The Children’s Health Bill 2018, which has been published, provides for the establishment of a single statutory entity, Children’s Health Ireland to provide paediatric services and take over the services currently provided by the existing three Dublin children’s hospitals, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, and the National Children’s Hospital at Tallaght University Hospital.
In addition to providing secondary and tertiary paediatric healthcare services, the new entity will be the lead centre for paediatric education and training, as well as, research and innovation in Ireland and be the centre of a clinical network for paediatric services.
The new entity will initially oversee the complex work of integrating the staff and services of three hospitals in Dublin which it will run as a single service, initially on the existing hospital sites and in due course in the new hospital and centres being developed.
The main hospital on a campus shared with St James’s Hospital will be completed by late-2022, and the Paediatric Outpatients & Urgent Care Centres will open in 2019 at Connolly, and 2020 at Tallaght.
Health Minister, Simon Harris said “ I want to thank Dr Jim Browne, Chair of the Children’s Hospital Group, and his fellow Board members, as well as Seán Sheehan, Liam Dowdall, Turlough O’Sullivan, Chairs/Vice Chair of the three children’s hospitals, their Boards and hospital executives for their leadership work and support to establish this legal entity for the new hospital. It will facilitate the ongoing operational and cultural integration of the three hospitals in advance of the move to the new hospital on the campus shared with St James’s Hospital and the opening of the two paediatric outpatient and urgent care centres on the campuses of Connolly and Tallaght hospitals, beginning next year.”
The existing hospitals, all independent bodies with a long tradition and commitment to paediatric care, have undertaken to come together in one new entity. Through the Legal Executive Committee of the Children’s Hospital Group Board, the three hospitals have engaged with the Department in a collaborative approach to develop the legislation.
The primary purpose of the legislation is to establish a body corporate which will govern and manage the new children’s hospital and provide services on behalf of the HSE as a Health Act 2004 section 38 body.
The Bill consists of nine parts (all of which commence by Ministerial Order) and covers establishment, functions and powers, Board matters, employment including role of the CEO, and accountability and standards.
Functions will include the delivery of health services, research, education, and related functions.
In addition to the legal name, the Minister has approved a new consultative approach to agreeing a brand/image “operational name” for the new entity. The naming process, to be undertaken by the Children’s Hospital Group, will build on and improve the earlier naming process. This process will end with a short list of names submitted for Government endorsement prior to announcement. It is not proposed to conclude the process or announce the selected name until after the legislation has completed its passage through both Houses.