Plans for Crumlin children’s hospital

Why the children’s hospital in Crumlin should not be decommissioned

Sir, – As we all wait in great anticipation for the opening of the world-class new children’s hospital beside St James’s Hospital, I must voice concerns as to what will happen to the existing children’s hospital in Crumlin.

In a recent radio interview about the new children’s hospital, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly discussed the wonderful new facilities that the hospital will provide, but also mentioned the decommissioning of the existing hospital in Crumlin.

I cannot believe that with astronomical long waiting lists to see consultants, to have medical investigations and procedures, and minor surgeries for children such as tonsils, ears, etc, that the Minister and his department would consider decommissioning an existing well-run hospital.

It makes no sense and I appeal to the Minister and the HSE to consider continuing to use the existing hospital as some form of children’s health facility.

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As the sickest of patients from around the country will be looked after in the brand new hospital, surely the old hospital could be retained and used to work through the massive children’s waiting lists and deal with less urgent cases and pre and post-operative care and convalescence.

Parents across Ireland are desperate for beds and care for children dealing with mental health issues, eating disorders and chronic conditions.

We have been warned already that the increased bed capacity of the new hospital may not be enough for young patients by 2040.

The children’s hospital in Crumlin has served Ireland well and must be ringfenced for continued use in some form of children’s health.

Failing that, it should be used as a community hospital for step-down care beds for elderly or convalescent patients, or even to provide much-needed accommodation for nursing and medical staff working in Dublin hospitals.

We cannot afford to let such a health facility go into private ownership when our healthcare is in such a state.

I call on the Minister and his department and the HSE to let us all know their plans for Crumlin hospital. – Yours, etc,

MARITA CONLON McKENNA,

Blackrock,

Co Dublin.

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