Childrens Hospital Refused Planning


Call me cynical but I suspect that if the nuns suddenly came out as atheists, ripped off their habits and decided to offer free abortion Tuesdays, the NMH board would still not be any more keen at giving up their power. Nothing against them personally, no powerful board has ever happily been subsumed into a larger organisation (without a payoff, which is unlikely to happen here). I just think the ideology is a handy foil.


Well Peter Boylan claimed there’d be no IVF etc there if it was “Catholic controlled”

Someone’s spinning


Call it what you want but it stillboils down to what is the most appropriate governance structure for running a large maternity hospital and which structure is the best for patients?

Is it the existing management structure used n the 3 Dublin maternity hospitals and Limerick.

Or is it the structure proposed by St Vincents used in units like Galway, Portlaoise, Cavan, Sligo, Drogheda and Portiuncula?


Masters weigh in. We had excellent dealings with a former Master (as well as one of the invididuals below) though I’m unconvinced that clinicians make the best CEOs …

ST Vincents and the NMH have more in common than they care to admit


Completely agree. There must be a best practice internationally. Just do that. Keep the ideology out of it.


Not sure about governance structure itself but the best practice internationally for maternity hospitals is that they’re co-located with a big general hospital capable of providing supplementary cross-speciality care where necessary.

The current maternity situation in Dublin is downright dangerous to any woman with any sort of a complicated medical history. Suppose for instance you’re pregnant and have a cardiac history, there’s no on site cardiologist to advise on your treatment.

Given the need for co-location I can’t imagine that separate governance structures, i.e. two hospitals operating on the same grounds, is the best solution long term.

I can see a need for a clinical directorship, but why on earth would it be appropriate for administrative and financial control to be run completely separately?


Because maternity services would then have to compete with every other service in the hospital for funding, women’s services are never prioritised. 1 year after Corks maternity hospital merged despite assurances they had their budget cut 20% by the main hospital and some of their beds re allocated to reduce A&E waiting times.
The only way to protect and improve women’s services is to control your own budget.


Anyone listening to Newstalk for the past 90 minutes?
Completely blew out of the water for James’ to be the new location stating it’s essentially a political decision and it’s closer to Trinners than the Blanch …and an underground car parking space will cost €138k each to create :angry:

Hospital should be in Connolly, despite the slick warblings of James’ spokesperson … inion-Poll


Kenny has been a fool on the Children’s Hospital for years, and one of the driving reasons why we still don’t have an actual children’s hospital for over a decade now.

Almost all major new children’s hospitals are joined with major adult hospitals around the world.
This is because only a small % of main medics, are pure specialist kids medics.
(i.e. the same cancer specialist does adults and kids - therefore you need them in the same building).

The lady who is going to be CEO of the new children’s hospital, Eilish Hardiman, did an excellent presentation to a group of us a few years back and when we heard the facts / rationale, it was a no-brainer (and the room was quite hostile / not warm to her at the outset, probably for having listened to Kenny’s fact-free rants).

I couldn’t give a f**k about parking, when it comes to getting the best treatment for my child (or my grandchildren).
The best treatment is in James, Mater (and probably Beaumont). It is not in Connolly (no Irish medic will dispute this).

I believe her researchers, have had their work respected world-wide, and even won awards for it (only in Ireland, it is still disputed / twisted in the media). Read it yourself and see if you prefer convenient parking over life / death:
(as you wait in Connolly with your sick kid, for your cancer consultant to make it across town from James / Mater).

I was humbled by this lady, when I realized how mis-led I had been by the Irish media on this issue (it is not just property they are biased on), and Kenny is one of the main ones responsible for this. Kenny is a smart man (a scientist by trade) and I am sure has read the above report that she commissioned. It shows how completely biased / twisted he has become on this issue. And will use any avenue open to him to push his “parking first” agenda. Like those of us in the room, he needs to admit he was wrong, and accept responsibility that he has contributed to Irish kids getting poor medical care for a decade longer than they should have.

  • a gazillion.

Even if your main consideration is transport to the hospital, then parking and road access should not be your defining criteria.
Even if they are Connolly is not a good option.
Forgetting for a moment that it’s not on any train or luas line and just about has a few bus services, the major road access is via the M50, a motorway that’s snarled up for 4 hours a day and is just North of a toll bridge costing E2.20 a use.

The whole thing is nonsensical.


I want to address this a little bit more.
Connolly is my closest hospital, 4km an 8 minute drive.
I’m slightly further from the Mater and the Rotunda (about 6km) both of which I’ve had occasion to visit as a patient in the last year.

The Rotunda visits were as follows:

  1. Booking Visit at 12 weeks (diagnosed as missed-miscarriage)
  2. D&C Operation
    3-6) 4 x follow up blood tests, 1 per week
  3. Booking Visit at 9 weeks
    8) 16 week follow up

The Mater Private Visits were as follows:

  1. Pre-Op assessment
    2-3) Operation (incl overnight stay, so 1 journey for me, 2 for hubby)
  2. Post-Op assessment

With the exception of the D&C itself and the operation (2 car trips needed), all of those visits were readily accomplished by public transport.
8 out of 12, or 75%. If I’d been visiting Connolly for them, they would all have been driven.

