Comment from Visitors

Dr John Bourke2011-08-05As a GP in North Cork who has had patients accessing tertiary paediatric care in Crumlin, I have always viewed the proposed Mater project as a dangerous, politically motivated move. It is simply not feasible for parents travelling with ill or immunocompromised children to use public transport to the Mater, and parking and driving to the hospital is hugely stressful for those of us not located in Dublin. I stongly support an alternative greenfield site or or a location such as Tallaght, which is far more accessible. The new children's hospital will serve the country as a whole, and the major motorway projects have brought the western side of the capital close to all of us. Should we not have fair access to a national resource?
mum of 3 ,nurse2011-07-08this is such a bad site , there is nt enough parking there at moment and traffic, congestion ... god love all those who need to use it. am very concerned as a mother . am a nurse who has worked in all 3 hospitals and in paediatric units abroad. from:mum of 3 ,nurse
Triona Murphy2011-07-08To "number cruncher"...look to the Dept of Education webpage for the 40 extra schools planned for the next 5 years..17 in Dublin..with 12 in Wicklow,Kildare,Meath and Louth.What a pity the DEpt of health take no note of CSO figures!!...(sigh)Agree with your point re two "campus/hospital "solution..BTW... from:Triona Murphy
Number Cruncher2011-07-05With the new CSO figures (which I know are only in the early stages) population demographics might assist the case for two childrens hospitals one on each side of the cityLooking at the CSO web site I see the following from the preliminary dataBy far the fastest growing county in percentage terms was Laois which increased by 13,399 from 67,059 to 80,458, an increase of 20.0 per cent. This is over twice the rate for the State as a whole and significantly higher than the next fastest growing county, Cavan, which increased by 13.9 per cent.Other administrative counties showing strong population growth were Fingal (13.8%), Longford(13.3%), Meath (13.0%) and Kildare (12.7%). These counties are now part of the wider Dublin commuter belt and all had shown strong population growth over the previous inter-censal period 3 of the census report map shows an argument for developments on both sides of the city.Page 5 shows interesting growth along the corridor out towards Naas and on to Portlaoise it would be interesting to map same with age profiles and see if these are of “breeding” age the other side of the city also should not be forgotten but moving outwards towards Meath, makes one wonder is Beaumont becoming a better looking site …..Highest natural increases were seen in Kildare and South Dublin and Only one constituency (Dublin North-Central) has shown a fall in population since the 2006 census – is that not where the Mater Miserable is…It will be interesting to see how the age profiles break down as the analysis proceedsRef CENSUS OF POPULATION 2011 PRELIMINARY RESULTS commentary part 1
michellegleeson2011-02-08tempel street hospital shud be left were it is an as been for year,s my son is 15 but he will be 16 soon so i will have to go to the matter hospital any way wit my son but for the people that really need it an it is close 2 them plez leave it were it is for them it,s really hard fr people who have to drive up to dublin frm the country wit a sick child so fr them people plez try leave it were it is fr them an there sick chrildren tank u ,, kind regard,s michelle
joe public2011-01-28Now that we know the date of the election lets get active. What a farce, Bertie telling us that nobody told him anything and that the "BOWL" was his biggest disappointment. Lets disappoint him again!! Let us also hope that the new government stops spending money on a hospital project that 90% of the country thinks is wrong, stupid and a vanity project for Harney and Ahearn, 2 failed entities!
Triona Murphy.Tallaght Hospital Action Group2011-01-19Can anyone imagine the journey to the Mater over the last month, with snow and ice everywhere,if for example you had to travel from Wicklow or Kildare?? Motorists spent 6 hours on the N11 last week..inconvenient I'm sure...but if you had a sick child in the back of your car it would have been tragic!!I see from the Bord Pleanala site that the decision is still pending. The "applicants" are now called the "Children's Hospital of ireland Foundation" and not the NPDB. Official "charity" now one presumes????
mother of my children2010-11-23I want to take you on a journey, picture yourself 6 years from now its the year 2016. You come home from work your child has a temperature, she reacts to the light as you switch it on you see a few spots on her arm. the temperature, the reaction to light evokes a memory, you get a glass you roll it the spots do not disappear.

You are in Sallins, your child is 5, the nearest A & E is Naas (if it hasn't been closed by then) but they won't see any one under 15, you put your child into the car and start moving, where to go Tallaght doesn't have an A & E it now has a "Ambulatory and Urgent care centre" that shuts at 10 pm, the nearest children's A & E is in Dublin far side of O'Connell Street.

You leave the husband with the rest of the kids or you get a neighbour to come in you tear up the dual carriageway, paying the tolls at the toll gates, that went in after Cowen sold the country, you get to Newlands, oh the traffic, the traffic, she is looking worse and worse, why is the traffic moving so slow, every traffic light seams to take and age, the mobile is ringing, he reminds you there is a concert on in Croke park that night, he's ringing ahead to see if the guards will escort you in you but you still have to get there. Do you take the Luas, Friday night, sick child even if you did you would still have to run up O'Connell street and transfer to the northern line (if its finished by then) before you get there, you press on. You get there but its an hour or so later than it would have been if you had of had a children's hospital closer to you. Closer to where most people live.

Because it took so long to get there your child is sicker than she would have been if you had of burst through the doors of a children's hospital in closer, it is too late, the illness has taken hold, yes they start to treat but it will be a long long road to recovery, Viral melingitis may mean that your beautiful child may never fully recover and you will have to care for her for the rest of your life.

Over the following weeks that she is in hospital you face the daily grind of the travel across the city, you and your husband meet in the street and pass over the watch, some times he finds a spot to park within a ½ mile or so of the hospital, 1000 spaces hope sly inadequate for a hospital with over 1000 staff, thousands of OPD visits and many many parents like you not wanting to saty away from their child while in the hospital.

Over the days the costs mount, the parking, the traffic fines the costs of eating in the franchised restaurants in the hospital. Loos of earnings, You have other kids also to care for, 2 hr comute, you see your husband in the car park as you cross over the batton of care for her. You go home grab some sleep and hope you wake in time to collect her brothers from school. They are suffering to cos you just ain't around for them. All because Mary stuck to her guns and a engineered report.

This is the future of children's care in Ireland

There is a little plaque in the South Dublin inner city, where I used to be, in 1825, two mothers, pregnant set out to reach the only maternity hospital, in the rotunda. They were pregnant and needed help. It was snowing. The next day their bodies and those of their new born infants was found in the snow. Such was the public emotion around same that a new lying in hospital was founded in 1826 on the south site of the city by a committee lead by Margeret Boyd.

Are we regressing to an 1825 care level. How many wil have to die or suffer unnecessarily on their way to the Ahern site before sense is seen.

We need two accessiable secondary care hospitals in Dublin one can be teritary care also.

Pat Kelly, medical journalist2010-11-22One of the most notable things about this proposal is the amount of anger and frustration being felt by parents/guardians and the medical profession alike, and how it has united people of all persuasions. But the most extraordinary thing is how the powers-that-be can so brazenly ignore this uproar. Don't allow the IMF farce we find ourselves in to let this slip off the radar - come and vote on the question: 'Should the new National Paediatric Hospital be located at the Mater site?' on So far we have 77 votes (83%) who say 'No', and 16 votes (17%) who say 'Yes'. In the new year, Irish Medical Times will report on the results in an attempt to draw the attention of the Dept of Health to the depth of feeling on this issue.
Mother and Nurse2010-10-27Listen to the people of Ireland Minister.....It is a very short sighted to locate The New Children's Hospital at the MMUH campus site...what about room for expansion for the future??? The children are our what is best for the children of Ireland-relocate to a GREENFIELD SITE.
2010-10-26Wrong location - the stress on parents with a sick child is bad enough without adding to it by chosing this location - i was at the site recently - without doubt the last place in Dublin you would want to be if you stepped out of your sick childs room to have a break - what do you see - Mountjoy, Mater Hospital and Mater Private - no green areas, no fresh air - traffic and pollution - hardly the place for recovery

This hospital should be built on a green field site - most of the experts involved in the decision never visited the actual site but made their decision on location by looking at maps!

Its time the Government listened to the people - but then again we are not complaining enough - maybe we could learn from the French!

Joseph White2010-10-25HIQA Standards for Better Safe Healthcare, Sept. 2010.

The NPH as currently planned fails to meet some relevent National Standards.These National Standards were recently proclaimed by the Health Information and Quality Authority.

The very first standard is about putting healthcare service users at the centre of service design, planning and delivery. It includes requirements that the needs and preferences of service users be demonstrably be taken into account and that care is provided at a time and place that is accessible and convenient to service users, where this can be achieved safely,effectively and efficiently.

The standard is described as important as it ensures that the needs,values and preferences of people who use the service and their carers are respected and taken into account when designing, planning and delivering services.

