Press Release

Minister Harris welcomes the passing of the Children’s Health Bill through the Oireachtas and early establishment of Children’s Health Ireland

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, today welcomed the passing of the Children’s Health Bill 2018 through the Oireachtas.

The Bill provides for the establishment of a single statutory entity, Children’s Health Ireland, to provide paediatric services and take over responsibility for the services currently provided by the existing three Dublin children’s hospitals, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, and the paediatric services at Tallaght University Hospital.

In addition to providing secondary and tertiary paediatric healthcare services, the new entity will also be the lead centre for paediatric education, training, research and innovation in Ireland. It will also be the centre of a national clinical network for paediatric services.

The Bill will be presented to the President to sign it into law.

Minister Harris said “I welcome the fact that all stages of this Bill passed today, and I would like to thank the members of both Houses of the Oireachtas for their support for this Bill.

“The establishment of this new body will bring together staff and services from the three existing children’s hospitals into a single organisation in advance of the opening of the paediatric outpatients and urgent care centres at Connolly Hospital in 2019 and at Tallaght University Hospital in 2020 and the new children’s hospital in 2022.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity to transform paediatric services for children in Ireland and will improve the experience and outcomes for children and their families. It is my intention to commence the legislation on a phased basis. The Children’s Hospital Group Board will be the first Board of Children’s Health Ireland when it is established later this year with a view to taking over responsibility for the staff and services of the three children’s hospitals from the beginning of next year.

“As a body corporate established by an Act of the Oireachtas, Children’s Health Ireland will have the powers and functions it needs as the national tertiary paediatric service. It will also have the necessary status to take on a leadership role nationally in relation to paediatric healthcare and as an international player in paediatric research and innovation.

“I would like to thank everyone who has worked to bring this Bill through the Oireachtas and to commend them for their efforts, in particular Seán Sheehan, Liam Dowdall, Turlough O’Sullivan, Chairs/Vice Chair of the three children’s hospitals, their Boards and hospital executives, Catherine Guy, Chair of the CHGB Legal Entity Committee, Dr Jim Browne, Chair of the Children’s Hospital Group Board, and his fellow Board members and Eilísh Hardiman, Children’s Hospital Group CEO, who have worked with my Department in the development of the legislative framework.

“Finally, I look forward to working with the HSE and Children’s Health Ireland as we continue the journey to the opening of the new children’s hospital.’’

ENDS

Notes to the Editor

Integration of Crumlin, Temple Street and Tallaght paediatric services

The existing hospitals, all independent bodies with a long tradition and commitment to paediatric care, have undertaken to come together in one new entity. Through the Legal Executive Committee of the Children’s Hospital Group Board, the three hospitals have engaged with the Department in a collaborative approach to develop the legislation.

Main provisions of the Bill

The primary purpose of the legislation is to establish a body corporate which will govern and manage the new children’s hospital and provide services on behalf of the HSE as a Health Act 2004 section 38 body.

The Bill consists of nine parts (all of which commence by Ministerial Order) and covers establishment, functions and powers, Board matters, employment including role of the CEO, and accountability and standards.

Functions will include the delivery of health services, research, education, and related functions.

Name of the new body

The Bill provides for the creation of ‘Children’s Health Ireland’, a legal name which describes the new entity whose future service remit is broader than only running a hospital. Under the Bill, the new entity will have responsibility for providing secondary and tertiary paediatric healthcare services and will be the lead centre for paediatric education and training and research in Ireland.

In addition to the legal name, the Minister has approved a new consultative approach to agreeing a brand/image “operational name” for the new entity. The naming process will build on and improve the earlier naming process. This process will end with a short list of names submitted for Government endorsement prior to announcement.

Timeline

The Paediatric Outpatients and Urgent Care Centre at Connolly is scheduled to open in 2019 followed by the Centre at Tallaght in 2020 in advance of the opening of the main hospital in 2022.