The overall point, the headline figure of E138K per parking space might be higher, but for a site like James or the Mater you’ll need a fraction of the parking spaces simply because they’re accessible to hundreds of thousands more people by public transport.


Was I brainwashed then?
A point was made that a National Childrens Hospital does not have to be a teaching hospital. It’s not just a Dublin facility.
There was a good speaker on who had chemo as a child describing his trips from Galway to Crumlin by car for seven months. He said a child receiving chemo cannot really travel by public transport as their immune system is compromised. He’s now a doctor working in James’ and stated that the James’ proposal is a bad idea.
He also stated that the proposed helipad at James’ cannot accommodate the Sikorsky rescue helicopter!

The reason Connolly is mentioned is that both the Childrens and Maternity hospitals would be co-located there.
€138k per underground car parking space is not money we the taxpayer can spare.


You really think a national children’s hospital that’s not also a teaching hospital is a good idea?
Exactly where do you think our best doctors will get the best training?

The mind boggles.

Look there is no doubt that there will be many patients who will have no option but to take private transport* to hospital for all sorts of reasons, but it’s not like either the Mater or James have no car parking whatsoever.

For every patient who does need to take private transport, there will be dozens of other journeys to the hospital by staff, by visitors, by not so sick patients that could potentially use public transport. If you pick a site where all of those have to drive too you’ll have to build vast car parks, multiples of the size you need for better located sites. On top of that, you make life extremely difficult for the families that don’t have a car and/or can’t drive for some reason.

And, to top all that off, the difference in journey time between say the N4/M50 junction and the new James site, vs the N4/M50 junction and the new Connolly site, is really not that great so there’s very little time or inconvenience saving on the journey, but there is an additional toll unless you take the back (longer) road. That’ll add E4.40 to your journey.


Well obviously it would be a teaching hospital, just not a currently established one.
I’m not an expert :confused: I was listening to the arguments and they made sense to me.


I think we can all agree there is no one ideal site; unfortunately there are “politicians” involved in this who have never stood for election.

Random doctors or charity heads aren’t saints and they’re not logistics experts - they should stand up their assertions with complete data not cherry pick aspects backed with assorted sob stories


A very short spur from the Maynooth line (for example just before the train line crosses the M50 from the east following the Tolka river) could easily connect the hospital to the train network. The Luas network will soon intersect the Rail network at Broombridge. An orbital bus along the M50 could collect any buses coming to Dublin from the rest of the country. I don’t think the public transport options as a cost benefit were properly investigated. Or it could be that they didn’t arrive at the conclusions I would have liked :smiley:


That sort of point just illustrates how little people really understand of the issues at play.

The spur you’re talking about has to cross a canal and a river (neither cheap), would need upgrades in capacity at Connolly (not cheap) as well as major upgrades to several level crossing (also not cheap) all of which would result in a public transport connection that is still worse then that which exists at James. (And would be available at the Mater once the currently under construction Green Luas line finishes).

What’s the cost of running what amounts to a minor branch line of a minor train line specifically to service the hospital?

There is zero possibility that that solution is better then building underground parking at James.


I don’t think cost was the biggest factor in arrival at the final decision (and rightly so for the national children’s hospital) but do you think the overall cost of construction in James’ will be cheaper than at Blanchardstown? Ignoring infrastructure upgrades for a moment.

A cheaper alternative would be shuttle buses from Castleknock or Phoenix Park station. I understand your point about Connolly capacity upgrade but that’s the kind of thing that wouldn’t just benefit the hospital.

I like how you can state something as zero possibility by the way without a crystal ball. :unamused:


I have a PhD in transport engineering so while there’s a crystal ball involved, it’s not said without some background knowledge.

The overall cost of construction shouldn’t be the determining factor.
The best hospital at which to locate it should be.
The best hospital is the one with the most complementary services that can be used to reinforce standards, protocols, training and enable the best care for patients.

Comparing James and Connolly, that’s James every time. A brief comparison of their respective list of departments will tell you that. … clnk&gl=ie
It’s a no brainer.

The only possible reason to choose Connolly would be because it offered some other benefit (the next biggest being infrastructure & access related) or that the cost was sufficiently cheaper to make it worth moving more facilities from James to Connolly, i.e. relocating James almost entirely to Connolly.

There is only one grounds by which Connolly is a good choice for the National Children’s hospital - that there is more land available. It fails every other criteria.

The whole thing is preposterous.


Darn. I was hoping for a crystal ball. :smiley:

As a PHD you can obviously understand where the use of the term “zero possibility” is justified and where it’s not.

Personally I don’t think the whole thing is preposterous either especially where cost is not the main factor, which we both agree on. If the better services are in and around the James’ site why not move the whole lot? People have to move for their jobs all the time.

I’ve just a lowly masters in electronic engineering myself and am not claiming to be an expert but obviously have a curiosity about the whole thing. I can accept that my thoughts on the matter are under-informed so appreciate your insights.