The designing and planning of the NPH to date does not meet these requirements for a patient centred service. Further it is not the most efficient option available for delivering on the specification for a NPH

Active improvement measures are needed to close the quality gap and bring the substandard development up to the National Standards for Better Safer Healthcare. These need to be attained as they will in due course form the basis of a licensing system. The first time is the time for getting quality right.

A Statutary Development Board for a service is not at liberty to ignore the National Standards. If standards are not met HIQA is required to act and as is currently the case of one new hospital delay the opening of services until corrective measures have been undertaken.

It is now opportune to provide "a stitch in time" for the plans for the NPH.Just do it and get on with continously improving the project in an accountable manner.

Anne - Dublin2010-10-22I believe it is now time for a change in Government! We are tired being dictated to, we need a Health Minister who really cares for our children and listens to all views regarding this New Hospital.
Concerned Parent -and my four kids are over 18!2010-10-20Every dog in the street knows why the Mater site was pre-chosen!We don't need to go 'up and down every tree' in north Dublin to discover why!

Regrettably, it is NOT the right location to service the nation agenda.The location may well be suitable for different level of service to children in its more immediate catchment area.

Defenceless children suffered abuse by certain self-serving persons in positions of power. Likewise, we do not wish our children's wellbeing held to ransom by self-serving politicians in power.

STOP this irresponsible 'victory' of short term local self-serving political and vested interests over strategic national needs. Having to rectify the investment mistake in later years will make it even more uneconomic and unpalatable. The EU/IMF may have to safe us soon -and there'll be no anaesthetic in that operation!START and FINISH with the national children's interests as no.1 - they deserve a world class facility.

The remaining Development Board Members consider their position -and be held accountable for their actions and fiduciary responsibilities by the ODCE!

The Minister should simply RESIGN! We know she's inflexible -so she's nothing left to prove.

My Bijou liked it too!2010-10-20Farmleigh House and its farm/gardens has some 75 acres? Quality site .. Under used ?

Near/inside M50, near inner city hospitals and public transport services, a quiet natural setting adjacent to the Phoenix Park, Zoo .. and children would like it!!

Maria, Mother of 2, Kildare - AGAIN!!!2010-10-19Once again our famous health minister is harping on about how the Government has to make the savings of between 600m and 1bn out of a third of the health budget and at the very least, a 600m budget savings will prove challenging as Health Service Executive pay cannot be touched……………. Of course it can't be touched but it's alright to reach into the public's pockets & take whatever they choose.

Frontline healthcare will be severely hit if Health Minister Mary Harney oversees up to 1bn in cuts as if it's not already in jeopardy.

MOVE THE NEW CHILDRENS HOSPITAL TO A GREENFIELD SITE as proposed by developer Noel Smyth. Noel has stated that he is waiting for the go-ahead to give a presentation to the board of the new national children's hospital on how the hospital could be BUILT FOR LESS on a site close to the M50 - 150 MILLION LESS than planned.

WAKE UP MINISTER & the rest of this so called Government - there is your first saving already.

AND as per yesterdays Liveline Poll on RTE Radio, 9 out of 10 callers were opposed to locating the hospital on the Mater Site.

I beg once again, can we please stand up now before it's too late and lives are lost - we have to organise a march sooner rather than later.

Granny in Dublin2010-10-19When Minister Harney and Minister O'Cuiv say a parking space can be found close to the Mater Hospital site they forget to mention the clampers. Parents atttending Temple Street Hospital with children find it a nightmare atteending A & E and the clampers are on duty all the time. The Ministers should try walking from Connolly Station, pushing a buggy and carrying a bag, up to the Mater site, wait five hours and treck back again and when they are exhausted they may reconsider the location of the Childrens Hospital. McKinsey did not visit Dublin prior to preparing the report which the decision is based on. This project is meant to be "Bertie's Monument" or pie in the sky
parent and taxpayer. Diarmuid.2010-10-18I heard minister Eamon O'Cuiv on the politics show on RTE 1 last night say that it is no problem to get from Galway to the Mater. True minister, if you have a state car with driver under your ministerial arse!! The driver can put on the flashing lights and hey presto-- park here sir! Get back into the real world of harassed common people. Diarmuid. Corcaigh.
Mick Dublin:2010-10-18Time that Government looked at some real options. Thanks to the banking crisis we have new options for location of a hospital and could take something off the NAMA books. My preferred location is Tallaght however what about.....

Glass Bottle site???

Other Docklands buildings half built

Cherrywood on M50,complete with a new luas link which could extend further to Bray(Dart)

Theres no shortage of sites and construction costs are at an all time low. The right decision is there to be taken and we could have something worldclass at a discount. Instead theres the devious and corrupt political plan that it has to be the Mater. The Mater is just about the most unsuitable site that could be chosen.

Don't let it happen, we need to march and let them know its not going to be allowed.

Maria, Mother of 2, Kildare.2010-10-16PLEASE arrange a march / protest in Dublin City Centre as soon as possible so that the Government can see how much the public are against this idea - we have to do this for the sake of our children. I am sure that every parent / grandparent in this country would support this.

It seems to me that if you don't agree with the government, you will be cast aside, ignored & they will do what THEY want - not us the paying public.

Mary Harney has said she requested the resignation of the former chairman of the Children's Hospital Development Board, Philip Lynch - could this be because Mr. Lynch pinpointed funding issues and planning challenges at the site as the reasons for his resignation???

It's high time we stood up to these bullies, PLEASE, PLEASE arrange a march as soon as possible.

Celeste Mc Creesh - Ex Patient2010-10-16I would like to plead with the government to change their mind on having The New Children's Hospial on the site of The Mater Hospital. As an ex-patient of Our Lady's Hospital & am now a patient in The Mater, it would be a very bad idea to have children with serious illnesses & their parent's/ambulances having to try & rush over across the city to a hospital within the city centre in any hour of traffic & trying to get parking - it will be a disaster, there will be more lives put in jeopardy this way. The reason I know this is because I was recently in The Mater Hospital & when my family/friends/relations came into visit me it could take them up to half an hour or more to try & find parking - what's it going to be like when someone has an ill child with them??

It would be a much better idea to keep Our Lady's Hospital & maybe build the hospital in Tallaght where more main roads lead to the hospital - M50, Naas Road, N11, it makes more sense so hopefully someone within the Government would put themselves in our shoes & see how inaccessible it would be to get to the City Centre with a seriously ill child!!

Parraig2010-10-15Perhaps as well as a march we could have people outside the Daill protesting - Passers by would join them

Auld yins like myself would stand with them if we were up from Culchieville.

My wife wants to break their car windows - start an era of civil disobedience.

Kate2010-10-15Reading the posts here and seeing the anger and outrage we all feel about the Mater debacle maybe a march is the answer.. For sure the news coverage does seem to be filtered somehow to portray the popular view as in favour off as opposed too, which we all know is untrue. Something needs to be done to make the politicians sit up and take note before it's too late. We are already living with too much that is wrong with Berties legacy, for the sake our of children and our grandchildren we cannot allow this to go ahead. I'm not normally the militant type but I would be prepared to march for this.
Caroline Boland2010-10-14Change the National Childrens Hospital to Tallaght. Let common sense prevail for once. This country is seffering from a succession of woeful and corrupt political decisions; for the children of Irelands sake do not let this be another one. Scrap the Mater location and make access and common sense the deciders.
Antoinette Boland2010-10-14Please do not allow the childrens hospital go on the Mater site. The people making this decision have no small children, especally children coming from far afield such as Kerry, Cork, Galway etc who have the trama of travelling with their little loved ones who might be dead in their arms on arrival. Have an election before anything starts and put this project into the proper hands. Let us pray for a good result.
lisa hardiman2010-10-14Living in Galway and travelling up to Dublin quiet alot with my daughter I think its a bad idea to build in the Mater as when children are sick they need fresh air and space not to be put in a tower block they need play areas to get well again and to give the parents time outside with their children to feel a bit of normality which is common practice in most EU countries that I'm aware of
radiologist/parent sick child form rural ireland2010-10-14As a parent of a child with serious congenital heart disease who is also a DR who worked in the Mater, I think it is not a good idea to site the hospital in central Dublin.The stress of going along the quays after arriving in Dublin will be appalling and add an hour each way to clinic appointments.
Tom White2010-10-14this is just typical of this government, they preach to us about doing the right thing and getting it right the first time,

well can they please tell me (the Government) why so many educated people are against having the new hospital located at this site? Have they not lerned yet how to stop throwing our money away. The children of Ireland in the future will need to be able to get to the hospital as quickly as possible and not spend precious time stuck in traffic in the middle of our capital, it would make sense to have the hospital in a location that has relative easy access to it and connon sense would prevail

Mark2010-10-13All the Children's Hospitals should be left where they are as this new plan is crazy it will bring more traffic problems to the already overcrowded roads in the city plus carparking in the Mater Hospital area is very hard to find so this plan should be scrapped.
Ann Roche2010-10-13I am a mother of three young children living in Cork. I am totally opposed to the proposed site of the new hospital at the Mater. It does not make sense to have such an important hospital in the heart of Dublin. It should be on the outskirts of the city where a lot of main routes converge, like off the M50. If a very ill child has to travel to the hospital where time is critical and could mean the difference between life and death, the journey to Dublin is about 3 hours (varies depending on where one is travelling from in Co Cork), not to mention the time taken to get there through conjested streets. It is madness to build such a huge hospital on an old site, where structural safety may become an issue in the future (or cost an arm and a leg to make sure it is'nt) and there probably won't be room to expand in the future.

