Press Release

Two major hospital projects move a step closer

Taoiseach and Minister for Health turn the sod on new Children’s Hospital Paediatric Outpatients and Urgent Care Centre at Connolly and 120 bed redevelopment at the National Rehabilitation Hospital

‘Phoenix Children’s Health’ announced as the new name for the Children’s Hospital and the Outpatients and Urgent Care Centres

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD and the Minister for Health Simon Harris TD today (Monday 23rd October) officially turned the sod on two major Health capital projects, the new Children’s Hospital centre at Connolly and the 120 bed redevelopment at the National Rehabilitation Hospital.

An Taoiseach and Minister Harris joined representatives from the Children’s Hospital Group and National Paediatric Hospital Development Board for the official sod turning ceremony of the Paediatric Outpatients and Urgent Care Centre at Connolly Hospital, before travelling to Dun Laoghaire to turn the sod on phase one of the major redevelopment project at the National Rehabilitation Hospital.

The Taoiseach said today’s sod turning events reaffirm the Government’s commitment to investing in vital infrastructure, while the Minister for Health said these projects will both play a key role in the development of Ireland’s health services.

Paediatric Outpatients and Urgent Care Centre at Connolly Hospital

The new Paediatric Outpatients and Urgent Care Centre at Connolly Hospital, together with the new children’s hospital on a campus shared with St James’s Hospital, and the second Paediatric Outpatients and Urgent Care Centre at Tallaght Hospital, is part of the ongoing programme of work to positively transform children’s healthcare and to deliver improved clinical outcomes for Ireland’s sickest children and young people for future generations to come.

The facility at Connolly Hospital will provide local access to urgent care for children in the Greater Dublin Area. The centre will support primary and community care through the provision of general community and paediatric clinics, including developmental paediatrics, multidisciplinary care for children with chronic stable conditions and other outpatient services. The centre is projected to deal with 25,000 urgent care and 15,000 outpatient attendances every year.
In addition to the sod turning event today, the name for the new children’s hospital and the two centres was announced – they will be called Phoenix Children’s Health.

An Taoiseach said “I am delighted to mark another important milestone in the development of the new children’s hospital and Paediatric Out Patient Department and Urgent Care Centres. I have been a strong supporter of this project over recent years and it is very rewarding to see us progressing to construction stage. The two new centres at Connolly and Tallaght will be an integral part of the new children’s hospital and will be of significant benefit to the people living in the local area, bringing paediatric services here to the thriving communities in Blanchardstown, as well as providing urgent care for children in the Greater Dublin Area.

“I feel a special connection to Connolly Hospital because I worked here as a doctor in 2004 and 2005 and it was a very happy and rewarding time. I saw first-hand that it is the commitment and dedication of the staff which makea Connolly Hospital so special. The team here at Connolly should be commended not just for the healthcare they provide today, but also for their commitment to the future and for coming together to forge a new identity and a new tradition as part of Phoenix Children’s Health.”

Minister Harris said “It is important that we recognise the significant role of this Outpatient Department and Urgent Care Centre. The availability of consultant-led urgent care, with 4-6 hour observation beds, rapid access to OPD clinics and diagnostics will mean that families and GPs can access a range of services locally.”

“I am also happy to be here today at the launch of the name for the new Children’s Hospital and the two centres. Having a name – ‘Phoenix Children’s Health’ – now makes the project even more real and meaningful.”

Major redevelopment at the National Rehabilitation Hospital, Dun Laoghaire.

The new hospital development at the National Rehabilitation Hospital, Dun Laoghaire, will see the existing ward accommodation replaced by a new fit for purpose block of 120 single ensuite rooms. There will be integrated therapy spaces, a new sports hall, hydrotherapy unit, a temporary concourse as well as clinical and ancillary spaces. In addition, links to the existing building will ensure full integration between the new development and the existing hospital on the site.

An Taoiseach said “The new purpose built rehabilitation hospital will provide a patient-centred approach to help deliver the best possible outcomes for those who attend either as in-patients or out-patients. It will also provide the staff of the hospital with an excellent facility within which to continue their work, work which is so critical to the lives of people with neurological conditions and their families and carers. The Government is determined to invest in the future of our health services, while also delivering major healthcare reform, and this ‘breaking ground’ ceremony today is a clear demonstration of our commitment.”

