Minister for Health, Simon Harris marks the commencement of construction of the new children’s hospital

Milestone day in this much needed and long awaited project is celebrated by children and families who are current users of paediatric services and by staff of the three children’s hospitals

The contract for the first phase of construction is awarded to BAM Contractors

Dublin, 20 July 2016: Minister for Health, Simon Harris was joined today by children who are current users of paediatric services, by the CEOs of the three children’s hospitals, the CEO of St. James’s Hospital, Master of the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, the CEO of the Children’s Hospital Group and the Project Director for the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board on the site of the new children’s hospital to mark the commencement of the first phase of construction. Representatives from BAM Contractors, the successful tenderers for the first phase of the works, were also in attendance.

Construction equipment has arrived on site and will be put to use in the coming weeks as works get underway on this much needed and much wanted project. The new children’s hospital is being built on the 50 acre campus shared with St. James’s Hospital. The location of the hospital was selected in 2012 following a comprehensive process which involved local and international experts. As is best practice internationally, the new children’s hospital will be tri-located with an adult teaching hospital and in due course, with the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital.

Speaking at the photocall to mark this special day, Minister for Health, Simon Harris said: “The delivery of the new children’s hospital is a landmark capital project for this Government and for the country. I am delighted to be here for the commencement of the first phase of construction, a major step towards transforming how paediatric care is delivered in this country.  Bringing together the three children’s hospitals under one roof will mean that the sickest children will no longer have to move from hospital to hospital to avail of the care they need.   It will also lead to better clinical outcomes for children as there will be greater opportunities for staff to work together across disciplines.  Children and young people receiving complex treatment and care, young people transitioning to adult services, as well as the sickest new-borns and mothers, will greatly benefit from specialist services coming together on this campus. The start of the first phase of construction today means we are taking a key step in making the vision of this world class facility a reality.”

Eilísh Hardiman, Chief Executive of the Children’s Hospital Group said: “The new children’s hospital, with its world class design, will be at the centre of a new clinical network for paediatric services in Ireland that support keeping appropriate paediatric services local. The new hospital, tri-located with an adult hospital and in time with a maternity hospital, will provide the sickest children in the country with access to a full range of medical, surgical and diagnostic specialities. This will improve survivorship, clinical outcomes and provide greater opportunities to partner in areas of clinical research and innovation. Today marks a special day as we see the physical works commence and we look forward to work on the new Urgent Care Centres at Tallaght and Blanchardstown beginning later this year.”

Speaking about today’s developments, Project Director, NPHDB, John Pollock said: “Working with the world class design team, extensive time and effort has gone into designing what will be one of the finest children’s hospitals in the world. Extensive engagement and consultation with families, staff and the local community has helped to inform this design, bringing us closer to the delivery of what will be a fantastic modern facility for children and young people. We are very proud of what has been achieved in the design and I am delighted that, following the recent receipt of planning permission, we are now moving to the construction phase of the project which is another major milestone.  I would like to congratulate BAM Contractors who have been appointed to undertake the first phase of construction. We look forward to working with them in the weeks and months ahead on this eagerly awaited project.”

Commenting jointly, the CEOs of the three children’s hospitals, Helen Shortt, CEO, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Mona Baker, CEO, Temple Street Children’s University Hospital and David Slevin, CEO, Tallaght Hospital said: “Our teams increasingly collaborate on complex illnesses and cases – by being all together under one roof, the level of support that can be provided across specialities will increase immensely. This will be of significant benefit to the sickest children and young people – improving outcomes and survival rates. Our teams continue to engage in the design of this wonderful building and look forward to delivering services from one of the best hospitals in the world.”

Lorcan Birthistle, CEO, St. James’s Hospital said, “The new children’s hospital, the Children’s Research and Innovation Centre and the maternity hospital are seminal elements of the campus plan. We are well on the way to becoming a campus of integrated healthcare excellence, one that will rival the very best centres internationally. The opportunities that having adult, paediatric and maternity care all on one campus presents in terms of excellence in service, education and research collaboration is unprecedented in Ireland. This is a very exciting time for all of the team at St. James’s as we can now see the physical changes starting on campus.”

Dr. Sharon Sheehan, Master of the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital said: “Today marks a day when the strategy to deliver tri-location starts to become a reality. To have a full maternity hospital located on the same campus as an adult teaching hospital and a paediatric hospital is something that is aspired to all around the world. We look forward to enhancing the seamless transition of care for our mothers and babies between high quality maternity, paediatric and adult services, providing the best clinical outcomes. To drive this vision of integration, we look forward to working with our colleagues in St. James’s Hospital and with the Children’s Hospital Group.”

Theo Cullinane, CEO, BAM Contractors said: “We are delighted to work with the NPHDB and the Children’s Hospital Group on the first phase of construction of this flagship national project. We understand the importance of this development and the impact that it will have on children, young people and families once complete. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to play our part in delivering this project for the people of Ireland.”



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Notes to the Editor:

  • Visit to watch a video about the new children’s hospital. Hear why parents, children and medical professionals from the three existing children’s hospitals are looking forward to the development of the new hospital
  • #ournewchildrenshospital


About the Hospital

  • A four storey building – rising to seven storeys at its highest point above ground – sits comfortably within the existing St. James’s Hospital campus, the first views of the hospital being an oval pavilion set in a therapeutic rooftop garden. The garden is an integral part of the design as it will give a tangible sense of this being a special place – one for children and young people, elevated above the world of adults.
  • Below the elevated garden, the elements which will be distinguishable immediately are the main entrance and the outpatient clusters. These project out like welcoming arms on either side of a generous entrance piazza, drawing visitors towards the hospital’s front door. The curved form of the ward pavilion reveals itself most clearly above the main entrance, extending down to ground level as a double-height glazed screen that allows the piazza and entrance concourse to feel like an uninterrupted public space. Once inside, visitors will find themselves in what instinctively feels like the heart of the hospital – a four-storey high space that visually connects all the building’s principal levels.


Further Detail about the Design

  • A multi-level day-lit concourse connects the main entrance with the hospital’s other principal public entrance from the LUAS, a 2-minute walk away. The concourse extends down to a lower ground level providing access to a number of clinical areas as well as the main visitor car park situated below the entrance. On the west side of the concourse, overlooking the South Circular, the outpatient clusters are grouped within four wings arranged around three garden courtyards. Reception and waiting areas are placed between the wings, open to the concourse on one side and the gardens on the other. On the east side of the concourse state-of-the-art clinical facilities include 42 beds in critical care unit and 18 neonatal critical care units, Operating Theatres incorporating interventional radiology suites, an Imaging Department and an Emergency Department with its own dedicated access.
  • Shops, cafes, restaurants and information points line the concourse, facing you as you come through the main entrance. The shape of the ward oval above is intimated by the curved west side of the atrium, reminding visitors of the building’s distinctive external form. The oval-shaped garden, a modern reinterpretation of the courtyard at the heart of the nearby former Royal Hospital at Kilmainham, forms a secure, sheltered environment for ten of the hospital’s thirteen wards. The wards provide 380 single in-patient rooms, with ensuite bathrooms and an overnight bed for parents. Other family accommodation includes 53-bed facility near the main entrance


  • CGI jpegs available upon request