Thursday, 7 March 2019

Ceisteanna (179)

John McGuinness


179. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health the person or body who authorised the changes to the design brief of the national children's hospital in each of the years 2016 to 2018. [11427/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (NPHDB) has statutory responsibility for planning, designing, building and equipping the new children's hospital and outpatient and urgent care centres in accordance with a brief approved by the HSE with the prior consent of the Minister for Health, and subject to any subsequent variations to this brief as may be determined by the Executive in consultation with the Board, and with the prior consent of the Minister.

Under the relevant statutory instrument, the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (Establishment) Order 2007 (S.I. 246 of 2007), the then Minister consented in June 2014, followed by HSE approval, to a project brief, incorporating a preliminary design brief, which Government was advised would enable the NPHDB to appoint a design team to commence design activities and user consultation and preparation of a detailed Business Case with a view to the submission of a planning application to an Bord Pleanála in 2015. The project brief did not at that stage specify the two stage procurement approach. 

The size, complexity and specialist nature of this project informed the decision by the NPHDB to adopt a two-stage procurement process which was developed by the NPHDB over the course of 2014 and 2015 with the involvement of the Government Contracts Committee for Construction (GCCC), and finalised in the early part of 2016 prior to the issue of the new children's hospital tender documentation.  This two stage procurement approach was set out in the 2016 updated Project Brief and Business Case as follows:

- Procurement stage 1 : a full tender and contract for Phase A on the basis of a detailed design, with the tendering of Phase B on a preliminary 1st stage design with an approximate and remeasurable bill of quantities reflecting the preliminary 1st stage design; and

- Procurement stage 2 : While the basement Phase A works were under construction, the 2nd stage detailed design for the above ground Phase B works was completed.  This was done on a remeasurable basis with a full bill of quantities priced at the 1st stage preliminary design tendered rates.

Tender bids were received by the NPHDB at the end of October 2016. The Final Project Brief  (incorporating Final Design Brief, Definitive Business Case and Project Execution Plan) were updated to reflect the post tender revised capital costs. In February 2017 the NPHDB submitted the Final Project Brief to the HSE for review seeking the Minister for Health’s consent and HSE approval in line with the approval process set out in the Board’s Establishment Order.  In April 2017, I brought a Memorandum to Government advising of the outcome of the tender process undertaken by the NPHDB with associated capital costs of €983m of which €916m was to be met by the Exchequer, and seeking approval for the construction investment decision, following which the HSE approved the Project Brief with my prior consent. 

The NPHDB had responsibility for completion of the detailed design and this formed part of the services provided by the design team contracted to the NPHDB.  In November 2018, following completion of the second stage of the two-stage tender procurement process, the NPHDB advised that the final cost of the design, build and equipment programme for which the NPHDB is responsible was €1,433 million, €450m more than advised to Government in April 2017.  In December 2018 I brought a further Memorandum to Government of the revised costs and Government approved the construction investment to allow Phase B of the hospital to be instructed.