Hospital’s satellite centre for children will have a shortfall of over €1 million

By Mary Dennehy

TALLAGHT Hospital has been allocated less than half of the funding required to build a new paediatric satellite centre on site.

As part of plans to build a New Children’s Hospital at St James’s, paediatric satellite centres are being built in Tallaght and Blanchardstown.

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However, at a meeting of the Tallaght Hospital Executive Management Team (Finance and Performance) in April an overview of the satellite centre was given – and, according to reports, it was discussed that €2 million is required for the development, rather than the €900,000 allocated.

The Echo understands that space from the main hospital including the crèche will be used for the satellite centre, resulting in a number of services requiring re-location.

Infrastructural works, including upgrades to the road network, will also be required.

Triona Murphy, of the Tallaght Hospital Action Group, told The Echo: “There is going to be a serious amount of rejigging when construction of the satellite centre takes place. The crèche, parts of the age-related services and office space will all have to be relocated to make way for the new centre.

“The money for the new building is there, but no funding has been allocated for the relocation of services or for upgrades to the road network or infrastructure.

“I would be seriously concerned over this – according to reports the hospital estimates that the development cost could be more than double of what has been earmarked.

“Tallaght Hospital is expected to eat into its current space and facilities, which without funding for relocation could be lost.

“It’s bad enough that Tallaght Hospital’s children’s services are being downgraded, without downgrading the adult services.

“Funding needs to take into task the complete project. Tallaght Hospital cannot be left short at the expense of the adult services.”

When contacted by The Echo, a Tallaght Hospital spokesman could not comment on reports of the required €2m.

He did tell The Echo: “The planning application for the Urgent Care Satellite Centre planned at Tallaght Hospital was submitted to An Bord Pleanála in early August and the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board has since issued a tender for the works.

“Subject to planning approval, it is expected that the new centre will be opened in 2017.

“Funding for the planned centre has been secured as part of the new National Children’s Hospital project.”

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