Is the decision of the proposed site about the children of Ireland or about something else? If it does go ahead I hope I will never have to travel to Dublin with a critically ill child. because it could be fatal by the time we arrive there! I am sure most parents who live far away from Dublin, will agree with my last sentiment.

Horrified and Annoyed Mum of 42010-10-13This hospital should be put on the 30 acres that is still free in Tallaght. It makes the most sense. I live in Athy and there is no way I'd get a sick child to the Mater if there was an emergency. And I used to live in Rathfarnham, and even from there people would be hard pushed to get into the Mater in the "Golden hour". At least in Tallaght the infrastructure is there to accomodate cars and ambulances getting to the hospital at ANY time of the day! Or any other site other than the cramped Mater site would be better!It's outrageous that the Mater site was even considered in the first place!!!!! But politics is clearly more important than the welfare of our country's sick children!!If this goes ahead on this site then it's yet another HUGE mistake by the government, at a time when they cannot make any more errors!Please PLEASE make the right decision for the children of Ireland and MOVE it out of Dublin city centre. There are the children in of ALL of Ireland to think of....Not just Dublin!! Give the whole country a chance to avail of the facility!!!!!!!
Carmel N2010-10-13Surely we the Irish taxpayers should have the final decision about the ultimate location of the children's hospital. Parents medical experts and those with a genuine view about its location believe it should be located in an accessible place for the population of the country as a whole. Please please get the decision about the Mater site changed before it's too late. Leave politics out of the equation. It's past time to forget about Bertie Ahern. Give us as citizens a chance to voice our opinions. We are forced to pay all these extra taxes. Get this major undertaking right for God's sake and most of all for the sake of the sick children of the nation and their parents.
mary barry2010-10-13As a mater trained nurse, I cant understand how this insane decision is being allowed to happen. It does not even consider the many seriously ill patients in the Mater at the moment . My dear dad died there in July. We were not allowed to open the window,despite intense heat, the noise was like a building site, (which it is/was) and the dust particles were visible floating around the room. All and all it was as if he died on a buliding site. It was inhumane.

I have numerous friends who worked in the mater and had to leave due to the parking madness.

I would be very fearful for a seriously ill child trying to get there in a hurry.

I would beg for common sence to prevail and revisit the issue of the location

Thank you

Richard Kelleher2010-10-13I disagree with the proposed site of this hospital!

This proposal is completely unsuitable for the needs of the parents. This decision must be reversed. The Mater area is congested and difficult to get in and out of in an emergency. When building, there will have to be major undertaking with regard to underground parking and local infrastructure connected to the hospital. How many millions will that cost?? There are plenty of sites outside the Dublin area. I would suggest a complete rethink at the earliest opporunity. What is important are the needs of the children and their parents. Every other consideration should come second with regards to building a Children's hospital

2010-10-13Mary h, are you having a laugh, I can only assume that your driver drops you off and then goes off to park. Trying to find a parking space around that area is a nightmare. And one hour parking costs 2.40 min up to 3 hours. Seriously Mary for once stand up for your people, have you any idea how weak and powerless you look when you stumble over those difficult to answer questions. Really Mary you are like biffo's little insignificant assistant. Mary step into your power and make us proud. Come on Mary go down in the history books as a real force to be reckoned with, you can change the country.
RoseMary2010-10-12If rallying the troops and marching is what it takes to bring about a review of this crazy decision I know I'll be there. This is too important for the families of Ireland to just let happen. We each need to stand together on this one!
Fincofour2010-10-12As a parent of a child who has to attend Crumlin on a regular basis I am strongly opposed to the proposed site for the new Children's Hospital, even though it would be more convenient for us travel wise.

I read an article today which said that 89% of parents and 75% of doctors surveyed in Crumlin in 2008 were opposed to the proposed site - where are those voices in the media coverage? Listening to the Six One News this evening it would appear that all parents and medical personnel endorse this new site! Is this Government propaganda? Maybe it's time to rally the troops and march like the pensioners, otherwise it may well be too late for our children and future generations!

John McCormack2010-10-12Shame on Mary Harney for forcing Philip Lynch to resign. It is obvious he and others on the Board are in favour of the most accessible, spacious and cost effective site available. Does the current site selected have anything to do with Bertie Ahern leaving a legacy in his constituency?

I commend this website for it's continued good work and hopeful the truth will out. The sooner the better.

Bewildered..Dundrum2010-10-12The decision to locate the new children's hospital is a purely political one with no consideration to the best needs of our sick children and their families. Any parent of a critically or terminally ill child needs the support not just of their medical care team but of family and friends. The childrens needs are more than clinical care.

We spent months living through the nightmare of cancer and transplant with our youngest child. For weeks on end he could barely even see the sky let alone a bit of green. More importantly the transplant facilities allowed no possibility of him even seeing his siblings let alone talk to them. They need to be in an environment that can let them escape emotionally from their illness. Our children need and deserve the best from us and society, their health care needs to be multifaceted and in a location that allows for all their needs to be met, regardeless of whether they are in for a long haul or a sprained wrist.

The Mater as a location will only serve to add to the truama and burden of parents and children alike and will make the clinicians jobs more difficult. The doctors, nurses and ward staff we encountered on our journey were amazing given despite the restrictions of their current environment and yet here we are set to throw them from the frying pan into the fire.

I pause to wonder, have any of the decision makers in this travisty ever had the trauma of a real medical emergency or illness with their children and to them I say Wake up to the real needs of our children please.

Ronan Furlong2010-10-12As a parent of 3 young children living in Churchtown Dublin 14, it will be quicker for me to get to Arklow during rush hour than it will be for me to drive to the Mater..... whats it going to be like for those parents travelling from the country?

If Metro North is announced as "delayed" during the budget then the Mater site should be dropped immediately in favour of an M50 site.

NAMA has vast tracts of M50 accessible lands under its control along the North Fringe, Naas Road, Sandyford etc....all more suitable locations for this much needed facility.

In the ever expanding list of why Bertie Ahern is an embarassment to this country, the pressure he exerted to locate the Childrens Hospital in his constituency, still ranks as the most shocking example of his ineptitude and griminess....never mind the cupboard advert or the horseracing 'winnings', he will go down in history as the man who set back childrens health by decades with his interference.

Michael Muldoon2010-10-12I am sure the people of Ireland are willing to fund the start of a really great new National Childrens Hospital. The consensus is that the location would be on the western outskirts of Dublin. A big site would be best, at least 100ha. This would allow continuous development and renewal and would be a wonderful legacy for us to leave to serve sick children for many generations to come. Indeed, given the right environment it would achieve international stature.

Unfortunately our government just does not get it. An outrageous folly is being pushed instead, one that will be unfit for purpose in many critical counts.

If this goes ahead then it will fall to to more enlightened administration in 20 or 30 years time to do the right thing.

Jo O'Connor2010-10-03Not long ago with a view to improving safety and quality of care of neonates "Comhairle" beefed up the paediatrician establishment of hospitals with maternity departments. Now with plans to concentrate all hospital services for children into a national centre (wherever located), what is to become of the many maternity units serving communities throughout the land?

Is not the grand plan, cooked up in isolation from the broader health service, putting at increased risk the majority of neonates who will come into the world at locations distant from the single national childrens hospital of the plan? ?

It seems urgent to spend some of the vast sums of money to be committed to the national childrens hospital in offsetting the disadvantages and increased risk of centralisation of care for neonates and the running down of all other paediatric units including the support given to the newborn and maternity units. A pause in the onward rush to construction is warranted until the needs of neonates born outside the metropolitan area are addressed and workable solutions agreed with all maternity units. ?

All that is necessary for the increased risks to neonates to be configured and set in concrete, is for obstetricians not to be ever vigilant. Obstetricians and paediatrician colleagues please act urgently to protect the immediate care of the newborn. ?

Lucy Dillion2010-09-30If it quacks like a duck and waddles like a duck it is a duck. If it is named as a development board, assigned a development task and then proceeds to plan to spend borrowed money needlessly and with gay abandonment then it is a true Irish style developer. It matters not that the hand is directly in the publics pocket rather than being via banks and NAMA. It amounts to the same thing. VFM is not being attempted. The most costly way possible to deliver a service is being persued. Even now with cost of borrowing becoming unsustainable the recklessness continues. Time for the more effective and less costly options to be persued or else permanently mothball the the runaway developers.
Joan Harrington2010-09-28Hi, I think Andreas may be on to something. There is certainly blinkered vision on the part of the group planning the new children's hospital. This looks like needlessly wasting a hugh amount of public money.

