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National Maternity Hospital

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 1 July 2021

Thursday, 1 July 2021

Questions (392)

Neale Richmond


392. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Health the status of the transfer of the National Maternity Hospital from Holles Street to St. Vincent’s Hospital; the timelines for developing the new national maternity hospital at St. Vincent’s Hospital campus; the estimated costs of construction to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28665/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Government is committed to the development of the new National Maternity Hospital (NMH) planned for the St Vincent’s University Hospital Campus at Elm Park, as set out in the Programme for Government. Significant progress has been made on the capital project, with planning permission for the hospital secured in 2017 and, in 2018, the awarding of contract for substantial enabling works.

As the Deputy will be aware the ownership and governance arrangements in relation to the new NMH are more complex. The proposed corporate and clinical governance arrangements for the new NMH at Elm Park were set out in the Mulvey Agreement, which was finalised in 2016 following an extensive mediation process between the NMH and the St. Vincent’s Healthcare Group, published thereafter and noted by Government in 2017. The Mulvey Agreement provides for the establishment of a new company - National Maternity Hospital at Elm Park DAC - which will have clinical and operational, as well as financial and budgetary, independence in the provision of maternity, gynaecology and neonatal services. A draft legal framework has subsequently been developed in order to copperfasten these arrangements, and further engagement is anticipated as part of ensuring that the State’s significant investment will be protected and that all legally permissible services will be provided in the new NMH.

A business case for this relocation project was submitted to the Department by the NMH Project Board in December 2020. This provided a comprehensive overview of the proposed project. However, as a project initiated prior to the updated Public Spending Code (PSC), the Project Board is undertaking additional work to ensure full compliance with the new PSC. It will be submitted to the Department, as Approving Authority, and to DPER for technical review in due course.

Timelines for the new hospital are subject both to satisfactory finalisation of the legal arrangements, and approval of the business case, and therefore not yet available. I have been advised that the amount expended to date on construction works only for the new NMH on the St Vincent’s University Hospital campus is €51.2m inclusive of VAT.