Plan for new children’s hospital

 

Sir, – Further to the recent letter signed by seven retired paediatricians about the new children’s hospital (May 20th): the last thing the sick children of Ireland need is any further debate on the siting of the new hospital.

The New Crumlin Hospital Group is a group of parents of sick children, which has been lobbying for a decent facility since 2002. Eleven years later and we are dismayed that there are still parts of the medical establishment trying to re-open a debate about where it should be located. Each time there has been a decision about the location of the new hospital there have been some paediatricians who objected to the site and proposed a better one.

As parents of seriously sick children we have heard all the arguments from interest groups within the medical community for years over who has the best site and it is this debate and the consequent delay that has failed our children and the seriously ill children of Ireland. We have had review after review of every painfully slow decision made on the various proposed sites. The time for action came and went a long time ago.

There is still no sign of decent facilities more than a decade later. What the children need is an end to the debate and for the completion of their new hospital in the shortest timeframe. As international medical best practice states that there should only be one facility for every five million people, we are going against this best practice every day that we dilute the services across three sites. Some of which are not even fit for purpose.

Seriously sick kids are not interested in hearing the political wrangling over the site. Some of them have moved on to adult facilities and shamefully it is already too late for them. Some have died experiencing the awful facilities in the process. The lack of speed in moving this project forward is the single biggest issue and for paediatricians retired or otherwise to muddy the waters is regrettable.

Likewise, for a Minister to appear willing to approach the building of this hospital with the speed we have come to expect of government is unforgivable. It appears that yet again it is left to the parents to champion the cause for their children against the establishment.

We call on the Minister to drive this project forward to completion but not at the current pace. How long must the most vulnerable children in our society have to wait? Our children are out of time. – Yours, etc,

LOUIS RODEN,

Chairman,

New Crumlin Hospital

Group,

C/o Appian Way, Dublin 6.