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  • Northside West

Sod turned on new Connolly kids’ centre

Monday, 13th November, 2017 6:00pm
Sod turned on new Connolly kids’ centre

An impression of entrance to the new care centre.

Sod turned on new Connolly kids’ centre

An impression of entrance to the new care centre.

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THE sod has been turned on the new paediatric outpatients and urgent care centre at Connolly Hospital.

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, Minister for Health, Simon Harris and Mayor of Fingal Mary McCamley joined teams from the Children’s Hospital Group and the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board for the ceremony last month.

The ceremony was followed by an announcement that the new legal name for the new children’s hospital, the two paediatric outpatients and urgent care centres at Connolly and Tallaght Hospitals, and the three existing paediatric hospitals will be Phoenix Children’s Health.

The official sod turning marked the start of construction for the 5,000 sq mt paediatric outpatient and urgent care centre that will be called Phoenix Children’s at Connolly.

The new facility is due to be operational in the summer of 2019 and it’ll be followed in 2020 by a twin facility at Tallaght Hospital. 

An Taoiseach described the new Children’s Hospital project as “the most significant healthcare investment ever undertaken by the State.”

“It’s one that will have an impact on children, young people and their families in Ireland for decades to come,” he added.

“The two new centres at Connolly and Tallaght Hospitals will be an integral part of the new children’s hospital project and will be of significant benefit to the people living in the local area.

“I feel a special connection to Connolly because I worked here as a doctor in 2004 and 2005 and it was a very happy and rewarding time.

“I saw first-hand that it is the commitment and dedication of the staff that makes Connolly Hospital so special.  The team here at Connolly should be commended for all they do and also for their commitment to the future and for coming together to forge a new identity and a new tradition as part of Phoenix Children’s Health."

Minister for Health Simon Harris said he was delighted to participate in the sod turning at Connolly Hospital.

“This facility will be an incredible asset to the people in north and west Dublin, and in Kildare and Meath,” he added.

The new Phoenix Children’s Health name has sparked some controversy, but Dr Sean Walsh, Paediatric Emergency Medicine Consultant and Clinical Director at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, and member of the Naming Steering Group said he was extremely grateful to the hundreds of staff and service users who took part in the naming process.

“As important and exciting changes are underway for all of us in children’s healthcare in Ireland it was really encouraging to see the pride and commitment staff took in suggesting their name.

“Therefore, it is very fitting that our new name, which was very strong throughout the naming process came from a member of staff,” he added.

The Youth Advisory Council (YAC) - a group of 20 children and young former hospital patients – also took part in the naming process as well as the design of the new facilities, including the new paediatric outpatients and urgent care centre at Connolly Hospital.

“It was important to us that the new name of the Children’s Hospital was ‘friendly’ and not medical,” the YAC said in a joint statement. 

“This mythical name will give reassurance to patients and their families.”

More than 82,000 children and young people will be treated at the two outpatients and urgent care centres at Connolly and Tallaght every year for planned outpatient appointments and for urgent (but not emergency) care.

Children who require emergency or specialist care will be cared for in the existing children’s hospitals and then at the new children’s hospital at Crumlin when it opens in 2022.

This new model of care will ensure that children are treated as close to their homes as possible, as is considered best practice clinically, and it will also support the delivery of more efficient services.

An impression of a patient room at the Connolly facility.

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