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St Vincent's board remains 'totally supportive' of plans for new National Maternity Hospital

The board said last Friday it was reviewing its role in the project in light of the public outcry.

THE BOARD OF the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group has said that it remains “totally committed” to the plans to build the new National Maternity Hospital on its campus.

In a statement following its meeting today, a spokesperson for the board reaffirmed its commitment to the NMH project, saying that a new maternity hospital was urgently needed.

The board said last Friday it was reviewing its role in the project in light of the public outcry that emerged when it was revealed that the new hospital would be fully owned SVHG.

SVHG has as its major shareholders the religious order the Sisters of Charity. The organisation still owes millions to the State as part of a redress scheme for victims of institutional abuse.

Earlier, former Master of the current National Maternity Hospital at Holles Street – Dr Peter Boylan – resigned from the board of that hospital over his opposition to the move.

A spokesperson for the board said this evening that is remained “totally supportive of the proposed relocation of the NMH to SVHG under the terms of the agreement mediated by Kieran Mulvey”.

That agreement – reached by both hospitals in November – has laid out how the new NMH will have complete clinical and operational independence when it is built.

Health Minister Simon Harris and current NMH Master Dr Rhona Mahony have moved to assure the public of this independence.

Earlier this week, chairman of the SVHG board James Menton said that any medical procedure which is in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Ireland will be carried out at the new hospital.

This was in response to statements that procedures that were at odds with a Catholic ethos (like IVF treatment, for example) would not be carried out at the new hospital.

“Locating [the new hospital] alongside St Vincent’s acute hospital will provide synergies for both hospitals that will lead to the delivery of modern, world class medical, maternity and neonatal services,” a spokesperson for SVHG said today.

The board welcomed support of the board of Holles Street, who voted again last night overwhelmingly in favour of the new hospital. It also welcomed statements of commitment by Minister Harris towards the new project.

Speaking this morning on Newstalk’s Pat Kenny Show, Dr Peter Boylan said the Holles Street board at the was “deaf to the concerns of the public it serves”.

The SVHG board said the next phase of the new NMH would now begin.

“The Board of the two hospitals will now commence the next phase of the project, working with the Minister and his officials in effecting the legal agreements to underpin and secure the clinical and corporate governance structures of The National Maternity Hospital at Elm Park, DAC,” the spokesperson for SVHG board said.

These legal agreements will be effected in accordance with all of the provisions contained in the agreement mediated by Kieran Mulvey and endorsed by both hospitals.

The board said SVHG would “continue to serve the people of Ireland by providing world class medical facilities and standards of care”.

The relocation of the NMH, with its strong heritage of excellent care, will add enormously to the rich history and tradition of excellence of both hospitals.

Read: Ex-Holles Street master resigns from board in maternity hospital row

Read: Here is the deal reached by St Vincent’s and Holles Street over the new National Maternity Hospital

About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

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