National Paediatric Hospital Review Group

Health Minister, Dr. James Reilly has announced the make up of the Review Group to consider the decision of An Bord Pleanála to refuse planning permission for the proposed construction of a national paediatric hospital on the site of the Mater Misericordiae Hospital. The nine person group will be chaired by Dr Frank Dolphin.

Dr. Dolphin, a former chair of the HSE, is the chairman of Rigney Dolphin, a services business with centres in Waterford and Derry. He has a PhD in Psychology from UCD and has worked as a clinical research psychologist at the Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street and as consulting Psychologist to St Joseph’s Clonmel. He lectured at Trinity College Dublin, He is a Registered Psychologist with the Psychological Society of Ireland, a Fellow of the Marketing Institute and an  Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. He is a former Chairman of The Children’s University Hospital, Temple St., and served on the Board of Governors of the Mater Hospital, Dublin.

Dr. Frank Dolphin
Dr. Frank Dolphin

The other members of the Review Group are:

Mr Simon Clear, Town Planner. He holds a degree in Geography and Economics and is a qualified Town Planner with 35 years professional planning experience, particularly in the area of development assessment and appraisal and is a Corporate Member of the Irish Planning Institute. He has held planning posts with the State Planning Authority of South Australia, Kildare County Council, Dun Laoghaire Corporation, Dublin County Council and An Bord Pleanála.  He has particular expertise in retail planning strategy and was a member of the Government Steering Group responsible for direction of the preparation of the Retail Planning Guidelines.  Mr. Clear has acted as Extern Examiner for DIT on the graduate and master level courses in sustainable planning and environment for a number of years.

Mr Michael Collins, Senior Architect. He qualified as an architect in the College of Technology, Bolton Street in 1967, having previously studied mechanical engineering. He founded the practice (MCA) in 1988. He has completed complex hospital projects, sound recording and television studios as well as stud farms and a large number of office buildings. He has been an active member of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland and was RIAI President from 1986/87.

Mr John Martin, Senior Planner. He is a Senior Planner with many years experience. He is recently retired as Principal Planning Adviser, Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government. (2002 – 2011)  His main functions included, advising on new legislation, particularly the 2010 Planning Act, preparation of planning guidelines for local authorities, liaison with regional and local authorities, particularly in Dublin and Cork and implementation of EU Directives.

He was Deputy City Planner, Dublin City Council, (1994 – 2001), Senior Planner, Dun Laoghaire (1987– 1994) and Senior Inspector, An Bord Pleanála (1984– 1987).

Professor Owen Smith. Prof, Smith is Professor of Haematology at Trinity College Dublin, Consultant Paediatric  Haematologist, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin and Professor of Childhood Blood Disorders at Trinity College, Dublin.  Since returning from postgraduate training at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, London in the early 1990s, he has spent the last twenty years of his career to caring for neonates, children and adolescents with cancer and blood disorders in terms of basic science, clinical research and patient care.

The co-author of more than 300 research original articles, letters, books, book chapters and papers, Professor Smith is a Fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Royal College of Pathologists, and the Royal College of Physicians of Dublin, London, Glasgow, Edinburgh.  In 2001, he was appointed project director to build the National Paediatric Haematology & Oncology Centre (NPHOC) at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, the only facility in Ireland for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with cancer and blood disorders. In 2009, the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board and its project team invited him to become a consultant stakeholder in the planning of the new Children’s Hospital of Ireland with particular emphasis on becoming an active member of their model of care committee.

Prof Jonathan Hourihane. Prof. Hourihane has been Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health in University College Cork since 2005.

Prof B. G. Loftus. Prof. Loftus is Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences at NUI Galway.  He is also a consultant paediatrician and has worked as Prof of Paediatrics at NUI Galway.  He has published extensively in the area of paediatric medicine and is currently vice-Dean of the Faculty of Paediatrics of the RCPI.

Professor Clodagh O’Gorman. Prof. O’Gorman is Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Limerick and Consultant Paediatrician at the HSE Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Limerick. Her research interests include: paediatric obesity, paediatric diabetes and paediatric endocrine disorders.  Prof. O’Gorman is a member of the RCPI.

Louise Shepherd, Chief Executive, Alder Hey Children’s NHS Trust. Ms. Shepherd joined Alder Hey in March 2008 from Liverpool Women’s NHS Trust where as Chief Executive she led it to Foundation Trust status, the first in Merseyside. Formerly Deputy Chief Executive and Finance Director at the Countess of Chester NHS Trust for five and a half years, she first joined the health service in 1993 as Director of Business Development at Birmingham Heartlands and Solihul NHS Trust. A Cambridge University graduate, she trained as an accountant in local government before spending four years with KPMG in Birmingham as a financial and management consultant to the public sector.

The terms of reference of the group are:

To inform itself about the planning considerations and processes affecting this project.

To consider the different options which now exist for progressing the construction of a national children’s hospital having regard to:

  • Government policy on the delivery of health services, including accessibility and paediatric services in particular and best clinical practice considerations
  • The cost and value for money considerations of the different options
  • The likely timelines associated with the different options
  • The implementation risks associated with the different options

To advise him, in the light of these considerations, on the appropriate next steps to take with a view to ensuring that a national paediatric hospital can be constructed with minimal delay.

To report to the Minister within 56 days of the first meeting of the group.