There are many objections by interest groups to the site.

2007: Then minister for health Mary Harney establishes the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (NPHDB) for the development of the hospital.

2009: Then taoiseach Brian Cowen announces the hospital will be open by late 2014.

2010: NPHDB board chair Philip Lynch resigns in October. Ms Harney said it was not in the remit of the board to “revisit the government decision taken on the location of the new hospital”.

2011: The second chairman of the NPHDB John Gallagher resigns in March. He said there was a “risk of incurring further material ongoing costs in the project without full government support”.

2011: Then minister for health James Reilly announces an independent team to review site decision in May. It reports the correct site was chosen.

A planning application is submitted.

2012: An Bord Pleanála defers a decision in relation to the hospital because of the complexity of the case in January.

A month later it refuses planning permission. The board said proposed development would “constitute overdevelopment”.

2012: In the wake of the decision, Mr Reilly establishes a review group called the Dolphin Group.

The Dolphin report is presented to the minister in June. Mr Reilly announces St James’s Hospital in Dublin 8 as the new site in November.

2013: The site is criticised by some quarters as too small, with poor car access. The project was promised for 2016.

2014: The project brief for the new hospital is approved by the HSE but the planning application experiences delays.

The Dáil Public Accounts Committee heard about €35 million in State funding, which was spent on the development of the original hospital, had been written off.

August 2015: Minister for Health Leo Varadkar announces a planning application for the €650 million development is being lodged on August 10th, with the project slated for completion by 2020 if permission is granted.

November 2015: An Bórd Pleanála begins a three-week oral hearing into the proposed construction of a children’s hospital on the St James’s site, which hears submissions from architects as well as opposing views from some local residents.

April 2016: Planning permission is granted for the construction of a new national children’s hospital on a 12-acre site in the grounds of St James’s Hospital.

The seven-storey paediatric facility will have capacity for more than 400 beds, and its operation will be supported by satellite clinics in Tallaght and Blanchardstown.