In November 2012 I announced the Government's decision that the new children's hospital would be co-located with St James's Hospital at the St James's campus in Dublin 8. Following this decision, a review was carried out of the previous plan for a paediatric ambulatory and urgent care centre on the campus of Tallaght Hospital, and following that review, I announced in January this year that satellite centres of the main hospital would be built on the campuses of Tallaght and Connolly hospitals. These satellite centres will be an integral part of, and come under the governance of, the new children's hospital. The centres will provide services and environments of the same quality as those delivered in the new children's hospital and staff working in the satellite centres will rotate through the main hospital. In advance of the opening of the new children's hospital, the satellite centres will be managed as part of the Children's Hospital Group.
The decision to develop the hub-and-spoke model of a main hospital with satellite centres is based on the need to provide high quality, safe, accessible acute and secondary general care to the children of the Greater Dublin Area. These two satellite centres will each provide urgent care, to be established well in advance of the main hospital opening. Each centre will also provide secondary outpatient services including rapid access general paediatric clinics. This configuration improves geographic access to urgent care for a significant number in the Greater Dublin Area, supports primary and community care paediatrics and significantly reduces Emergency Department and outpatient attendance on the main site. All other services will be provided on the main site at the St James's campus including all in-patient care.
The satellite centres are expected to be built by mid-2016, enabling them to become operational well in advance of the transition of services to the main hospital on the St James's campus, which is expected to commence at the end of 2018.