In line with best international practice, it is Government policy that standalone maternity hospitals should be co-located with acute adult hospitals. The National Maternity Strategy, published in January 2016, reaffirms this commitment. The New Maternity Hospital at the St Vincent’s University Hospital campus will be the first of these to be developed, with the Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital, the Rotunda Hospital and University Maternity Hospital, Limerick to follow in time.
Project Ireland 2040, incorporating the National Development Plan 2018-2027, will provide funding of €10.9 billion over the next decade to develop infrastructure, equipment and additional service capacity for the public health sector, in an ambitious plan to improve our health services and modernise how we deliver services through the implementation of Sláintecare.
We must ensure that we carefully plan the use of this capital funding to meet population health needs and achieve value for money.
Project Ireland 2040 includes funding to provide the infrastructure to support implementation of the National Maternity Strategy and to provide an appropriate environment within all our maternity hospitals/units to facilitate the delivery of a modern, safe, quality service where the woman’s need for privacy and dignity is respected. These new developments will radically improve maternity, gynaecology and neonatal healthcare, both at local and national level.
It is important to recognise that all capital development proposals, including the relocation of the Rotunda to Connolly Hospital campus in Blanchardstown, must progress through detailed appraisal, planning, design and procurement, in line with the requirements of the Public Spending Code, before a firm timeline or funding requirement can be established.
The HSE Capital Plan 2019, published recently, provides for the project brief to be progressed.