Andreas fingers those in politics, finance and medicine as being likely to express risky traits and the planning group has its fair share of persons from these vocational backgrounds.

Another way of trying to understand the lemming like progression over the financial cliff-edge is described in recent years, in lectures,articles and a book ( In Sickness and in Power, London: Methuen 2008), by David Owen. It is the Hubris Syndrome. The absence of contact with reality being displayed is compatible with this frame of mind.

Matt O'Brien2010-09-28Money matters... Why the failure to be cost conscious.. A managers view.

There is a trend on this web site to medicalise understanding of the needlessly wasteful plans being processed for the new childrens hospital at Eccles Street and Temple Street, as for example by Andreas and Joan on 28/09/2010.

From a management perspective the phenomenon can be captured by the description of a form of group think known in management studies as the Abilene Paradox. Google for info on the paradox. It is a less excusable explaination than a medical one for not persuing other cost efficient effective options. There is no acceptable excuse on medical grounds.

Highlighting the massively wasteful proposal and the inability of those involved to breakout of a course of action and comeback to earth should help. I hope some responsible higher authority takes action.

Ireland does not need to add unnecessarily to its debt. The group making the proposals are behaving no differently to the developers who created the current national financial crisis. The group needs to be redirected or suspended. Plainly its members are locked in and cannot change by themselves.

Cathal Owens2010-09-28Re - Economics aspects - more comment

I wish to suggest that as the Development Board currently promoting an exceptionally costly solution was set up through legislation therefore it is answerable to the Dail for its preformance. I agree with Charles White who contributed 23/09/10 that waste on a vast scale is intrinsic in present plans but consider that the Dail has responsibility to act to safeguard the public purse when one of its creations runs amock. The C

Andreas Kivlehan2010-09-28Why o why ?. Reflecting on a qoute from Nalopeon Gerry Hickey 21/9/10 attributed the choice of the Eccles Street/Temple Street site to vanity. In today's world this is attributable to unbalanced narcissistic personality traits.

More than five of the ten traits listed for a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV are being displayed in the approach to the choice of site for the NPH.

" Narcissisists gravitate towards professions where they can control people and elicit adulation. They are more likely to work in politics,finance or medicine than shoemaking" (Sam Vaknin). If not admired they settle for inspiring fear or hatred. They enjoy the power of intimidating people. Our culture that celebrates image and spin affords opportunity for expression of narcissistic traits.

As people expressing NPD are unable to emphatise they are indifferent to the consequences of hurting people. In finance in particular they are able to make quick bold decisions without thought for the consequences these have for other people.

So while it may be vanity,as per Napoleon, it may also be group NPD (previously known as megalomania) that is preventing cost efficient decision making. There is no self cure. The guardians of the public purse need to act.

For the article that triggered this bit of (pop) psychology

CS, father of long term patient in OLHSC2010-09-24There was a proposal a few years ago to build the new hospital at Newland Cross. I would suggest somewhere between Kingswood (N7) and Grangecastle (around Wyeth).
- On train line Dublin city/Limerick/Cork/Kerry/Waterford with new station near by
- Luas line extension to Citywest nearby.
- Close to Baldonnel Aerodrome for emergency flights to/from hospital
- Good road network N4/N7/M50/Outer Ring Road
- Sufficient room to build car park
- Plently of green space / close to Corkagh Park
- Design not compromised due to lack of space e.g. cardiac department to be scattered around different areas of new hospital
- Plenty of hotels in vacinity
- Future expansion / co located maternity hospital
and finally.....
- Its not in Bertie Aherns constituency!!
Paddy McGarry2010-09-24To help appreciate the drive for the ivory tower identified 15th Sept. by Harry Kennedy take note of the escutchion of the academic interests i.e. "Ad Astra".

Aspiring to reach upwards and onwards without limits to the stars has resulted in the skyscraper design. Expensive rocket science for reaching the stars is not required to deliver high class patient centered hospital health care.

Thinking patients and children first leads to a different set of aspirations that may result in a much more cost effective design facilitated by an open mind to identifying the optimum site for delivering an efficient and effective answer to the primary needs.

Ann Jenkins Health Care Professional2010-09-23It is not a wise decision to locate The New Children's Hospital in Eccles Street on the Mater Carpark site. Traffic around there is huge. How are parents with a sick child to negotiate the traffic. I can see deaths happening. Also if there is only one hospital in Dublin- what if a parent(s) of a child or children who have died in The New Children's Hospital to do if they never want to "set eyes" on that hospital again.

Experienced staff from Crumlin Temple Street and NCH will leave if you join up all the Children's Hospitals into one and you will be left with mainly new staff. I was in Beaumont 10 months after it opened where The Richmond and Jervis Street amalgamated. All the fighting bickering, competion for the same job etc etc- a night mare. Only we had a strong CEO in Michael McLoone who lived during the week in the Skylon and devoted all his time to sorting everything out which included taking on some of the consultants enabled Beaumont to become what it is now- a great hospital.

I don't think there are many Michael mcloone's left.

Charles White2010-09-23Re, economic matters

M McGill identified the waste of taxpayers money intrinsic in current proposals.Normally public expenditure is regulated by applying Value for Money methodologies when making decisions on available options This exercise does not appear to have occurred. This now needs to be urgently provided.

The Controller and Auditor General who last week reported on waste in public expenditure should be immediately asked to assess the comparative VFM provided by the options and justify the expenditure involved in the combined TempleStreet and Eccles Street site option.

Mike McGill2010-09-23The Irish "quality at the right price" referred to yesterday is the economists "bang for bucks". It is timely to bring cost effectiveness into the decision making process. Thanks for the comment.

Twice the bang or else the same bang for less than half the bucks are noted as options at locations other than at the combined Eccles Street/Temple Street site. To persist now with this initially preferred location in the light of the cost effectiveness information is recklessly wasteful. Given all that has emerged in the economy in the past few years such persistence suggests a high level disconnect with the reality that is Ireland.

It is urgent that financial criteria be applied in the decision making. All other things seem at least equal or even in favour of other site options. It is inexcusable to continue to keep heads in the clouds or in the sands on this truly hugh potential waste of public funds.

Ed Rowan2010-09-21Re: the money'

Quality at the right price is a well known Irish phenemon. Lets apply it to the information provided on the web site about the proposed childern's hospital.

It seems that the hosiptal is to be located in the city centre and is to spread over two locations. That the DoHC estimate that inner city building costs twice the price to achieve the same structure. That when the costs are added up the project will consume more than one billion euros.

At half the cost the same structure could be delivered on a greenfield site. Such sites are available and seem to have additional desirable features for patients. That on other sites a more efficient design is possible as the space constraints of the two small inner city sites do not restrict options, thus further reducing the building costs.

Changing location and achieving the right price would free up approximately half a billion euros. Just think of the additional features and care the would be possible. Think "quality at the right price" and reap the benefits for the care of children's health services.

Gary Hickey2010-09-21"Vanity made the revolution, Liberty was only a pretext" Napoleon Bonepart.

Revised to

Vanity made the choice of site, quality was only a pretext

Just a thought on scanning through the comments.

Cork exile in Dublin! parent.2010-09-19Today is All-Ireland final day in Croke Park. Imagine the crowds gathering along O'Connell St. Dorset St. and that general area both before and after the match. Great fun and craic! Now imagine trying to drive through that same area with a sick child as you try to rush him or her to the new children's hospital. Not much fun in that!!
MARIA DOYLE2010-09-17Its complete madness moving the new childrens hospital to a site on the mater hospital grounds, How would I want that if i had a sick child and had to get there in an emergency not to think how hard it is trying to get through dublin city anytime, traffic and build up of buses and lorries - its just crazy,
Microbiologist No.22010-09-17A comment from "scientist microbiologist" is to be welcomed. I wish to flag that what is required can be seen in the architectural design of the Crumlin Hospital for Children which incorporated the principles of infection control as practiced at that time. The principles apart from being stricter and better understood are essentially the same today. They are ignored at peril.

The new children's hospital at a minimum needs to reflect these considerations. Common sence suggests a comparable approach to desigh to that taken at Crumlin is one viable solution to this infection control aspect of safety.

Parent of Non Catholic Child2010-09-17The location of the site is ludricous. My father used to attend the Mater for treatment every month. He could never find parking. His state of mobility precluded him from using public transport. The issue of parking added considerable stress to his visit.

As a parent of a child who will need genetic counselling in the future. I am unhappy with the hospital being located at the Mater under the auspices of a religious order. Religion and healthcare do not mix in my view as religious orders may limit the available treatments to children in the event that such treatments are at odds with the dictates of the Catholic Church. This is a Church who is not well renowned for supporting the rights of children.

