Press Release

Minister announces Independent Review of National Children’s Hospital project

Dr. James Reilly TD, Minister for Health, today (12 May 2011) announced details of an independent review of the project to build the new National Children’s Hospital on the site of the Mater Hospital in Dublin.

Firstly, a financial analysis will be carried out under the auspices of the European Health Property Network(EUPHN).

Mr. John Cooper, an eminent architect with worldwide experience in the area of hospital design and construction, has been nominated by EUPHN to do this exercise. Mr Cooper is also Chair of Architects for Health, a major UK association of architects and health care professionals which aims to promote excellence in the design of hospitals.

Secondly, a clinical review will be carried out informed by the above financial analysis. Mr Cooper, will report and work closely with four international experts drawn from the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI) and the Children’s Hospitals International Executive Forum (CHIEF). All four are CEOs of Children’s hospitals. Three are paediatric clinicians with extensive experience in the areas of clinical practice and hospital management. The fourth has substantial experience in the organisation and running of Children’s hospitals. The four CEOs will perform the clinical review so as to ensure the best possible clinical outcomes and quality of care for children.

The terms of reference for the financial analysis will be:

To examine and independently verify the estimated cost differentials identified in relation to building, equipping and running the proposed National Paediatric Hospital (a) if constructed on the site currently proposed and (b) if constructed to the same specification on notional alternative sites.

The clinical review will then be carried out by NACHRI/CHIEF with the following terms of reference:

To examine whether the potential clinical benefits, if any, of locating a Children’s hospital beside the Adult hospital on the Mater site outweigh:

  • Any cost differential; and
  • Any design issues, including access to the hospital.

To submit a final report to the Minister for Health, with any recommendations as considered appropriate, within four weeks of the commencement of the clinical review.

In announcing the Review the Minister reiterated the Government’s commitment to the construction of a new Children’s hospital and the need to ensure that the project is delivered in the most cost effective way and with the maximum benefit for patients.

“It is my intention to ensure the best possible clinical outcomes for children within the resources available”, the Minister said. “I wish to thank the international experts who have agreed to carry out this review and I look forward to the delivery of their Report in the shortest possible timeframe.”

“It is my understanding an offer has been made to Ms Eilish Hardiman CEO of the National Paediatric Development Board (NPHDB) to take up the post of CEO of Tallaght Hospital. This offer is subject to ratification by the Board of Tallaght and I expect this to happen in the next week. I would like to congratulate her on this offer. She will do a great job judged on her work with NPHDB”

Ms Hardiman will not been leaving the NPHDB until later in the year. It is anticipated that this review will have been completed well before she leaves.

The National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI) is a not-for-profit organisation of children’s hospitals with 218 members primarily in the United States but also with membership from Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Italy, China, Mexico and Puerto Rico. NACHRI promotes the health and well-being of children and their families through support of children’s hospitals and health systems that are committed to excellence in providing health care to children. It facilitates benchmarking programmes that document clinical outcome measurements and reporting across its membership organisations. See for more information.

NACHRI Members participating in the Review:-

Dr James Mandell is a paediatric urologist and is Chief Executive Officer and Trustee of the Children’s Hospital Boston.

Dr James Shmerling is Chief Executive Officer of the Children’s Hospital at Colorado, with extensive experience in the administration, organisation and running of children’s hospitals.

Prof. Peter Steer is paediatrician and neonatologist and CEO of Children’s Health Services, Queensland, Australia.

The Children’s Hospitals International Executive Forum (CHIEF) is a forum of chief executives of the largest (over 150 beds) acute children’s hospitals affiliated to NACHRI. Member participating in the Review under the auspices of NACHRI:-

Dr Jane Collins is a paediatrician and is Chief Executive of the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.

The European Health Property Network (EUPHN) is a network of European governmental and research organisations responsible for the strategic asset planning and management of all form of health property, from hospitals to health centres. The Network’s aim is to promote better standards and more effective investment in, and management of, health property throughout the EU, by using the network capability to enable members to pool and share knowledge, and to keep pace with leading edge developments in this central dimension of health care.