herald

Friday 9 December 2016

McDonald's charity plans rooms at children's hospital

National Children's Hospital
National Children's Hospital

RONALD McDonald House is seeking a move to the new children's hospital planned for the St James's campus.

The charity already runs two facilities with a combined 20 en-suite rooms for parents of sick children at Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin (OLCHC).

At a meeting in March of the steering group for the new children's hospital project, the issue of Ronald McDonald House providing accommodation was raised.

The minutes of that meeting - released to the Herald under Freedom of Information laws - confirm the charity wants to be involved in providing accommodation for parents.

"Ronald McDonald House wants to build a hostel on the site providing accommodation to the parents of children in the new children's hospital," the minutes said.

"The steering group discussed the approval process required to allow Ronald McDonald House to develop plans to build on the site. It was affirmed that the State can provide land for charitable effect."

controversial

The minutes note that the HSE Directorate will formally make a decision on the proposal.

Sources close to the project have said that no decisions have been made, but that it is likely the charity will run a 60-bed facility planned for the new hospital.

Both Ronald McDonald House, a charity affiliated with fast food restaurant company McDonald's, and the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board declined to comment when contacted by the Herald.

Included in the plans for the controversial hospital is a 60-bed facility at the entrance. It is expected that this will now be earmarked for the Ronald McDonald House.

It is three times the size of the facility in Crumlin and will take considerably more funds to run.

At the moment, it costs about €400,000 a year to run the Crumlin facility.

The accommodation is open to any family which has to travel more than two hours to OLCHC and which has a child hospitalised for five days or more. It costs families just €10 a night.

Public submissions on the plans for the national children's hospital closed last Friday.

More than 75 submissions were made on the plans to An Bord Pleanala.

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