Grainne farrell2010-09-17Sadly, this country has failed it's vulnerable children in the most appalling way in the past. We must not sit idly by and allow our children to be failed again. People who's primary/ only motivation is the wellbeing of children (doctors, nurses, parents) must vehemently voice their objection to the propsed site. These faceless morons who are behind the "politics" of this decision will have to face reality- that the objections are based on serious inadequacies that may jeopardise the health of children, and this is not acceptable to the people of this country and we won't stand for it.As a parent and medical professional I demand- CHANGE THE SITE.
Michael Lynch2010-09-16As a parent of a child who is fed with a peg tube and requires oxygen, both my self and my wife have qualified to have strong opinions on the location of the childrens hospital. Our son spent three months in OLHSC Crumlin in '07. We travel from Co. Kerry with this little guy with oxygen tanks and feeding machines, How can we possibly get to the Mater site? Being from the country our first hurdle is to find it! Second getting parking close enough to access the hospital with alot medical gear. I belive 70% of patients are from outside Dublin, could the hospital not also be outside Dublin? on m50 for instance where we could find it and have room to park and even go for a walk. I know we will be expected to use public transport to access the Mater site This is NOT practical if you've got a SICK child. For God's sake have some sence and re think the childrens hospital PLEASE!
Scientist microbiologist2010-09-16My attention was drawn to your site by a concerned medical friend.

I can only welcome the provision of single rooms for patients. I presume the justification is the miminisation of hospital cross infections.However the whole effort seems to be very much set at naught by the highrise design. It would necessitate very special ventilation systems to eliminate the transfer of organisms from floor to floor. External wind air pressures can ealsly cause backdraft spread unless the desigh provides self contained air management for each floor,both above and below ground level.

The other design feature that is an infection control hasard is the many lifts, almost thirty it is believed. Safegarding against this consequence of the design is expensive requiring air tight lobbies with air exrtaction around lifts at each level. It seems impossible for patients to circulate from their relatively safe room to other areas for diagnosis or care without sharing the circulation channels, i.e. the lifts, with the micro organisms of other patients. Staff too have to use the same channels of circulation. The hasards created by the vast number of lifts could be avoided by use of a lower structure. Some facts to assure that the desigh has addressed the infection safety issue would be timely. I would wish to be assured that the lessons of the SARS epidemic have been learned.

Harry Kennedy2010-09-15more re uncertainties about the money

Note a letter in Irish Times 13th. Sept. that drew on the up-to-date costs of building teaching hospitals, as provided by the Department of Health and Children Hospital Planning Office, to price such a hospital of the scale of the new childrens hospital. The price came out at 330M euro.The estimated price from the team planning the hospital is twice the DoHC HPO price. Several commentators have here drawn attention to major additions to the capital cost that may be omitted in the 750M. Including these omissions and recognising that monies anticipated from the sale of Temple Street site will not be forth coming would seem to bring the real cost to in excess of 1000M euro.

One can only conclude that ivory is a very expensive building material where tower structures are involved.

Paul Regan2010-09-14Hi Guys,
To contribute to your uncertain money theme, did you hear the latest, that now it has come to light that the plans require the destruction of the purpose built building that houses the recently introduced PET/CAT scanner.This will also be decomissioned and is to be replaced in the subterrain of the new childrens hospital. This is the public picking up the tabs for the private scanner. Also, alternative arrangements will be needed in the interim few years if the private centre of excellance for cancer is to continue.

Guess what the aggregated additional cost to the project will be. I would venture a guess of not less than 30M euros. Add that to your sums of additional capital expenditure that contribute to the uncertainty about the real cost of the capital project.

Fionnan McCann2010-09-14To add to the many suggestions for a more acceptable and cost effective location for a National Paediatric Hospital consider AbbotsTown, the site acquired for the "Bertie Bowl". It awaits a worthy replacement. The are better alternatives to Eccles Street, D.1.
Louisep2010-09-14Its an absolute disgrace ripping out machinery and services that are ALREADY THERE. how can this make economic sense?? Lobby your local and regional TD's , this is ABSOLUTELY crazy and no sound reason has ever been provided.I have an asthmatic child, having to drag him into the mater would be horrendous if he was having an attack.
LOC Parent and Architect2010-09-13I comment primarily as a concerned parent, but also as an Architect.

The decision to build the new children's hospital at the Mater site smacks of the same political residue that spawned electronic voting machines.Our ailing Country can hardly afford a mistake of this magnitude, certainly in the context of our maligned Health Service.This absurd decision is still retractable.I do commend the Design team in their efforts to execute a most difficult brief. I impart no blame here; The decision to build on a city centre site lay with others.The project however lacks a fundamental compassion:

1.It will serve to discommode existing patients for an assumed construction contract duration of 2-3 years. I have personal experience of this, watching a cancer stricken mother waste away to the backdrop of a Kango Hammer.

2.The city centre site is constrictive to open/ green space; Surely this ought be a psychological fundamental in the laying out of a children's hospital. What about the therapeutic and meditative benefits of a greenfield site. What about the playgrounds for siblings of sick children etc etc?There is still an opportunity here to produce a building which could contest the conventional paradigm of an institutional building, and free from the shackles of the limited Mater site.

3.I read here that 75% of prospective patients come from outside of the Capital. Where is the sense in asking these patients to cross navigate the city's transporation network when our country has invested so heavily on the M50 and light rail networks. Look at the proximity of Croke Park to the Mater; Best that our children don't get sick on match days eh.

I empathise fully with the vexed aura of previous contributors here.I hope that our famous Irish obstinacy abates and that common sense prevails

Sean O Kiersey2010-09-10This plan makes absolutely no sense except to the politicians making the decisions. There is no doubt that the present government will be thrown out at the next election, but I urge all voters to tell them when they come to the door that this particular decision weighs in somewhere above No. 1 which most people would probably say is the banking crisis.

This decision can be retracted, the economic mess cannot. It's not too late. remember, the ONLY thing policians respond to it the possibility of losing their Dáil, Co. Council or Senate seats.

Grand Mama2010-09-10My husband totally agrees with Traumadoc's comment of 1st September. I think it is crass stupidity to entertain the Mater site for even one minute. No easy access, definitely no easy parking. You can bet the charges for parking will be astronomical.A helicopter pad should be a MUST so that (say) Donegal patients could be airlifted straight to the hospital - NOT land at the airport or Baldonnel even. Tallaght hospital was built so that an extra floor could be added if needed for expansion of their children's Hospital. ANY site just off the M50 would be better than the Mater site. How about the green acres of Blanchardstown Hospital, with its new direct access to the M50?
M TuohyCarroll2010-09-10It is a disgrace to build the new childrens hospital on the chosen site as very ill children will have no access to green areas and access to the hospital is extremely difficult and parking for both parents and other visitors is abysmal.

I sincerely urge that this decision be reviewed.

2010-09-10As a parent of a little boy with Leukaemia, we are totally opposed to the Mater site. Living in Monaghan, and other parents like us from Donegal, Limerick, Kerry travel relentlessly with our our children to Dublin which takes hours to get there and then to face into inner city traffic. Surely its plain to see a site off the M50 is the answer! It beggars belief, and surely these decisions are not made by people who have nursed a nauseated, vomiting child in the back of a car on theses trips, whose only fight is for life!
Philomena Duffy2010-09-09The observation of Bibi Downes 7/9/2010 about allowing a public private mix is insightful. It is to be expected that if the new children's hospital is on the Mater site that its medical staff will be required to embrace the private practice ethos that prevades the Mater campus. They will be exposed to an ultimate moral hasard of having every bed meeting the current definition of a private bed.

Before I could consider supporting the locationof the new hospital on the Mater site, or indeed on any site, all matters concerning the mix of public and private children patients needs to be agreed and made explicit. I agree with Bibi.

The silence on how the new hos[pital is to function in our two tier system is deafening. Nonetheless the information must be there in the business case and in the projected revenue budgets which contain figures for income from private parients. Let these figures be known. They are part of the justification for locating with the Mater.

Donal Buckley2010-09-09A practical site for the Children Hospital would be Dr Steevens Hosp. The Hse office could be relocated. Trains, Luas and buses are all availble. St. james Hospital is nearby.
Angela Scully2010-09-09The NPH is described as proviving a tertiary level of care. We have a health policy for a two tier system of acute hospital care. How many tiers will be in the sky scraper tertiary academic,research, orientated NPH tower. What are the plans for some children having their care in the co-located Mater Private Hospital? All need to be known when evaluating the decision to locate on the Mater campus.
PMG2010-09-09My wife and I wish to make an urgent plea not to build the new hospital on the Mater site.

It would be an act of cruelty to drag parents with sick children to an appalling traffic mess which is the Mater site. No matter what they say sick children must be brought in cars and the site will continue to be a disaster, no matter how many expensive car parks are added.

It is time we Irish citizens shouted STOP.

