Locate new children's hospital in Blanchardstown (Cllr.David McGuinness) sign now

Children’s Hospital Submission
Cllr.David McGuinness
Mobile 0876415403.
Email dmcguinn@tcd.ie

The Case for locating the new National Paediatric Hospital at James Connolly Memorial Hospital.

May 2012

1. Introduction
The location chosen for the new National Paediatric Hospital is of vital importance to future provision of health services to the people of Ireland, and in particular, to our children.

In this submission, we will outline the significant benefits available to both patients and the Exchequer by choosing a site at, or directly adjacent to, James Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown in West Dublin.
On a broad range of criteria, the site at Connolly Hospital is worthy of consideration. Principal among these is the co-location with an adult teaching hospital as set out by the McKinsey report.

However, in addition to the essential medical criteria, the location of the National Paediatric Hospital on, or adjacent to, Connolly Hospital provides an optimal outcome to patients, service providers, and the Exchequer.

Among these criteria where Connolly Hospital is ideally placed are land availability and suitability, planning, demographics, transportation and accessibility; and amenities and recreation potential. This submission will expand on these criteria and outline briefly the arguments for the siting of the landmark National Paediatric Hospital in Blanchardstown.

In addition, there has been overwhelming support at political level for a Motion at Fingal County Council in support of siting the new Hospital within Fingal County, with a partiiclar emphasis on the merits of the site available at Connolly Hospital.

2.1 Medical
It is a fact that the site at Connolly Hospital is one of the few locations within the Greater Dublin Area which satisfies the criteria set out by the McKinsey report. We agree that these criteria are fundamental to the development of the new National Children Hospital.

As the Review Group will be aware, Connolly Hospital is currently in the process of bringing its merger with the Beaumount Campus and the Royal College of Surgeons to completion. When complete, this will provide a world-class medical training hospital, with specialised services. If co-location with a National Childrens Hospital is secured, Dubliners and the Irish people, will have a new medical campus that can rival any throughout the world.

2.2 Land Availability and Suitability
There is extensive land available within the Hospital grounds coupled with the extensive State-owned Abbotstown site adjacent to the Hospital. This would ensure a cost effective development aswell as ensuring an expeditious process of securing and preparing a site for construction.
In the original round of submissions for the consideration of locations for the children’s hospital, Connolly Hospital itself outlined the extent of these two locations. In fact, there exists enough green fields here to facilitate a new maternity hospital should the Government deem this appropriate in the coming years.

2.3 Planning
The planning for the National Paediatric Hospital at Connolly Hospital would avoid the many planning issues which arise with other sites that have been mentioned, particularly those in more developed and urban landscapes within the Greater Dublin area. The planning authority compiled a report which included a planning assessment:

2.4 Demographics
The 2011 Census clearly show that Fingal and its direct hinterland and bordering counties show an dramatic population growth in the last 5 years. Upon this basis, we extrapolate that where the greatest population growth has occurred there will be a higher proportion of children –namely the cohort who will be using the new Children’s Hospital. We believe that it would make policy sense to employ a demographic criteria into the decision-making process. In a similar manner that Dublin is being generally seen as the location for the National Paediatric Hospital due to it holding the largest population base, then the area of greatest population growth within Dublin should be considered in terms of location.

In terms of details from the Census, the key figures show that Fingal has the largest growing population in the greater Dublin region with an increase of 33,999 since 2006. This compares to an increase of 18,270 in South Dublin.

In the age cohort most likely to be patients/clients of the new Children's Hospital in the future (those currently aged between 0-9), Fingal shows 48,760 of the total population are now in this age category. In South Dublin that figure stands at 43,148. Although Dublin City area has 54,936 in the 0-9 category, it is worth bearing in mind that many of these children reside in areas geographically adjacent to Fingal(Connolly Hospital) such as constituencies such as Dublin North-West which has seen a population increase of 5,701 since 2006.

If the hinterland of Fingal was taken into account in terms of Council areas, there has been a population growth of 130,581 when Louth is included. This compares to 120,316 in South Dublin. Both of these are significantly higher than any other area in the great Dublin/East Leinster region.

It is also noteworthy that Dublin West includes two of the fastest growing centres of population in the country - namely Blakestown and The Ward which are both close to the Connolly site.

2.5 Transportation and Accessibility
Originally poor transport accessibility, in particular road transport, was seen as negative points for the location of the new Hospital at the Connolly site. In the interim, these issues have been resolved. There is now direct access to the Hospital from the M3.
• Roads
o M50 upgrade, including M3 Junction resolving local traffic issues
o N2-N3 Link Road due to finish February 2013.
• Rail and Bus
o Connolly Hospital within 1km of Intercity and Commuter train services.
o Line BXD will enhance connectivity
o Metro West paused but strong belief that it will be built. Siting of new Hospital at Connolly would expedite construction of Metro West.
o High quality and frequent bus service to City Centre and Bus Aras.

2.6 Amenities and Recreation Potential
Although very much a complimentary criteria, it is important to bear in mind that Connolly Hospital is situated next to the extensive State-owned land managed by the National Sports Campus Development Authority. This amenity provides huge opportunity for patients and their families to use these facilities during their recuperation. See extensive plans for the area below as outlined by the Government March 2012:

The site is immediately adjacent to the village of Blanchardstown and the large Blanchardstown Shopping Centre which includes hotel facilities, library, theatre and many retail units. This offers all the local amenities that could be required by visiting patients and their carers. It is only a short distance from the attractions of the Phoenix park, including Dublin Zoo, and all the amenities of the city centre.

3. Conclusion

This submission outlines the very real benefits that exist in relation to locating the National Children’s Hospital on the grounds of, or adjacent to, Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown. Should the Mater Site be deemed unsuitable, Connolly and Dublin West provides the best site available to develop a world-class medical campus which caters for the largest concentration of the growing population with the most accessible site and the best possible deal for the exchequer and the government.

Cllr.David McGuinness
Mobile 0876415403.
Email dmcguinn@tcd.ie
Postal Address: 34 Manorfields Walk, Dublin 15

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Petition target:
People of Dublin, Meath,Louth,Kildare, Leinster

Petition community:
Cllr.David McGuinness Dublin West Fianna Fail / Damien O’Reilly South Meath Fianna Fail


abbotstown, blanchardstown, children's hospital, connolly hospital, kildare, louth, mater, meath, train


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