Minister for Health announces two satellite centres of the new children’s hospital

The Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly, today (28th January 2014) announced that construction of satellite centres of the new children’s hospital will go ahead on the campus of Tallaght Hospital on the southside of Dublin and Connolly Hospital on the northside of Dublin.

Both centres will be established in advance of the main hospital opening, with an estimated completion date of mid-2016, subject to detailed site studies and planning consent.

The satellite centres are being developed in order to enhance access to emergency/urgent care facilities for children in the Greater Dublin Area. As well as urgent care, each centre will also provide secondary acute outpatient services, including rapid access general paediatric clinics.

Minister Reilly said: “This is another key milestone in the development of the new national children’s hospital, further ensuring that we will deliver better outcomes for our children and young people, well into the future.”

Dr. Jim Browne, Chair of the Children’s Hospital Group Board, said: “The Minister’s decision on the satellite centres is another important step forward for the project and I am confident it will support the best outcomes for children both in Dublin and throughout Ireland. We can look forward now to planning in an integrated manner for the transition to both the satellite centres and the new hospital.”

Tom Costello, Chair of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Group Board, said: “I very much welcome the Minister’s decision on the satellite centres. This is another key milestone in the development of the new children's hospital. I am confident that the locations selected will enable us to get these centres built in line with our target date of mid 2016 - well in advance of the opening of the main hospital.”

Note for Editors

The decision to develop the hub-and-spoke model of a main hospital with satellite centres is based on the need to provide high quality, safe, accessible acute and secondary general care to the children of the Greater Dublin Area. These centres need to be established well in advance of the main hospital opening.

The decision on satellite centres has been informed by consultation with, and input from, the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board, Children’s Hospital Group and the HSE including the National Clinical Programme for Paediatrics. It has involved significant consultation on the appropriate model with paediatric hospital clinicians and management.

Services to be provided in the satellite centres

These two satellite centres will each provide urgent care, to be established well in advance of the main hospital opening. Each centre will also provide secondary outpatient services including rapid access general paediatric clinics. This configuration improves geographic access to urgent care for a significant number in the Greater Dublin Area, supports primary and community care paediatrics and significantly reduces Emergency Department and outpatient attendance on the main site.

Each centre will provide consultant-delivered urgent care, with observation beds (4-6 hour) and appropriate diagnostics. It is anticipated that the centres will open from 07.30 to 22.00. The majority of patients attending the centre will be treated and discharged. Critically ill and injured children will be stabilised by appropriately trained staff and transferred to the main site (using a retrieval and transport service). Similar models elsewhere show around 2% transfer to the main site (in this model it may be 5-8%, depending on opening hours as children who arrive close to closing time and require ongoing observation/care may need to be transferred). The centres are projected to provide 41% of urgent acute care in the Greater Dublin Area, equivalent to 50,000 attendances annually.

Location

Both satellite centres will be located on the site of an acute hospital. Co-locating satellite units with an adult hospital provides the opportunity to share clinical and non-clinical support services with the adult hospital, such as pathology, pharmacy, sterile services, biomedical engineering, facilities management and diagnostics.

A number of criteria were identified against which location options were considered. These are (i) paediatric population density; (ii) level of deprivation experienced by the population; (iii) accessibility; (iv) clinical advantages; (v) site suitability; (vi) cost. The overall policy context has been considered also.

Ends

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