Concerned Dad2010-09-09As a healthcare professional and a father I feel that I must comment. Why is this madness continuing? Yes there should be one NPH however it is being not being driven by the needs of the sick child and their families. Why are there so many people involved in the decision making who clearly are not listening?

A little story to share!
The CEO of the NPH and a member of the design team went out to the NCH at Tallaght to meet with children's staff there. The meeting started late as the Design team member was having difficultly parking her car! How ironic! One of the reasons repeatedly given for choosing the mater site was the "public transport links". However they came by car from their city center offices even though Tallaght and the city center are linked by the state of the art Luas line! This is true check it out!

Its ok for parents of sick children with their sick child to travel by public transport ( and the many staff who will be travelling to work before 7am and leave after 8pm at night, shift work is part of hospital life), but not the these people who are making decisions!

I think this sums it all up! Who maters? not the children!

Louise, D242010-09-08I don't have children but I think the idea of developing the Mater site for a new childrens hospital is just crazy. The entire site of the hospital in Crumlin could be re-developed and would make a lot more sense. Another possibility is to co-locate beside the AMNCH/Tallaght.
Ray Carney2010-09-08This is an example of a government pushing something through on a flawed narrow political ideology. Mary Harney and the rest of the incompetent cabinet supports this, Muarice Nelligan and many other consultants oppose this: I know who I believe.
Joe Doyle2010-09-08There is no set time for a child to get sick - any day of the week and any hour of that day. So no one can be sure how long it will take to get a child to hospital. But surely it will take longer to get a child to the centre of the city than to get a child to somewhere along the M50. I'm sure the people who propose to build this hospital beside the Mater mean this state of the art building to serve all the children of our country not just Dublin.

My reason for suggesting along the M50 has a number of advantages. The first would be that no matter what part of the country you come from the M50 is easy to find and when you have a sick child in the car you have enough to worry about. The second is Baldonnel airport is near for emergencies. The third is the fact that the site would be a green field site and I'm sure the powers that be could arrange to have a car park large enough for parents and staff free of charge. This hospital could have all the great facilities they tell us about at the Mater but without the pollution. I'm sure the parents would appreciate the fresh air and a bit of grass where they could spend some time with their children as they get strong. Is this too much to ask for our children and let's hope that they will remember that we cared. I haven't even mentioned how much better the environment would be for staff. We need the parents of this country to stand up and be counted. I'm sure every parent wants the best for their children so don't let us be bullied into second best.

Mary2010-09-08Why is the Tallaght hospital site not being considered? Is there a religious or political reason for the gradual downgrading of this hospital?
Maria Healy, Sligo and Dublin, MBMBS PhD DRCOG2010-09-08As the mother of a toddler and soon (le cunamh De) newborn, I cannot imagine anything worse than trying to get a sick child into Dublin city centre against traffic, having nowhere to park. Only then being treated in crampt conditions, with services being shoe-horned in around existing features.

Where ever it goes it needs good public transport, agreed, and to be accessible not just from the city, but to people coming from all over. And then it needs an appropriate site, so that a hospital can be designed around children's healthcare needs and not in a Tetris manner around what happens to be there already.

A transparent review is required to ensure that the optimum site is is found for the right reasons.

Bibi Downes2010-09-07The site that has been chosen for a new prison in north county Dublin would be far more suitable for a childrens hospital. It is testament to the total lack of thought given to the whole project that the Mater site is in any way deemed suitable. Sick children need an environment that is in every way designed to help to the healing process and that means stress free parents who are not driving around looking for parking and being charged the earth...Dublin city centre does not have the space. How do they extend on the site in years to come, which will cause more stress with noise pollution and everything else that goes on on a building site. Is the adult Mater big enough to deal with the patients it has and will have in the future as this current Government sees fit to cut services willy nilly because of years of bad management. I do not think that Hse should have any hand in the running of the Childrens hospital and that there is no public private sector allowed it is one or the other. I'm ending now because I have so much to say and my feelings are running high.
Tricia Kavanagh2010-09-07It beggars belief that any forward-thinking body should decide to site a children's hospital at such a congested area as this. Any driver of a car, bus, taxi or commercial vehicle knows what a drop of rain at rush hour will do to traffic in this already busy area. Come on guys, a little lateral thinking, please!!!!
Re, the money - Eamon KeanyRe, the money2010-09-07As pointed out 6/9/10 by R Thompson and 1/9/10 by P Kelly a lack of transparency and so much uncertainty exists about the real money costs of the preferred plan for a city centre location.

To add a little to transparency it should be noted that no money will become available from a sale of Temple Street Hospital. It seems that the design team have found that the constraints of site available on the Mater campus are such that the Temple Street site is now also needed to help provide many of the functions originally specified for a National Children's Hospital.

Thus apart from not gaining approx 100M Euro's from disposal of the Temple Street site, further money will be needed to upgrade or replace the old Temple Street so as to provide modern facilities (say an additional 120M Euro) . Money will also be needed for integrating circulation corridors for shuttle arrangements be they underground, street level or aerial in nature. ( say 15M Euro).

A further change from the original plan for a single hospital is flagged in a letter in the Irish Times of 1/9/2010 from the Chairperson of the Tallagh Hospital Action Group. A 30M Euro back up satellite paediaric EM Department is now found to be required at Tallaght.

Thus it should be recognised that at least a further 150M euro that is not in the present stated ballpark cost should in a transparency setting be added to get near to the real cost.

lizzybeth2010-09-06our kids matter, say no to the mater!!!!
Desmond Duff, retired Paediatric Cardiologist Our Lady's Children's Hospital and the University Hospital Temple Street.2010-09-06No one doubts that a children's hospital can be built on the Mater site, however the site is totally unsuitable for the National Paediatric Hospital. It is too confined with no room for expansion, (expansion has occured at Toronto Children's Hospital in every decade since it was built in the 1950s), claustrophobic environment, very difficult access, grossly inadequate provision for car parking, 800 spaces, should be at least 2800!!

It is time to consider what would be best for children and their parents rather than political and medicopolitical issues.

Mary Harney, the Minister for Health and Ciildren should show real leadership and move the National Paediatric Hospital on to a greenfield site. Co-location should take place with an acute Maternity Hospital.

Reggie Thompson2010-09-06As Pat Kelly commented 1/9/2010 many uncertainties exist around the proposal for a single national hospital for children, not least in regard to money. May I highlight one. When originally put forward the proposal involved consolidating all paediatric hospital services on a single site. Thus presented the net additional cost of building and running the proposed hospital was minimised. The monies from the sell off of Crumlin (say, 75M euro) and of Temple Street (say, 100M euro) presumably continue to be allowed for when stating the additional costs of providing the new hospital on the Mater campus site.

However this is not clear and uncertainty exists on this aspect of the capital money needed.

Pat Kelly, medical journalist2010-09-01The more you look at this project, the more inconsistencies and discrepancies seem to come up; the money, the site itself, the whole process from the get-go. Something smells rotten here and it may take a year, maybe 5 years, but there is a worm in this apple somewhere and it will eventually out. The people responsible actually depend on us losing interest in this topic, so well done to the people who set up the site for keeping it on our radar.
helen sheppard2010-09-01Our daughter Heather was diagnosed with neuroblastoma (cancer) back in 2006 and was treated in Crumlin Hospital. We just moved to Kildare from Dublin when this happened, so we were lucky that we had family support close at hand in the form of Heather's grandparents. If the children's hospital was moved into the city centre our support network wouldn't have travelled into town as our parents are in their late 70s and not in great health. Also it is proposed to build up rather than out, so how do you get patients out in case of emergency. Envoirment is essential to a patient's recovery and I don't think a city centre location would help in this process.
Traumadoc2010-09-01I heard that a minister was asked at the time why the NCH was being located on the Mater site: the response was "what the man from across the river (Ahern) wants, the man from across the river gets"
Ian Peter Kelly2010-09-01I have expressed my horror at the government decision to locate the hospital on the Mater site in the Irish Times and the Irish Examiner. I feel we the public are being completely ignored by government - who according to the Times today are pushing the planning process through in an accelerated fashion.

Does anyone have access to Pat Kenny (Frontline) or Ryan Tubridy?