Minister Harris said “The Government recognises the excellent high quality rehabilitation programmes which the National Rehabilitation Hospital delivers and the hospital’s excellent patient outcomes. This new development will enable staff to deliver optimal quality care and treatment in a facility which affords dignity, respect and privacy to all. It will be a major enhancement to rehabilitation services in the country and will have a direct and significant impact on patient recovery. These new facilities will make a real difference to the lives of the children and adults who pass through the doors of the NRH.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

New Children’s Hospital

Background
The new children’s hospital on a campus shared with St James’s Hospital will provide specialist and complex care for children and young people from all over Ireland, and with the Paediatric OPD and Urgent Care Centres at Connolly and Tallaght Hospitals, will be the regional hospital for the children of the Greater Dublin area.

The overriding benefit of the new children’s hospital and OPD Urgent Care Centres is to achieve better healthcare outcomes and to alleviate the burden associated with complex and life-threatening, and chronic conditions. The new children’s hospital will be the national tertiary and quaternary hospital for all the children of Ireland.

As well as delivering care within the hospital, the new hospital will have a hugely important role in education and research. It will have a leadership role for paediatric healthcare nationally, and will have a critically important role in education and research, with linkages to multiple academic partners.

The establishment of the new children’s hospital also provides a unique opportunity to introduce a new model of care for all paediatric services which will enable us to tackle current and future challenges in child health.

Progress this year
On 26 April 2017 the Government approved the investment required to enable the NPHDB to award the construction contracts for the building of the main children’s hospital on the St James’s Hospital campus and the two Paediatric Outpatients and Urgent Care Centres on the Tallaght and Connolly Hospital campuses.

The construction contract for the building of the main children’s hospital and the contract for the Paediatric Outpatients and Urgent Care Centres were signed in August.

Site preparatory work was completed earlier this year and the construction phase of the project has now commenced with excavation works underway on the main site.

Timeline
The Paediatric Outpatients & Urgent Care Centre at Connolly will open in 2019 followed by the second one at Tallaght in 2020 in advance of the opening of the main hospital in 2022.

What the Paediatric OPD Urgent Care Centres will do
The Paediatric Outpatient and Urgent Care Centres at Tallaght and Connolly Hospitals will improve geographic access to urgent care for children in the Greater Dublin Area. The two centres will support primary and community care through the provision of general community and paediatric clinics, including developmental paediatrics, multidisciplinary care for children with chronic stable conditions and other outpatient services. The centres will help to reduce Emergency Department and outpatient attendance at the new children’s hospital on a campus shared with St James’s.

The centres will provide services and environments of the same quality as those delivered in the new children’s hospital, with staff rotating through the outpatient and urgent care centres and the main hospital.

Each Paediatric OPD and Urgent Care Centre will provide consultant-led urgent care, with 4-6 hour observation beds, appropriate diagnostics and secondary outpatient services including rapid access general paediatric clinics as well as child sexual abuse unit examination, observation and therapy rooms. Each centre is projected to deal with 25,000 urgent care and 15,000 outpatient attendances every year.

The centres will be open during the known busiest daytime and evening hours and closed during the night when departments are at their quietest. It is anticipated that the Paediatric OPD and Urgent Care Centres at Tallaght and Connolly will open from 08.00 to 24.00, diagnostic services from 08.00 to 20.00 and outpatient services from 08.00 to 18.00.

Announcement of Name – Phoenix Children’s Health
The Phoenix is a mythological symbol of renewal, community regeneration, vision, hope and inspiration. It is a fitting and apt name for a service which will have a profound impact on the lives of children and their families in Ireland for generations to come. It symbolises the birth of new opportunities.

National Rehabilitation Hospital

The National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) provides complex Specialist Rehabilitation Services (inpatient, outpatient and day-patient services) to patients who have acquired a physical or cognitive disability as a result of an accident, illness or injury and require specialist medical rehabilitation services.

The contracts for the works were signed on 28 August 2017 and construction commenced on site immediately with a projected 27 months duration. The construction works are due for completion by the end of 2019 and the new development is expected to be operational in 2020.

The project is unique in that it will be the first purpose-built rehabilitation facility to be built in Ireland. All ward accommodation at the NRH will comprise new purpose designed single ensuite bedrooms with integrated rehabilitation-specific treatment spaces.