Thank you Phoenix Children’s Hospital Arizona

NCHA and Connolly for Kids Hospital are grateful to the Children’s in Arizona for threatening legal action against the use of the name Phoenix by the NCH .  Legal action is the only instrument our government fears.

We apologise to our colleagues in  and users of the Arizona hospital  for the crass commandeering of  their name.  Sadly, it only reflects the arrogant ‘culture’  that has characterised the promotion of the St. James’s project by the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board, the Children’s Hospital Group Board (all members of both being appointed by the Minister for Health) and the Government. What occult forces have driven this project forward? Certainly not our hospital medical boards, the rights of children, an understanding of childhood or of  paediatric institutions.  Shameful hidden influence by powerful adult interests ?

Is Phoenix the myth that at last is causing that mask  to slip?

Phoenix is wrong name for hospital

Letter published in Irish independent and Irish Examiner,7th November 2017

“Minister Harris recently announced that the new children’s hospital will be named Phoenix Children’s Hospital after the mythical bird, the Phoenix. Myth has it that as the end of its life approaches, the Phoenix builds a pyre, is consumed in its flames and then is reborn, arising from its own ashes.

Is this name not insensitive to the gut-wrenching grief of loss that parents experience when their child dies? Too often, I have seen that grief up close. In my first year alone as the Emergency Department consultant in Crumlin hospital, 28 children were “declared dead” in the department. Figures presented to An Bord Pleanála in 2011 regarding anticipated funeral traffic management at the proposed new hospital noted “approximately one hundred funerals” exiting Crumlin hospital mortuary each year. Recently I have been asked “Will you please put a memorial on the grounds of Our Lady’s (Crumlin Hospital) before it moves, to remember our children who died here”.

Life and death are real, not mythical. As at present, there will be parents in the new hospital who  have to cope with a major life-limiting or terminal illness and the death of their child.  Unlike the Phoenix, their child won’t be coming back. The pain of loss will never go away. Please don’t compound their suffering by such a careless choice of name.  The name should be changed.

Yours etc., Dr Roisin Healy, Paediatric Emergency Medicine specialist (retired), Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin 12.

NCHA agrees.

Medical Boards snubbed by Group Board

Below is an excerpt from the letter sent from the Chair of the Joint Medical Board [of the three Dublin children’s hospitals] to the CEO of the Children’s Hospital Group Board (CHGB), dated 12th Oct2017. The CHGB denied receiving the letter(Irish Times, Bardon/Wall, 23 Oct 2017).

“As an item  on the  agenda  of  our  recent  Joint  Medical  Board  the  proposed  name  for  the  New  Paediatric Hospital i.e. Phoenix Children’s Hospital, was discussed… A subsequent  vote by the Joint Medical  Board members  was unanimous  in its rejection  of the name ‘Phoenix Children’s Hospital’ for the New Paediatric Hospital.”

Compare the new University Hospital in Aarhus, Denmark

DNU facts -from the Danish Hospital website
The project in numbers
– About the building of the New University Hospital in Aarhus:
• Four hospitals in Aarhus are gathered under one roof
250,000 m2 of new build.
  • 160,000 m2 of existing hospital buildings are integrated
•Approx. 30,000 m2 are converted to another function
•Area of lot in total approx. 1,250,000 m2
•Overall budgetary framework of 6.4 billion DKK for new building[less than half the cost of the NCH in Dublin which at 118,000sqm is only half as big and on 12acres]
and 430 million DKK  for reconstruction [7.44DKK = 1 Euro]
•In addition:
o The New Psychiatric Centre of 50,000 m2 with a construction cost of1.25 billion DKK
o Danish Centre for Particle Radiotherapy of 9,500 m2
with a construction cost of 800 million DKK
o Car park with 700 parking spaces and a helipad on top with a construction cost of 160 million DKK
Hospital city with the size of a Danish provincial town…
2.8 km of new ring road
•Three new main access roads
Almost 5,700 parking spaces
The construction in numbers…
• A construction site area of 0.3 square kilometers.[=74acres=30ha]
• The construction of DNU started in 2009
•The first buildings were put into operation in 2015
•The complete project will be finished in 2019

Email from children’s hospital consultant

“The consultant body in general were consulted on very little. They were brought to meetings[ about the new hospital ] to be told what’s was planned, never asked what should happen. The attendance list at the meetings was the most important thing to them [NPHDB/CHGB] so that  they can say at a later date that we were consulted and agreed to everything. The ‘Yes’ men appointed to the board went along with the charade (they were carefully selected for that reason).”
Note:Name of this doctor from Dublin children’s hospital is known to Connolly for Kids Hospital.

A letter today from a parent

Minister Harris
Unfortunately I must put on record my dismay at your endorsement [26th April 2017]of the National Children’s Hospital at the St James campus.

While it is true that no site is perfect – some are more perfect than others.  You chose to ignore the valid concerns of healthcare professionals, parents and medical experts and did not adequately examine the myriad advantages that the Connolly site boasts.