Catriona Brennan2010-08-31For anyone living outside Dublin the Mater site is a disaster. Last year we had a horrible and very stressful journey from Cork to Crumlin. We were brining up frozen breast milk for our seriously ill baby granddaughter. We got lost trying to get to the hospital (and we are both originally from Dublin!) Getting to the Mater will be even worse, and there is no mention of accommodation for parents who don't live in Dublin. This is a huge problem if the child is in for weeks or months as is often the case. A family with a seriously ill child suffer enormous stress as it is, siting the National Children's Hospital right bang in the middle of Dublin will only make their situation worse. The frozen milk survived, but alas the baby did not.
Kate Ryan2010-08-31As both a GP and a mother of a young baby I have grave concerns regarding the Mater site and call on a review of this. In my role as a GP attending in emergencies in the community I know just how vital access to hospitals is, traffic congestion can and will cost lives. The limited space compared to other alternative sites means over-crowding, this can spread infections such as MRSA between vulnerable sick children. It also does not allow for expansion nor development, it does not look to our children's future needs. A city centre high rise is not a healthy environment for sick children to get better nor for their worried and exhausted parents to care for and visit them.
Ken nagle Cork city2010-08-31I am a parent of a child who had kidney failure resulting in multiple trips to Crumlin from our home in Cork due to medical complications. Two of these visits were emergencies by Ambulence from Cork resulting in my daughter requiring two operations, one in Crumlin, and the other in Temple St, which is around the corner from the Mater. Despite the fact that it was after mid-night when we arrived in Temple St the ambulence was continuously stuck in traffic resulting in my daughter having a seizure as we were approaching the hospital. Fortunately my daughter survived this episode after a week in intensive care in an induced coma and exceptional treatment by her medical team initiated by her consultant Dr. Atif Anwar spending hours after mid-night stabilising our daughter. My daughter has subsequently had a transplant which has transformed her life but we were very close to losing her due to Dublin Traffic in the heart of the city. it is unbearable to hink of the loss of a child but it is inevitable that this location will result in unnecessary deaths due to the extra time it takes to get from the m50 to the mater.

Keep up the good work

Ronnie D'Arcy (Mrs)2010-08-30Mater Hosp site is totally unsuitable in my opinion!!! Suggest it should be sited at old Dr. Steeven's Hosp. opposite Heuston train station with adequate bus services from city and country. Also the Luas is just accross the road. St. James Hosp is also nearby and had a Maternity Dept. until recent years when the H.S.E. took over and made a mess of everything.

Good luck with your endeavours.

Value for Money2010-08-30Readers might be interested in the following estimates of the cost of building hospitalswhich is from a Report from the DoHC/HSE, titled Value for Money and Policy Review of the Economic Cost and Charges Associated with Private and Semi-Private Treatment Services in Public Hospitals Interim Report - December 2009 p.11/12

"The Department's Hospital Planning Office(HPO) previously developed cost per bed estimates which were said to assume that the developments were on "green-field" sites with normal ground conditions, ample space for normal development and surface level car parking, reasonable access to nearby services and unhindered site access. The HPO concluded that acute hospitals also vary significantly in cost per bed depending on the mix of specialities and teaching requirements and pointed out that inner city locations can also add dramatically to the construction costs."

Page 23. Appendix 2, Worksheet 4:
Capital Costs : Major Teaching Hospitals

AverageTotal Cost per Bed (2007) 1,000,000
Building on average per bed (2007) 700,000 ( 70% of total cost)
Equipping (2007) 300,000 (30% of total cost)

AverageTotal Cost per Bed (2009) 828,456
Building on average per bed (2009) 557,340 (70% of total cost)
Equipping cost per bed (2009) 271,116 (30% of total cost)

The children's hospital will, we are told, have 392 beds. At an average cost of 828,456 per bed ( Major teaching Hospitals, 2009 prices!,DoHC figs.) this would be 324,754,752. Rounded up to 325million it is precisely half of the 650 million we are told the hospital will cost .

"Inner city centre locations can add dramatically to the construction costs" or so the DoHC Hospital Panning Office tells us in the above excerpt.. This 100% addition to average cost is stunningly dramatic. Could the Taoiseach and Government please take control of this madness. We are in the middle of a recession.We have vulnerable children on the streets whom we can't seem to provide for. Greenfield sites are available near the M50-cheaper to develop and much better for our children and families from all over Ireland.
A General Election anyone?

MM2010-08-29This is a NATIONAL Hospital not a Dublin one, what about the poor parents who have to tackle the heavy traffic in Dublin after travelling a very long journey from the country, with a sick child and at their wits end!!! It can take several hours from certain parts of the country.Why dont they look at the parking situation at the Childrens hospital, you sometimes cannot get near the hospital with the cars parked all over the place (especially Crumlin). It would be more practical to pick a very large green site near good main roads that is near or has access to a landing strip or landing pad if a child has to be air lifted to hospital. Whatever size the carpark is in the plans, it should be trebbled. The city centre site is foolish, its hard for the delivery trucks to access with the materials during the day and will cause such a traffic mess before a block is even laid. A site outside the city would be nearer a quarry and other areas for materials instead of dragging everything into the city centre and the rubble out. For heavens sake think of the hastle of building it and trying to get to it after it is built.
Lucille Healy, grandparent2010-08-28"The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children."
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Theologian

Over the past few years, every time the New Children's Hospital comes up in conversations i've had, the first thing everyone asks is "Why ever did they choose the Mater site?" I have yet to hear anyone who agrees that the Mater site is the right place for our new Children's hospital. In fact, they not only disagree with it, but do so vehemently. Of course, I am only talking to ordinary people from Dublin and around the country - parents, grandparents, teachers, nurses, office workers, shop keepers, plumbers, electricians, gardeners, etc. The reasons against (poor access, lack of expansion space, lack of green space, lack of sufficient parking etc) have been aired on this website and in the media, but the politicians and those on the development board do not want to listen to reason. Their main argument at the moment is that they have already put a lot of time, effort, planning and money into the Mater Site, so it has to go ahead. What kind of an argument is that? The site can still be used for a secondary children's hospital, but not for the main tertiary children's hospital. Our country's children deserve better.

At a conference in Dublin Castle, June 18th 2010 entitled "The New Children's Hospital" organised by Children in Hospital Ireland, Minister Mary Harney said that she wanted the new hospital to work from "day one". But, will it work on day 3650, ten years on? Will patients and their parents be able to access it easily and stress-free? Will there be room for all the patients and the research which is such a necessary part of a "gold standard" hospital? Or, as is the worry of many, will some of the patients and the research be sited elsewhere in a few years? As for parking, we all know there is never enough parking and how could there be in such a confined space? Has the Mater site been "future proofed"?

At the same conference, Professor Drumm stated that we owe a "huge debt of thanks to the tax payers" Too bad the tax payers were not consulted! Emma Curtis said they had had "lots of meetings about what the new hospital should have in it." There was no mention about the meetings to discuss the suitability or otherwise of the Mater Site. From that, I only assume there was none as it was a fore-gone conclusion. When it came to green space, there was great praise for the lovely views of the Dublin mountains from the upper stories of the proposed hospital. There are two problems with that scenario. Firstly, the views could very easily be blocked by another building in a few years time. Secondly and more importantly, children do not appreciate views. They live in the here and now. They want to see, touch, taste, smell, hear what is immediately around them. When we took our children, aged 3 to 6 up the Sugar Loaf many years ago, I was trying to point out the views to them, but they were not interested. They were playing house on the top of the mountain and I am sure many parents have had similar experiences with their children, espcially when on holidays. We were told at this same conference that there will be a roof garden on the 6th floor, but that can hardly be sufficient for all the children in the hospital who would like to play outside? The need for sufficient, accessible green space cannot be over-stressed. It is so therapeutic for all of us, whether healthy or not, but especially when we are ill.

I come back to my first question, "Why ever did they choose the Mater site"?

Des Murnane - parent of 2 children with long-term2010-08-27Any rational review of the proposed site for the childrens' hospital will conclude that this was an ill-considered and hasty decision by a government that has been responsible for a litany of disastrous, ill-considered policies, e.g. electronic voting machines, light-touch bank regulation in the "boom" years, deep cuts in health and education budgets, etc., etc.
Concerned parent2010-08-25It makes my whole body shake with rage when I think about this entire fiasco. These power players will stick the sickest children of Ireland into a tower block in the city centre and move the city centre prisoners out to the spacious plains of Meath.
Barry, parent2010-08-24I have had the pleasure of using Temple Street, Crumlin and Tallaght for various reasons with a young family. We also have to make regular visits to Eccles Street. In terms of access, traffic, dropping off,parking, and collecting the Mater / Eccles street is a parents worst nightmare come true, as it is, which will only be worsened by further intensification of use. The proposals are sheer madness. Despite the fact that I am fortunate enought to live in Dublin city centre, I agree the New Children's Hospital should be outside but near the M50, with train/luas access. Keep up the good work.
James.2010-08-24Children form 25% of our population but are all of our futures! We must make sure that we do the right thing.
Moira2010-08-24Great article in Sunday Times 22/08/10. Keep up the good work
RoseMary Dwyer2010-08-24Our medical experts have spoken out in writing and signing the letter to the Irish Times (30th July 2010). We the people of this country need to support them. If anything can make a difference it's people power. That means each one of us speaking up and letting our decision makers know that we can do a lot better for our children than this city centre site. What are we afraid of? This is too important to just let happen. Through silence our children have been let down in the past. Let's speak up and build the best hospital we can in the best possible location, not just for the children of Dublin but for the whole of Ireland and it's islands.
Roisin Healy2010-08-19Parking

Since my comment of 11.08.2010 I have been told that traffic will be ONE WAY up Eccles St. from Dorset St. to Berkeley road. This means that if you come by car and drop off a child and parent at either the Emergency Dept. or the main hospital entrance, and plan to rejoin them in the hospital after parking the car, to access the car park (if it isn't already full) the driver will have to go around the block, down the North Circular Rd. and around to re-enter Eccles St. This is because the hospital entrances are further along the one way system than the car park entrance on Eccles St. - an added stress if you are already frazzled and anxious to be with an ill or injured child.

