Following the refusal of planning permission by An Bord Pleanála for the new children's hospital on the Mater site, I established a Review Group chaired by Dr Frank Dolphin (the Dolphin Group) to advise on next steps. Their report was presented to me on 8 June last. On Tuesday, I announced the Government’s decision to develop the new children’s hospital at the campus of St James’s Hospital in Dublin. In identifying the new site, the Government has carefully considered the report of the Dolphin Group along with detailed supplementary information on cost, time and planning which was subsequently sought from those members of the Group with the relevant technical expertise.
This decision has been made in the best interests of children, with clinical considerations being of paramount importance. It is essential that the new children’s hospital can deliver best clinical outcomes for our children. Co-location with an adult hospital has been deemed essential by the Dolphin report, and by all previous reports on this issue, while tri-location with a maternity hospital is optimal. Greenfield sites do not offer this opportunity and therefore the Dolphin report excluded greenfield sites from consideration. Co-location, and ultimately tri-location with a maternity hospital, on the St James's campus will support the provision of excellence in clinical care that our children deserve.
I intend to move quickly now to put in place all the necessary structures and governance arrangements to enable the delivery of this project as quickly as possible and to the highest quality. This Government regards the building of the new children’s hospital as a key priority and no effort will be spared in expediting its completion.