October 1, 2015

92% of parents are opposed to the proposed new site for our new National Children’s Hospital, Ireland’s largest parenting community, joins forces with the parents of an ‘Extra Special Kids Group’ (a closed Facebook Group of parents with life-limiting serious illnesses), the Jack and Jill Foundation, and The New Children’s Hospital Alliance to say “NO” to the proposed new site at St. James Hospital, Dublin.

According to the MummyPages parenting community:

 92% of parents are opposed to the proposed new site for our new National Children’s Hospital at St. James Hospital, Dublin
 87% of parents are upset that they must pay €50 in a planning application objection to make their voice heard by tomorrow’s deadline 2nd, October.
 95% of parents agree that the most important factors to be considered in approving the planning application for the new National Children’s hospital are:
o Easily accessible by parents across the four corners of the country
o Easily accessible by road or air in emergencies – when minutes matter
o Potential to build parents accommodation for those who need to be near their seriously ill children
o Greenfield site with potential for ongoing development and expansion
o Quick construction potential so that we can avail of the children’s hospital before 2020
o Extensive parking facilities and traffic flow at peak times
o Safe and secure public environment at night-time

Parents, MummyPages and relevant interest groups are opposed to the construction of the National Children’s Hospital at St James’ site because:

 Inaccessibility: The National Children’s Hospital will be the main hospital for children in Ireland. Located in the inner city Dublin, heavy traffic will make it difficult for emergency services and families to reach the hospital in an emergency. The influx of traffic into the city will cause further gridlock and result in a delay in emergency care to those children who need it the most.
 Limited parking: The proposed 473 bed hospital at St James’ will contain only 675 public car parking spaces which is far too little when you take into account parents, relatives and all levels of staff.
 Security: St James’ site is located in the inner city which presents a number of safety and security issues for all those visiting the hospital, especially during evening visiting hours.
 Lack of space: St James’ site won’t allow for expansion in years to come. It is a known fact that hospitals double in size every 10-20 years. There will be no room for that at St. James’s which may mean relocating the hospital in years to come.
 Waste of tax payer’s money: In 2007, the National Paediatric Development Board was set up to manage the development of the Mater. €40 million of tax payer’s money was wasted on the proposed Mater location and while many more millions will be wasted on the planning for the St. James’ location, it will cost even more to relocate when we outgrow this site.

The Government and Planning Authorities are failing to look at the bigger picture, with this in mind, MummyPages is calling on parents, grandparents, and family members in Ireland to stand up and voice their concerns regarding the new site for The National Children’s Hospital. If you can’t afford the €50 fee to submit your planning objection, please talk to your local government representatives and make your voice heard. It is our responsibility as citizens of Ireland to fight for the best location for the new Children’s Hospital to ensure children can access the best possible care in a timely and efficient manner.

Speaking on behalf of the MummyPages community Laura Haugh, Mum-in-Residence with said:

“Our mums are very upset that the Government has not only wasted €40 million on the badly thought out Mater site for the new National Children’s Hospital, but that they are about to make an even bigger mistake now with the new proposed site at St. James.”

“Thankfully not all of our mums have had to face the arduous journey to hospital when a child is seriously ill. Nor have they all had to endure long days, weeks or even months of medical treatment to help a sick child. However, our all of our mums acknowledge the invaluable advice from their peers both offline and in our online community who have experienced parenting challenges and issues before them as life-saving. It is for this reason that they implicitly trust the advice of those parents currently enduring daily hospital visits for their children and accept and trust the views of ‘The Extra Special Kids Group’ as their own.”

“Access, parking, safety and development potential are the most important factors in considering the location of our new National Children’s Hospital, and if the Government and Planning Authorities won’t listen to these objections, then maybe they’ll listen when it hits their pocket and they realise that the Greenfield site proposed in Blanchardstown will actually be cheaper and quicker to construct.”