To ask the Minister for Health if he will indicate in the context of discussions and submissions of influence relating to the location of the new Children’s Hospital, if he will have particular regard to the need to locate the hospital to facilitate the easiest possible accessibility form the point of view of children needing treatment and their parents; if he will undertake to ensure that the primary consideration for the location of the hospital will be patient driven; his views on whether easy and speedy access is of critical importance in the location of the hospital, that adequate parking and that ancillary facilities are available; the number and location of sites now being considered; if the planning consultancy costs to date can be offset against future proposals in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Bernard J Durkan TD
As you will be aware, I established an independent Review Group to consider the implications of the decision of An Bórd Pleanála, received on 23 February 2012, to reject the planning application for the proposed construction of a national paediatric hospital on the site of the Mater Misericordiae Hospital.
The aim of the Review was to consider all the possible options for the earliest possible delivery of a new children’s hospital. The Review considered all the possible options having regard to €“
· Government policy on the delivery of health services, including accessibility and paediatric services in particular and best clinical practice considerations,
· the cost and value for money considerations of the different options,
· the likely timelines associated with the different options,
· the implementation risks associated with the different options.
The group presented its report to me in June.
I can assure the Deputy that at the heart of any decision that is made in relation to the national paediatric hospital, the needs of the patient will be central to this process. In this regard I have been carefully considering the issues and will bring the report to Government shortly with my recommendation. Together in consultation with my colleagues in the cabinet we will then make a decision on the location of the national paediatric hospital.