The National Maternity Hospital in Holles Street in Dublin is on the move. Plans have been announced that the hospital will relocate to a site on the campus of St. Vincent's Hospital in Elm Park.
€150 million has been put aside for the project.
The Minister for Health Dr. James Reilly made the announcement along with Minister Alex White and Minister Kathleen Lynch.
Minister Reilly said "This project heralds a new and exciting chapter in maternity care for women and infants in Ireland. Mothers and babies have been assured of a quality service in Holles Street down through the years. Now they can be assured of the same service in a state of the art, custom built, modern health care facility, providing care to international standards in the most appropriate surroundings and with access to the facilities and staff of a major acute hospital; in short - the best care in the best environment".
The proposed relocation addresses a key recommendation in a 2008 KPMG Independent Review of Maternity and Gynaecology Services in the Greater Dublin Area Report, that Dublin maternity hospitals should be located alongside adult acute services.
The location of the St. Vincent's site
The Department of Health says co-location of maternity hospitals with adult acute services is "the optimal solution for the provision of hospital-based maternity services, as it can provide access to the full range of medical and surgical specialties and clinical support services in sufficient volume and complexity to provide added value".
The Master of Holles Street Dr. Rhona Mahony added " Our vision is to create an environment which facilitates clinical excellence so that women and infants attending the NMH receive the highest standard of care. Currently NMH is situated on Holles Street in an old building no longer fit for purpose. A new facility is urgently needed. The relocation of NMH will address this need and will achieve our strategic aim of close location with St. Vincent’s University Hospital".
The St. Vincent's Hospital Healthcare Group also expressed its support for the development.
An indicative sum of €150 million has been approved in the Health Service Executive (HSE) Capital Plan to allow the project to proceed and will be funded by the Exchequer. The HSE has calculated estimated costs for each major element of the project - but say they cannot be released because they are commercially sensitive.