The selection of this inner city campus will do a grave disservice to the present adult patients that use this hospital and future paediatric patients.  The dream of squeezing in a full Maternity Hospital is but a dream as there simply is not enough room for this.

Both you and James Reilly have sealed your place in history for making one of the stupidest decisions for the children of this State over the next 100 years.

The enormity of this judgement error will become apparent over the next number of years and it sickens me to the stomach.

From -a mother who lost a child .

Digging out the hill at St James

Before they will even start to build they will have to dig out in the region of 413,000 cubic metres of materials, i.e approx 40,000 lorries which they estimate will be completed in 3 3/4 years –  per the NPHDB’s  own estimates in their EIS as submitted to An Bord Pleanala.  To put this in context, it is over 9 and a half times the amount of concrete used to build Croke Park.  This is one of the main reasons it is so expensive -not because of increased construction costs.
Over 40,000 children just happen to be buried there-in lime- from the foundling hospital and the poor house.  Don’t suppose it matters  what land fill their remains get dumped in , as we have no nuns to blame??

Oireachtas Health Committee should listen to C4KH

Connolly for Kids Hospital(C4KH) sent the following to the Joint Oireachtas Health committee in Sept 2016 – but were ignored .  It was the C4KH who requested and gained the meeting of Oct 27th.  Billy Kelleher and his colleagues on the Health committee should have believed C4KH, not the  biased NPHBD/CHGB at that meeting.

Excerpt from C4KH Submission,to Heath Committee

“Value for money

Both the NPH Independent Review’s Financial Analysis(2011)[1] and the Dolphin Report (2012)[2] state that a greenfield site would be 25% cheaper to build on than an inner city site. The further demolition and rebuild of the adult St. James’s to facilitate an on-site Maternity hospital suggests a profligate attitude towards resource allocation. Any future expansion on this tight urban space would also generate extra construction cost. Building the NPH at Connolly Hospital would not only recoup the sunk costs of the Mater and James’s sites but money saved could be put towards the co-build of the new Rotunda Maternity Hospital, corridor-linked to the ICU of the NPH. This would be putting children first.

Faster, more cost-effective at Connolly

Departments currently at St. James’s requiring demolition / relocation to accommodate a relocatedMaternity Hospital .If the Maternity Hospital is added to the site, 1.26 hectares will be made available, requiring demolition/relocation of:

  • Adult Outpatients Department
  • Current ICU Department
  • Adult A/E Department.

(Note that the existing Coombe site stands on 3 Hectares)


ESTIMATE OF COST (2016) of the NPH if built at Connolly

Construction cost = €400M

Hospital 118,000 metres square @ €3000 per metre = €354M

Family accommodation 4,000 metres square @ €2,000 per metre = €8M

Research Department 3,000 metres @ €2,500 per metre= €7.5M

Two satellite units – 10,000 square metres @ €3,000 per metre = €30M

ADD Vat, Fees, fit-out and equipment @ app. 50% of construction Cost = €200M

TOTAL  =  €600 M

(Information Technology costs alone are estimated at app. €70M. Thus this figure is very conservative)


Estimate of Extra Cost if NPH is built at St. James’s in Dublin City Centre

  • Decanting and replacement of 21 departments, approx .=€100M
  • Sewer Diversion = €18M
  • Premium for Inner city construction 10% of construction cost =€40M
  • Underground car parking. Three levels .= €30M
  • Roof helipad fire proofing €2M
  • Dust protection, inflation, interest, contingency etc.?? Cost


Thus total projected cost (€600m+ €190M) for St. James’s site at current prices (2016) =  €790M



NPH at Connolly Hospital

  • Redesign

Utilising the work already achieved with departmental

proximities, areas required etc. a further period of 6 months is required.

  • Planning application to ABP

Three months if unopposed. Six months assuming objections.

  • Construction

Fast track Programme – 24 months

  • Commissioning

One month

Total Time from the “Proceed” date to Opening = 3 years[4].

[1]DoHNational Paediatric Hospital Independent Review’s Financial Analysis available at

[2]Appendix 4  “  Greenfield and urban sites: background note on the cost issues” available at

[3]Data received from Mr James Sheehan, Member of Connolly for Kids Hospital

Group, Founder, Blackrock Clinic, Hermitage and Galway Clinics. For further details see”




C4KH advertisement Sunday Independent, 8th January, 2017

NCHA readers will be interested in this advertisement by the umbrella group Connolly for Kids Hospital (C4KH) in today’s Sunday Independent. NCHA is a founding, and active, member of   C4KH .

LET’S BYPASS THE GATEKEEPERS -the NATIONAL PAEDIATRIC HOSPITAL DEVELOPMENT BOARD and the CHILDREN’SHOSPITAL GROUP BOARD and get to the DECISION-MAKERS -THE TAOISEACH AND THE MINISTER FOR HEALTH They it is who are to be held responsible for the choice of location of the Children’s hospital.

To see the advertisement-click here SunIndoAd