Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (745)

Denis Naughten


745. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health the projected cost of the development of the children's hospital on the St. James's Hospital site; the estimated timetable for completion of the project; the further funding streams which will be made available to complete the development; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5684/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (NPHDB) is the body responsible for the planning, design, building and equipping of the new children's hospital capital project. The project is currently in the design procurement stage. A Procurement Open Day was held on 25 November last, the short-listing of design teams is now being completed and this will be followed by the invitation to tender for those short-listed. Decant planning, updating of the St James’s site masterplan and pre-application planning discussions have been ongoing in relation to the site. The aim is to have the site cleared by the end of this year, to have a planning decision and commence construction in Spring 2015, and to begin transition of services to the new children's hospital at the end of 2018.

In parallel with the construction of the new children's hospital, the operational integration of the three existing children's hospitals is of critical importance in ensuring that the new hospital functions effectively from the outset. A Children's Hospital Group involving the three hospitals has been established, the core function of which is to integrate the three children's hospitals staff and service provision, well in advance of the new hospital being built.

In October 2013, the Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform announced that up to €200m would be made available for the new Children’s Hospital from the sale of the National Lottery, adding to the existing €450m Exchequer funding. The level of funding now in place underlines the Government’s commitment to this priority project. Also, philanthropic/non-Exchequer funding will be sought to the maximum and most appropriate degree. Estimated costs will be reviewed and refined at each stage as the project progresses.