Children's hospital blueprint approved
A BLUEPRINT for the new national children's hospital that includes 384 in-patient beds and 14 operating theatres has been approved.
The sprawling facility to be built on the grounds of St James's Hospital in Dublin 8 can now proceed to the planning phase, once a design team is appointed.
The hospital will also have 62 critical care beds and single en-suite rooms as well as 85 day-care beds and an emergency department.
Health Minister James Reilly said yesterday's decision by the HSE, with his consent, was an important milestone.
"It means we can now proceed to the next stage of the project - the appointment of the design team and securing planning permission," he said.
"The project brief is the blueprint for the new children's hospital. A single tertiary hospital, supported by two satellite centres in Tallaght and Connolly Hospitals, means that highly specialised care and treatment for children can be centralised appropriately, for best outcomes.
"At the same time, the new hospital will allow children to receive care closer to home where possible through local access to urgent and outpatient care at the satellite centres, and through outreach to paediatric units around the country."
The hospital's development board is expected to notify the preferred design team within days.
It is hoped the national facility will be up and running by the end of 2018. The HSE's Tony O'Brien added: "(The brief) combines optimal design and value for money."