Families speak out – European Parliament Election Candidates


NCHA welcomes this statement from : FAMILIES SPEAK OUT

European  Election Candidates: AISLING McNIFFE[Dublin],  OLIVE O’CONNOR [Midlands North West],COLLEEN WORTHINGTON[South]

Families Speak Out  is a group of parents and advocates for the health of children and the improvement of health services throughout the country. Today we have pleasure in introducing our three members who are running as independent candidates in the upcoming European Parliament Elections -Aisling McNiffe, in the Dublin constituency, Olive O’Connor in the Midland -North West constituency and Colleen  Worthington in the Ireland South constituency . They are mothers with personal experience of deficient health services for their children who passionately want to contribute to achieve better health care in Ireland.

Families Speak Out  is deeply concerned by the reckless and arrogant squandering of taxpayers’  money by government in the construction of the new inappropriate National Children’s Hospital and the  resultant damaging delays in the development of many necessary health-related and other projects throughout the country. We call on the electorate to join our candidates in sending a stern message to the main political parties that the people will no longer tolerate such behaviour.

We wish to play our part in promoting and supporting health services  in Ireland and across Europe. Aisling, Olive and Colleen look forward to engaging with their fellow citizens during the election campaign.

Aisling McNiffe : Email: aislingmcn@gmail.com                                      Mobile:  087 2484000  

Olive O’Connor  : Email : olivejoconnor@gmail.com                                        Mobile:  087 7982232 

Colleen Worthington: Email : colleen.hawkins@gmail.com                             Mobile:  086 6043034  

Medical reasons to co-locate -none

Minister Simon Harris at the Oireachtas Health Committee (29th Jan 2019) said “We must remember the reason the site [St. James’s Hospital] was chosen……We had to build the hospital in the location that would deliver the best medical outcomes… the primary reasoning behind the location of the site must be the clinical outcomes for our children”

One of he saddest thing about this whole fiasco of building at St. James’s is that the Minister is wrong and refuses to admit it. There is no evidence in the medical literature to support the Minister’s contention that a paediatric hospital is dependent on a co-located adult hospital to achieve best medical outcomes for its children.

The “Ideal Site” became available in 2012

In an e-mail, obtained by the New Children’s Hospital Alliance under the Freedom of Information Acts, in which the reviewers are preparing the final version of the International Independent Review (2011), the editor,
Jonathan Erskine, Executive Director, European Health Property Network, comments – “I removed   The ideal location would be located on green space, provide for unfettered access, accommodate research and educational activity, provide sufficient space to ensure the aggregation of all patient care services meeting current and future care requirements, and be tri-located with an adult tertiary care and a maternity facility. We agree that if there was a site and funding for such an aspirational location it would be a magnificent campus. Unfortunately, given the current challenge of funding the one children’s hospital the perfect location is not possible. Consequently the team considered those options that were viable.’
My concern here is that if the above text is included, the response will simply be that there is such an ideal site, and the issue will open up again.
NCHA says – CONNOLLY is that IDEAL LOCATION, that MAGNIFICENT 143 ACRE CAMPUS. It became available in March 2012 , when Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, then Minister for Sports and Tourism, facilitated the offer of an extra 90 acres from Sports Campus Ireland to Connolly hospital after the Mater was refused planning permission and the Dolphin group was established to review potential sites for the NPH.

13 years ago. HSE says Co-location not necessary

HSE website posting, 7th March 2006, headed “HSE Refutes Criticism of Process to Select New Children’s Hospital Site” states: –
“The outcome process has not been predetermined…..It is open and objective to the point where the outcome may even be a decision to locate somewhere other than an existing hospital site.…Any suggestion that this group has prejudged anything is completely misplaced”. The McKinsey had been published 1st Feb 2006, and the Task Group on optimal Location of the New Children’s Hospital was set up in early February 2006.

Letter to Cabinet 13.02.2017 remains unanswered

This letter from Jack and Jill Foundation and the Connolly for Kids Hospital umbrella group was delivered in hard copy to all members of the cabinet, to Opposition Health spokespersons and to the Attorney General on the 13th February 2017. BAM (3rd February 2017)had announced it was the preferred bidder, before the business case was assembled by Ministers Harris and Donohoe and presented to cabinet for approval on the 24th April 2017. The letter, with references and appendices, was again sent to all members of the cabinet by email on the 17th February 2017. The Minister for Health was tasked by the government Chief Whip with replying “directly and with urgency” to the letter . No reply has been received.

Current Estimated cost per square metre = €8708

The Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee on the 31st January 2019, was given the breakdown, by the Department of Health, of the €1.7 billion expected cost (as of the 31st January 2019) of completing the project :

Total Construction cost €1,093,800,000, with the non construction costs bringing the total Building cost to €1,433,000,000. Other costs managed by Children’s Health Ireland of €293,000,000 gave a final total cost [as of 31.01.2019] of €1,700,000,000.

Cost per sq metre : This is the construction cost per metre of gross internal area. The Ambulatory /Urgent Care Centres – €60million (cost of the Two AUCCs inc VAT) of the total construction cost . Cost per sqm of AUCCs is €5586 .

The remaining €1,033,800,000 is the construction cost of the main hospital . Gross internal area is 119,368sq m. As of 31.01.2019 the cost per sq m = €8708 . This will further increase if construction inflation rises (as is anticipated) above 4% as from July 2019 . Other costs are also expected .

Hospital Board issue incorrect “Key Facts”- 320, not 380, ensuite rooms

Eilish Hardiman, CEO, issued a letter to Children’s Hospital staff, 16th January 2019, after meeting the Oireachtas Health Committee. Please note that a “key fact” included is incorrect. There are not “380 individual, ensuite inpatient bedrooms, each with a bed for parent”. There are, as per Bord Pleanála planning permission, 320 (not 380) en suite individual bedrooms

There are major question marks over the accuracy of many “key facts” issued by the Children’s Hospital Group Board. Truth would be helpful- and deserved by the Irish public.

NCHA Submission to Joint Health Committee

On Wednesday last,16th January 2019, members of the New Children’s Hospital Alliance and the ExtraSpecial Kids group were present in the public gallery to hear Tom Costello, Chair NPHDB, John Pollock, Project Director NPHDB and Eilish Hardiman, CEO and Emma Curtis, Medical Director, Children’s Hospital Group being questioned by committee members regarding the out-of-control costs of the NCH project at St James’s.