Site for new children's hospital
Sir, – The undersigned consultants at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin wish to re-emphasise that the National Children’s Hospital (NCH) should be physically linked to a maternity hospital. High-risk babies from throughout Ireland who will require emergency medical care at the National Children’s Hospital following their birth, due to problems identified on pregnancy scanning, ought to be electively delivered at an adjoining maternity hospital from which they can then be transferred promptly and directly to the specialist diagnostic and intensive care units of the NCH, and avoid the additional risks associated with ambulance transfer.
Currently 95 per cent of patients transferred from the Dublin maternity hospitals to intensive care units are critically ill newborn babies. Some of the sickest babies cannot even be transferred, as they are too unstable for ambulance transfer. With this in mind, if the National Children’s Hospital were to be located on the St James’/Coombe campus, we feel that it ought to be physically attached to the Coombe Hospital by a short link corridor. With this arrangement, the close proximity to St James’ Hospital would comply with the McKinsey recommendations.
In anticipation of the long-awaited decision regarding the location of the new National Children’s Hospital, we sincerely hope that our concerns are given due consideration. – Yours, etc,