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‘Clinical criteria’ support Rotunda move

02 Jul 2015

The Minister for Health has announced the locations for the re-development of the Rotunda and the Coombe maternity hospitals, which will be relocating to Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown and St James’s Hospital, respectively.

The Department of Health said it considered a number of potential campus sites for the Rotunda, looking at planning risks, site capacity, demographics and a range of clinical criteria, and a review considered the composition of the Hospital Groups. “Both hospitals need significant capital investment, particularly the Rotunda, which is more than a century old in parts,” said Dr Leo Varadkar this week.

Tri-location with paediatric services further would enhance the clinical benefits for the sickest new-born babies, said the Department, in reference to the Coombe’s co-location with the proposed new children’s hospital on the St James’s campus. The planning application for the new children’s hospital will be submitted to An Bord Pleanála in the coming weeks.

The proposed move of the National Maternity Hospital at Holles St to the campus of St Vincent’s University Hospital is also progressing. A design team is in place and it is expected that a planning application will be submitted later this year.

The project brief for the children’s hospital has taken account of maternity hospital requirements in certain shared-service areas.

Funding models for the maternity hospital relocations will now be examined, and may include public private partnerships.

KPMG recommended in its 2008 report on maternity services in the Greater Dublin Area that all maternity hospitals should be co-located with adult acute services in order to provide optimal clinical outcomes, although it had suggested that the Rotunda move to the Mater and the Coombe to Tallaght.

Gary Culliton

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Irish Medical Times