The Government must change the site

We  repeat -NCHA noted the decision of An Bord Pleanála on 28th April 2016 to grant planning permission for the development of the NPH at the site at St. James’s hospital in Dublin’s city centre.

We repeat – choosing between sites is not the function of ABP. We believe the government was wrong to have presented the St. James’s site for consideration by ABP.  The Cabinet made the wrong decision in November 2012  and that it is the responsibility of the current government to the children of Ireland of this and future generations to change the site.

We repeat ‘Flip the sites’. Put the satellite at St James and the main hospital at Connolly.

Quicker, Cheaper, Safer at CONNOLLY.

The row at cabinet, 6th November 2012

Billy Kelleher, T.D.,Fianna Fáil , at the Dáil “debate” on the NPH, 8th November 2012, referring to the Cabinet decision of two days earlier, 6th Nov 2012 to place the NPH on the St. James’s site in inner Dublin, said

“…. The Cabinet made a decision, yet within minutes we were informed by the media that there had been a massive row at Cabinet. We were told that two Ministers, Deputy Leo Varadkar and Deputy Joan Burton, were adamant that the Blanchardstown Connolly Hospital site should have been the location.”

Co-located Maternity -A “Red Line” for Critical Care Consultants

Below is  the Submission to An Bord Pleanála from the Department of Paediatric Intensive Care, September 2015  , signed by fifteen medical consultants.

Re: Co-location of a maternity hospital with the new children’s hospital  [PA0043]

To the Secretary,

We, whose daily practice involves caring for critically ill neonates, unreservedly support the need for a single, national children’s hospital, and are willing to compromise on many fronts to achieve this goal, acknowledging that no site is ideal.

Co-location with a physically linked maternity hospital is, in our expert opinion, non-negotiable. We are unwilling to endorse a national children’s hospital on a site that cannot accommodate this truly critical adjacency. To do so would be to fail those infants whom we are entrusted to protect. To proceed with such a project will result in the avoidable death or disability of many new-born babies for years to come.

It is our earnest wish that the proposal for the St. James’s site can deliver such a co-location. If, however, this is not the case, we urge the Board to have the courage and integrity to act accordingly.

Yours sincerely,

The Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin –Prof Mark Redmond, Mr Lars Nolke , Mr Jonathon McGuinness

Department of Cardiology, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin–Dr Colin McMahon,  Dr Orla Franklin,  Dr Paul Oslizlok, Dr Kevin Walsh, Dr Damien Kenny, Dr Terry Prendiville

,The Joint Department of Paediatric Intensive Care Medicine, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin and The Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street–Dr Martina Healy,   Dr Kevin Carson,   Dr Cathy McMahon,   Dr Dermot Doherty, Dr Suzanne Crowe,  Dr Cormac Breatnach

“The Right Site”and “essential criteria”

Excerpt from the Dolphin Report, 2012  –

“While any avoidable delay should be minimised, it is more important to choose the right site which meets essential criteria over the long-term (say 50-100 years) than one which is merely the fastest in the short-term. This approach has been endorsed by patients, parents, and health professionals who met us”.

Excerpt from The National Paediatric Hospital  Independent Review, 2011-

“All groups presenting to the Review Team spoke of the imperative of .. co-location .. with a tertiary maternity and neonatal service.”[our emphasis].

NCHA comment : A Maternity on the James’s site ? When? An Imperative?

Ultimately” says Minister Reilly (2012).

In time ” says Minister Harris (2016)


Petition letter from 60,000 citizens to the Taoiseach,22 June 2016

Readers might wish to read this  letter

Dated 22 June 2016, The Connolly for Kids Hospital

60,000   say-Better, faster, cheaper at Connolly

Dear Taoiseach,

OVER  SIXTY THOUSAND  people from every county in Ireland, North and South, have signed our petition since its launch in February 2016.


 Connolly for Kids Hospital is asking Enda Kenny to build the new Children’s Hospital at Connolly Hospital beside the M50 instead of at St. James’s Hospital in Dublin City Centre.

