Last Friday we’ve posted on our Facebook Page a message from The Extra Special Kids Group calling on general public to support the campaign against the proposed site for the National Children’s Hospital. Since then, their appeal has reached over half million people with over 5400 sharing the story and hundreds commenting in favor!
“We are a closed Facebook group with 150 Irish members, all mothers of very sick children. All our children have rare and complex needs and need 24 hour care. They have what the medics call ‘life limiting’ or ‘life threatening’ conditions. They have no voice or no vote in this country, but they do have a right to the best possible hospital care and we their parents, their grandparents, aunties, uncles, godmothers, brothers, sisters and friends can speak up for them.
On their behalf, we say NO to the Children’s Hospital of Ireland being constructed on the proposed site at St. James’ and here is why:
- It’s in the wrong location. Had the parents and families of the sick children of Ireland been asked about the right location, St. James’ campus would not have been chosen. But we weren’t asked.
- Access is a nightmare. Speedy access to the right medical support is what our children need in a crisis, not being stuck in rush hour traffic. Minutes matter and the difficult drive be it by car or by ambulance into St. James’ could limit their lives. Literally.
- Parking is not sufficient. For a 473 bed hospital, there will be just 675 public parking spaces. What happens on the day every child’s parent park their car and every child’s visiting relative parks their car, in addition to the public?
- Safety and security issues of an inner city centre site is of great concern to us. We know that it is not safe to go outside the hospital campuses at Temple Street and Crumlin hospitals alone once it gets dark. The same will apply to the St. James’ campus. Believe us.
- The hospital has been shoehorned into a restricted site with no room for expansion. It’s been proven from existing hospitals all over the world that they double in size every 10-20 years. There will be no room for that at St. James’s. We are also worried that planned services to be included on site will be moved off campus as there is simply not enough room. You don’t have to be an architect, walking around the St. James’ site to know that the children’s hospital, along with the adult hospital and the maternity hospital just won’t fit in there. How or why was it chosen when it’s doomed to fail?
- It was bad enough wasting €40 million on the Mater location which was rejected. How many more millions will we waste on the St. James’ site which is just as bad? The meter is running for the taxpayer. That’s us and you!
Hospital should be stressful because your child is ill, not because the hospital environment itself stresses you out because it’s unsuitable, unsafe, inaccessible, just wrong.
For all parents, we ask that you just sit down and think about it, someday, you may need to bring your child to hospital in Dublin and we want to ensure that Ireland’s children get the best facility, in the best location. If we have to endure what is being proposed for St. James’, we will have failed our children and generations to come. The only thing going for this planned facility is the fact that it’s a new building, but it can be a new building in the right location with your help!!
We support Jonathan Irwin of the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation and many others, with the option of moving the hospital location to a greenfield site at Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown on the M50 and here is why:
- It would be easily accessible to the entire country by car or by ambulance.
- It would have unlimited parking.
- There would be minimal security and safety issues as the site is over ten times bigger than James’ so there will be ample green space to enjoy.
- There would be plenty of room for future expansion. All clinical criteria would be met.
- The cost to construct the hospital would be less on a greenfield site as there are less constraints impacting the build and construction is faster.
The country has wasted enough money already choosing incorrect sites. Let’s not make the same mistake again.
The Children’s Hospital of Ireland planning application is now live and open to objections. There is one week left to submit an objection. We plan to submit our objection on D Day, Friday 2nd October to An Bord Pleanala and we would appreciate your help to create public awareness of the situation. You may even submit your own objection!! The submission is simply a letter outlining your opinion to the planning related matters such as transport, parking, space for expansion, effects on the human being. There is a fee of €50 so it will not be possible for many but if enough people submit opposition, An Bord Pleanala will have to host an oral hearing where we will get the opportunity to articulate our views in person.
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The Extra Special Kids Group“