Press Release

Another key step in the delivery of the new Children’s Hospital

Minister welcomes selection of Programme Director for the new children’s hospital project


Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly, TD, today (28 November 2013) announced that Mr John Pollock has been selected as Programme Director of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board. The appointment of Mr Pollock is a key appointment related to the delivery of the new Children’s Hospital.

Mr Pollock will be the chief officer of the board, colloquially referred to as the “build board” – the board with the responsibility for ensuring the building of the hospital. Separately the Children’s Hospital Group, with its chief executive Eilísh Hardiman, are responsible for bringing the current children’s hospitals together to work as one. By providing for two boards with clear, distinct but interrelated responsibilities, the Government is satisfied that it gives greater effectiveness to the delivery of the hospital. Mr Pollock will work closely with, Ms Hardiman, with the HSE and with other stakeholders to deliver this priority project.

Commenting on the appointment Minister Reilly said he was delighted with the level of interest shown in the position. “Mr Pollock has been selected from an open recruitment process conducted by the Public Appointment Service. He brings an enormous level of expertise and experience to the most important construction job the Government is undertaking. The building of the new Children’s Hospital is a number one priority for me, for this Government and for the children of Ireland. John Pollock will play a pivotal role, with a highly committed team already assembled, to deliver a world class building.

Tom Costello, Chair of the Board, said: “I am delighted with the appointment of John Pollock as Programme Director and welcome him to the project. The Board and I look forward to working with John towards the successful completion of the new Children’s Hospital.”

Notes for Editors

John Pollock

Mr Pollock is the former CEO of Punch Consulting Engineers, and previous Managing Director of TPE Consulting Engineers. He has over 30 years’ experience in the Irish and international building industry, including healthcare, delivering to both public and private sector clients. He holds a Master of Science degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a Civil Engineering degree (1st Hons) from UCC, and is a Member of Engineers Ireland.

The National Paediatric Hospital Development Board

The NPHDB is the body responsible for planning, designing, building and equipping the new children’s hospital in Dublin 8. On 2 August, the Minister announced the appointment of Mr. Tom Costello as Chair of the NPHDB. Twelve board members were also appointed. These appointments ensure not only stakeholder and clinical involvement but also, critically, that the Board has the necessary architecture, planning, engineering and procurement experience and expertise to guide this very large-scale and complex project to completion.

Progress on the new children’s hospital capital project

The new hospital, to be co-located with St James’s Hospital on its campus, will bring together the three existing Dublin paediatric hospitals (Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin, Children’s University Hospital Temple Street, and the paediatric service at Tallaght Hospital) into one entity. The new hospital will provide secondary paediatric services for the Greater Dublin Area and tertiary services for the country as a whole and potentially the whole island of Ireland.

The National Paediatric Hospital Development Board is responsible for the design, planning, building and equipping of the new children’s hospital.

  • The tender process for procurement of a design team is underway. Following its appointment on 2 August, the NPHDB reviewed that procurement process and decided on a change of approach based on its collective expertise and experience and taking into account changing market conditions. This change means that the design team will be selected in Spring 2014, rather than by the end of this year as originally planned. While this is expected to affect the timing of the planning submission and consequent planning decision which had previously been expected in December 2014, there will be no delay to commencement of construction in Spring 2015 or to the project overall, as time can now be recovered at contractor tender stage. The new PIN notice was published on 7 November. A briefing for potential bidders was held on Monday 25th November.
  • Pre-application planning discussions have commenced; the aim is to secure planning permission by Spring 2015.
  • A shared services group is in place, focusing on identifying facilities which can be shared between the new children’s hospital and the adult hospital so as to optimise the build;
  • Work on a review of satellite centre configuration is at an advanced stage and the Minister intends to bring proposals to Government shortly in this regard.
  • The estimated timeline will be kept under continuous review and validation by those to be charged with project delivery. The aim is to appoint the design team by Spring 2014, following which a design will be prepared and planning application submitted. The construction phase is planned to commence in Spring 2015, with the hospital to begin providing services in 2018.
  • In October, the Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform announced that up to €200m would be made available for the new Children’s Hospital from the sale of the National Lottery, adding to the existing Exchequer funding (€450m indented).