Construction has begun on a new children’s hospital campus in Dublin, creating an integrated knowledge hub for paediatric care. The development highlights the Irish city’s leading role in the field: a reputation further underlined by news it has been selected to host the 2019 Europaediatrics Congress.

The Europaediatrics bid was secured by the Faculty of Paediatrics of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI), with the conference expected to attract about 3,000 paediatricians and paediatric specialists from around the world. It is the latest in a string of high-profile paediatric conferences held in the city. In recent years the Convention Centre Dublin (CCD) has hosted the 53rd Annual European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology (ESPE) Meeting, the 32nd Annual Meeting of the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID), the 12th International Congress of the European Society of Paediatric Otorhinolaryngology (ESPO), and the European Paediatric Surgeons Association (EUPSA) Congress.

Professor Hilary Hoey, immediate past dean of the Faculty of Paediatrics and director of professional competence, RCPI said: “Ireland is to the forefront of paediatric clinical care, education and research. Hosting the Europaediatrics conference by the Faculty of Paediatrics of the RCPI in the outstanding CCD will provide a unique opportunity for healthcare professionals working in child health from all over the world to participate, learn new inspiring information relating to prevention of childhood illness and where prevention is not possible the latest therapeutic innovations as well as make contacts, friends and socialise.”

The win comes as construction begins on a new children’s hospital in Dublin, creating world-class facilities for children’s healthcare. The project will bring together three existing children’s hospitals: Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin, Temple Street Children’s University Hospital and the National Children’s Hospital at Tallaght Hospital. These hospitals will merge to form the Children’s Hospital Group before transitioning to the new facilities. The 50-acre campus in the Dublin 8 district will be shared with St. James’s Hospital, an adult teaching hospital, and, in due course, the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital. The tri-location will provide access to a full range of medical, surgical and diagnostic specialities, as well as providing greater opportunities to partner in areas of clinical research and innovation.

Minister for Health, Simon Harris said: “The delivery of the new children’s hospital is a landmark capital project for this Government and for the country. Bringing together the three children’s hospitals under one roof will mean that the sickest children will no longer have to move from hospital to hospital to avail of the care they need. It will also lead to better clinical outcomes for children as there will be greater opportunities for staff to work together across disciplines. Children and young people receiving complex treatment and care, young people transitioning to adult services, as well as the sickest newborns and mothers, will greatly benefit from specialist services coming together on this campus.”

Lorcan Birthistle, CEO, St. James’s Hospital, added: “The new children’s hospital, the Children’s Research and Innovation Centre and the maternity hospital are seminal elements of the campus plan. We are well on the way to becoming a campus of integrated healthcare excellence, one that will rival the very best centres internationally. The opportunities that having adult, paediatric and maternity care all on one campus presents in terms of excellence in service, education and research collaboration is unprecedented in Ireland.”

The new national Children’s Hospital, earmarked to cost €650m, is scheduled to open in 2020.

Featured image: The new concourse concept for the New Children’s Hospital, Dublin

(Via AMI and New Children’s Hospital)