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Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

It's go: The new Children's Hospital moves one step closer to getting built

Construction is due to start on the hospital next summer with the first patients expected in 2018.
Jul 2nd 2014, 8:20 AM 9,358 40

THE NATIONAL CHILDREN’S Hospital has moved one step closer to getting built after the Cabinet officially signed off on the blueprints for the next stage.

Minister for Health James Reilly told the Cabinet that the project brief for the long-awaited hospital in Dublin city centre has been approved by the HSE, with his consent.

The project brief includes details about the number of beds (469),  estimates of cost (€650 million) and key milestones for the hospital on the campus of St James’s Hospital.

The board in charge of the hospital plans has selected a design team who will be informed today and then unveiled in two weeks.

The actual design of the hospital will take about 7 months and is due to finished by spring 2015 when planning permission will be made to An Bord Pleanala.

Assuming planning permission is granted, construction is due to start in summer 2015 with the hospital opening to patients on a phased basis in 2018.

“The new children’s hospital is hugely important for children and young people in Ireland and it is a priority for me, in this Government, for the Department of Health and for the HSE,” said Minister James Reilly.

Responding to questions about whether these plans will definitely go ahead following the collapse of the plans at the Mater Hospital, Eilish Hardiman, the head of the Children’s Hospital Group, said locating at St James’s is “the best outcome for children”.

Speaking on RTE Radio One’s Morning Ireland, Hardiman said that this situation is very different to the Mater plans and that these plans will be the ones to go ahead.

“The argument is over,” she said.

Read: Sewer work will not delay children’s hospital project > 

Read: Planning for children’s hospital delayed, but opening date remains the same > 

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Christine Bohan

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