Cost of building children’s hospital rises by €450m

The cost of building the new national children’s hospital in Dublin has increased by €450m, health chiefs said.

Construction work is progressing well, with the structural frame, walls, slabs and columns now above ground level in most advanced areas, the chairman of the oversight board handling the project said.

Fred Barry was giving evidence to the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee.

He said: “A PwC review on the cost escalation of the project has also taken place and recommendations have been made in this regard.

“The National Paediatric Hospital Development Board have reviewed the report, acknowledged and noted the issues raised and recommendations set out in the PwC report, and is developing an implementation plan against this.”

Artist’s impression of the new hospital (Children’s Hospital Group/PA)

The soaring cost of the hospital has been the subject of significant public scrutiny this year.

Mr Barry joined health officials before the committee of TDs.

He said basement excavation and piling work was substantially complete, while the mechanical and electrical fit-out of the basement plant areas is due to begin shortly.

Project costs incurred to the end of March including construction costs were €314m.

Construction work on the new children’s hospital is scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of 2022.

This will be followed by a period of commissioning of services and it will open in 2023, Mr Barry told the committee.

In December, following the completion of the second stage of the two-stage procurement process, the final cost of the design, build and equipment programme for which the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board is responsible reached €450m more than advised to Government in April 2017.

A total of €319m of the additional cost related to construction costs, and the balance of  €131m, which included €50m in VAT, related to costs associated with staff, construction/design consultants, planning, design team fees, risk and contingency, the witness said.

A consultants’ review on the escalation of costs was commissioned by the HSE in January and the findings were published last month.

- Press Association

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