 Advantages of Connolly are: 145 acres-Expansion space, Easier Access for all Ireland, Extensive Parking, Co-location with Adult Hospital and the new Rotunda Maternity Hospital leading to Better Clinical Outcomes for children AND – it will be Cheaper and Faster to build.”

This is not just a lobby group speaking, this is the people of Ireland speaking. Democracy requires to be heard and acted on.

We refer to our nearest neighbour- the parliament of the United Kingdom,“Petitions which reach 100,000 signatures are almost always debated [population of UK is 64 million]. ..MPs might consider your petition for a debate before it reaches 100,000 signatures.We may contact you about the issue covered by your petition. For example, we sometimes invite people who create petitions to take part in a discussion with MPs or government ministers, or to give evidence to a select committee.”

In Switzerland a motion with 100,000  signatures automatically triggers a Referendum in a country with a population of eight million.

In Ireland we now have over 60,000 signatories in a population of 4.5 million (one 16th of the UK population)calling on you as Taoiseach of our country to change the site to Connolly.  Surely that entitles the families of Ireland to at least a Public Hearing at the Oireachtas Committee on Health?

What the people are saying is that the government presented the wrong hospital to an Bord Pleanála. Too much has happened behind closed doors .

We are requesting that you as Taoiseach pause the National Paediatric Hospital project at St. James’s and initiate its urgent review by Government.

Let the “New Politics”begin

Yours sincerely,

The Connolly for Kids Hospital Group


Staff and Parking at St. James’s

Staff should note the excerpt below from  the written submission  to An  Bord Pleanála by Dublin City Council regarding the application for planning permission for the Children’s Hospital.   Chapter 8, titled  ‘Recommended Conditions’, section 8.6  ‘Roads and Traffic’ states-inter alia-

 “5) Any proposals for off site temporary car park shall be subject to separate planning applications and shall be decommissioned on completion of the National Children’s Hospital development.[our emphasis}
6) Car parking for the entire St. James’s Hospital Campus shall be capped at 2000 car parking spaces. No additional car parking spaces above this number will be considered for any future developments within the St. James’s Hospital campus.”[our emphasis].

This post originally appeared on our website 12th Feb 2016
Read details at  DCC -Main submission

Adult interests trump Children’s.

  • Excerpt from the McKinsey Report, February 2006

“International experience shows that it is important to weigh a decision to co-locate [with an adult hospital] against pragmatic considerations including space and quality of access .”

  • Excerpts  from HSE website, March 2006

  7th March 2006,  “HSE Refutes Criticism of Process to Select New Children’s Hospital Site”
“The outcome process [ by the Task Group on the Location of the children’s Hospital] has not been predetermined…..It is open and objective to the point where the outcome may even be a decision to locate somewhere other than an existing hospital site.…Any suggestion that this group has prejudged anything is completely misplaced”.

However, a further post three weeks later, 29th March 2006, on the same website is as follows ’Regarding Site of Proposed National Children’s Hospital”: – “This process is to recommend only where the hospital is to be sited….The prime consideration is [sic] making this decision on site location will depend on co- location to an adult teaching academic hospital and adult national centres of treatment”. The earlier post of the 7th March is removed.

NCHA asks – What happened in  those three weeks of March 2006? Children  or adult institutions first ? And now, ten years later in 2016,  we ask the same question.

Moral Duty lies with the Taoiseach

In an article in the Sunday Independent, 12 June 2016, a young doctor and ex- childhood cancer patient from Galway, now working at St. James’s hospital,  Eamonn Faller, says of the power brokers in St James’s and the government -“Until the people in charge experience these things[access, parking problems] as patients or parents, the actual wellbeing of sick children will remain an abstract concept to them. It’s not their fault, it’s just a fact…….And as a result, it’s looking like the Government, for political reasons, will place an institution’s interest ahead of the welfare of the children in this country.”

NCHA  says it is the government’s responsibility to understand ‘abstract concepts’. The government must face its duty and the evidence and CHANGE THE SITE – NOW.