A Review Group (Dolphin Group) was appointed in March 2012 to advise the Minister for Health on the options for the new children’s hospital, following the refusal by An Bord Pleanála to give planning permission for the proposed new children’s hospital on the Mater campus. The Group assessed the comparative strengths and weaknesses of a number of potential co-location sites and set out a range of options in their report.
The report informed the subsequent decision to locate the hospital at the campus of St James’s Hospital to ensure that the planned co-location with an adult hospital and, ultimately, tri-location with a maternity hospital, would be delivered.
In identifying the new site, Government considered the report of the Dolphin Group along with detailed supplementary information on cost, time and planning which was subsequently sought from members of the Group with the relevant technical expertise. This included an evaluation of the costings of the different options outlined in the report.
The decision was led by clinical considerations. From a clinical and academic perspective, St James’s Hospital was identified as the hospital that best met the criteria to be the adult partner in co-location because it had the broadest range of national specialties and excellent research and education infrastructure.