AM, Dublin2010-08-18A Children's Hospital is sometimes wrongly viewed as being just a 'Specialist' hospital. In fact, a Children's Hospital is one of the truly General hospitals; a general hospital which caters for the wide medical needs of the Paediatric age group, [30 % of the population].

As it is a general hospital, containing all the necessary facilities, there can be no logical reason why it shouldn't be stand-alone, as are many of the great Children's Hospitals worldwide, for example - Gt. Ormond St. (London), Alder Hey Children (Liverpool), Melbourne Children's, Sick Children's Toronto, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Dublin neonatologist2010-08-18Proximity to a maternity service is infinitely more important than to an adult hospital.
Ray Martin2010-08-11Louis Roden and the New Crumlin Hospital Group have lost their way and left their founding constituency far behind them in their desperate attempt to railroad through their vision of a National Paediatric Hospital on the unsuitable Mater site.

The views of real experts and professionals in the field of paediatrics such as the staff and parents of Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin, from whence this group emerged in early 2002, spurred on by none other than current HSE CEO, Prof. Brendan Drumm, have been largely ignored by NCHG in the current debate about the provision of a World Class Tertiary Children's Hospital for Ireland.

A survey undertaken by the Board in Crumlin in 2008 shows that far from supporting the Mater site as the new location for the NPH, health care professionals and parents there have very real concerns about the site chosen and the manner in which it was chosen i.e. 89% of Crumlin parents surveyed disagreed with the site chosen, 75% of Medical Board members did not support the establishment of the new NPH on the Mater Hospital campus and the vast majority of Crumlin nurses, allied health care professionals and administration staff did not support the chosen site as evidenced from signed petitions to the hospital Board. How are these views represented by Louis Roden and NCHG?

The former CEO of both OLCHC and the ERHA, Michael Lyons was damming in his criticism in an article in the Sunday Business Post in November 2007 when quoted as follows-"I can say now, having thought about it, that the process of planning for the new hospital has been the most flawed one I have ever encountered in my career in the public service. It lacked transparency and was not inclusive. As far as I can establish, little or no cost benefit analysis or options appraisal were conducted either in relation to the Mater site itself or in relation to comparing alternatives."

NCHG together with Minister Mary Harney and Prof. Drumm have failed to heed the collective critical voice of OLCHC and many others, now including Maurice Neligan, in their desire to have a new hospital (any hospital will do!) built and opened without further delay on the Mater site. They are ignoring the well founded, genuinely felt and reasonably expressed doubts about the model of care, access, quality of care environment, expansion capacity and fragmentation of services that will emerge on the Mater site. These concerns have not been addressed by any one of the numerous assembled groups of HSE/DOHC officials and private firms who have in sequence been handed temporary custody of this project, the latest of which is the NPHD Board. If this project goes ahead what will emerge will be a fragmented, inappropriate model of care, unworkable and detrimental to the needs of our sickest children from all over Ireland, their parents and the medical professionals who will care for them.

Interestingly, two former Chairs of NCHG have been appointed to the HSE and the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board respectivly. It's good to have friends in high places!

At the very least this grouping should have the decency to remove the word "Crumlin" from its name as it no longer has committed support from that quarter and misrepresents their constituency.


I refer to the architectural drawings for the Emergency Department on the Design page of this website.

The Emergency Department(ED) entrance at street level on Eccles St. will consist of just a lobby with 2 lifts and stairs. One must then go down by lift or stairs to the basement to the ED. This is because the site slopes one level from Eccles St. on the south to the North Circular Rd (NCR ) to the north.

Coming to the ED by ambulance?
Ambulances for the Children's hospital will enter by a ramp, right beside the entrance to the new Metro North, on Eccles St down to the ambulance yard in the centre of the Mater site. This yard will be between the Childrens's ED - and the ED of the new adult hospital which is currently being built. Ambulances for the adult hospital come in off the NCR.

Coming to the ED by car?.
The Emergency Dept (ED) entrance will be on Eccles St. with only kerbside dropoff (no pull in bay) for patients coming by car.

Coming to the ED on foot?.
Walking up Eccles St. from Dorset St., you will pass the Private Hospital, then immediately cross the exit ramp for ambulances (from both the adult and paed. EDs), then cross the 2 exit ramps and 1 entrance ramp to the 4 level underground car park for the paediatric hospital (who's kidding, what luck for Mater Private Hospital visitors)) , then cross the Entrance ramp for the paediatric ambulances, then immediately cross the entrance to the new Metro North, then immediately come to the Paed ED lobby entrance.

Safety issue for pedestrians?
Is there not a safety issue for pedestrians (and children in buggies), who might be rushing to either the Hospital or the Metro, having to cross two ambulance and three car park lanes so close together?

This will be the ONLY EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT for children in the whole of the Greater Dublin Area.

There will be an Urgent Care Centre in Tallaght- which is not for serious emergencies (McKinsey and RKW Report recommendations).

We can do better .


CW2010-08-06A letter from Louis Roden in the Irish Times (04/08/10) suggests that there is some form of elite medical establishment which opposes the building of the new children's hospital. This is not so. There is general agreement that tertiary services for children could best be provided on a single site. The issue is the precondition, stemming from the McKinsey report, that the new hospital must be linked to an adult hospital. Many Children's Hospitals have such a linkage but there is no evidence that the linked hospitals provide a better service to the public than the freestanding children's hospitals such as the world-famous Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. It is the insistence on putting the hospital on the site of an adult hospital which has led to the choice of the Mater site, on which the necessary number of beds can only be provided by building an expensive skyscraper. In this connection Dr Ronnie Pollock, who is quoted as approving of the Mater site, would be embarrassed at being identified as an authority on paediatric requirements.

Louis Roden is unfair to the 22 medical experts who have written in support of Maurice Neligan's position paper, implying that they are an obstructive group intent on preventing the building of a high-quality specialist Children's Hospital. Apart from their professional national and international eminence they have been to the fore in giving backup to national parent support groups involving leukaemia and malignant disease, cardiac death in children, kidney reflux, AIDS, hydrocephalus, sudden infant death and many other forms of voluntary work. The highly productive Children's Research Centre was the brainchild of two medical staff members who led the way in the first fundraising drive, donating 50% of their annual hospital income to the Centre. Maurice Neligan, whose intervention has reopened a discussion on the siting of the proposed National Children's Hospital received no payment from the hospital for his life-saving work.

His supporters have earned the right to be heard. There need be no loss to the public purse. The Mater site can be used for the rebuilding of a local paediatric acute facility to replace Temple Street Hospital. It is in the public interest that the cost of building a National Children's Hospital on a freestanding site should be ascertained, bearing in mind current pressing problems with the national finances.

Anon2010-08-05The key question about co-location is whether the freestanding children's hospitals in any way inferior to the co-located ones. Nobody could claim that they are. Essentially, at the present time, deficient funding of Crumlin is the main risk factor for children services. The problem is not one of securing agreement to having a single tertiary paediatric centre. Everyone is agreed on this. The problem is that the option of having a freestanding children's hospital has not been seriously addressed.
Louise, Parent2010-08-05Sick children of Ireland get 2 hectares of land on Mater site, Irish cows have 3.5 million hectares of grass!
Dawn O'Shea, Medical Journalist2010-08-05The decision to locate the hospital at the Mater site has never sat well with people - except perhaps those in the Mater, UCD and the political constituencies of north inner city Dublin.

I completely share Dr Bourke's feelings on the hospital's accessibility to the majority of the country. However, as someone who lives on the south-side of Dublin city, I suspect my journey-time to the new hospital would be almost equal to someone travelling from Cavan.

I am a mother to two young asthmatics and I have the good fortune to live close enough to Tallaght that I can make it to the children's A&E there within 20 minutes if needs be - or 10 minutes using the hard shoulder on the M50 if it were a real emergency. There is no hard shoulder on Dublin's quays and there is no way an ambulance can circumvent rush-hour traffic.

Building the new National Paediatric Hospital at the Mater site will put the lives of my children and children through this country at risk. And all of this within years of the Government publishing a National Health Strategy entitled Quality and Fairness: A health system for you. This decision hardly reflects the equity of access that the Government claims is so central to the current reconfiguration.

I whole-hearted lend my support to those involved in the campaign to have decision overturned and I would like to offer my assistance in any way possible.