Rural Independent Group Motion re the National Children’s Hospital

 

To be debated in Dáil Éireann- Wednesday 29th March.

 

“That Dáil Éireann:

notes:

  • the urgent need to develop appropriately sited, world class prenatal, perinatal and paediatric medical services for all the nation’s children and their families;
  • the critical need for a short corridor-linked or full service maternity hospital, integrated with the National Children’s Hospital to prevent the current situation of avoidable death and disability in newborn infants;
  • that the existing hospital infrastructure that caters for sick children is no longer fit for purpose;
  • that the shortage of specialised nursing and medical staff is a serious impediment in attaining optimal medical outcomes for children, which will be aggravated by the proposed site;
  • that the cost of construction of the National Children’s Hospital has increased from €404 million in 2012, to approximately €1.1 billion and rising in 2017;
  • the recent doubling of the estimated cost of building the National Maternity Hospital on a brownfield, as opposed to a greenfield site, at St. Vincent’s University Hospital, and that this differential would also apply to the St. James’s Hospital site;
  • that the creation of a site at St. James’s Hospital to accommodate a maternity hospital will prove hugely expensive, requiring major additional rebuilding of the adult hospital;
  • that the assessment of the National Children’s Hospital project by An Bord Pleanála did not adequately address several important aspects of the proposal relating to the medical functioning of the site;
  • that, due to the restricted nature of the proposed St. James’s Hospital site, parking provision for the National Children’s Hospital is dramatically lower and hugely more expensive than that of international comparator hospitals;
  • that the Independent Review of the National Children’s Hospital project (2011) and the Review Group on the National Children’s Hospital (2012) stated that it would be 25 per cent less expensive to build on a greenfield site than on an urban site; and
  • that accessibility to the proposed St. James’s Hospital site for patients, staff and medical personnel will lead to extreme levels of congestion and increase the risks of adverse medical outcomes;

acknowledges:

  • the commitments given in the Programme for a Partnership Government to develop a world class National Children’s Hospital;
  • the desire of all political parties, groups and members to improve and prioritise medical outcomes for the nation’s sick children; and
  • the significant financial commitments given by the Minister for Health and the Government to progress the National Children’s Hospital project; and

calls on the Government to:

  • provide evidence to support their repeated claim of improved clinical outcomes resulting from adult hospital co-location;
  • undertake a full cost-benefit analysis on all aspects of the National Children’s Hospital project, as required by the Department of Finance’s Guidelines for the Appraisal and Management of Capital Expenditure Proposals in the Public Sector;
  • ensure that all the requirements of the Public Spending Code have been met;
  • clarify the exact mandate, statutory and legal standing of the Children’s Hospital Group Board and the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board;
  • justify the costs related to the construction of the National Children’s Hospital at St. James’s Hospital;
  • reconsider the co-location of the National Children’s Hospital with the new Rotunda Maternity Hospital, and in the event of opposition to this reconsideration, to justify, on clinical grounds, why such co-location cannot occur;
  • ensure all the requirements of the Public Spending Code in relation to the maternity hospital development are met before the construction contract of the National Children’s Hospital is awarded by Cabinet, as absence of such an assessment would indicate failure of the Government’s duty of care to its newborn citizens, and that tri-location is not a commitment by the sanctioning authority, the Department of Health; and
  • utilise any site preparation work already started at St. James’s Hospital, to develop a satellite Children’s Urgent Care Centre and further adult services.” — Mattie McGrath, Michael Collins, Noel Grealish, Michael Harty, Danny Healy-Rae, Michael J. Healy-Rae, Michael Lowry.

[23 March, 2017]

 

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