Consultant warns against 'glass and metal tower' for National Children's Hospital

Co-location must remain the top priority in deciding the site for the new National Children's Hospital, according to one of the country's top consultant cardiologists.

Orla Franklin said that our finances have ruled out the development of a greenfield site, and the only realistic alternative is to look at existing institutions.

A report on the preferred site for the hospital was presented to the Health Minister on Friday, and a decision is expected on it in a couple of weeks.

It comes after an Bord Pleanála refused planning for the Mater site.

Ms Franklin, a consultant cardiologist and director of cardiac services at Crumlin Children's Hospital said that she supports proposals from the Coombe and St James' Hospitals:

"There isn't currently an adult and maternity hospital co-located unto which you could plonk a paediatric hospital," she said.

"If you were asking me this question in 2005, I might have told you that it was ideal to go out to the M50, to look at a greenfield site and build an university medical campus.

"I don't any longer believe that's a goer, simply because I don't believe that the finances are there.

"I think the worst possible thing for children would be to end up in isolation, in some glass and metal tower out there on the M50 without the resources."

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