Health service bosses are considering an offer from a private development consortium to build a new National Children’s Hospital on a non-profit basis, it emerged today.
Alburn Development, headed by solicitor and property developer, Noel Smyth, has proposed to build the new facility on a 33-acre site it owns at Newlands Cross near Dublin’s M50 motorway.
The group said its offer would save the taxpayer up to €250m.
A spokeswoman for the Health Services Executive (HSE) said: “The submission from Alburn has been acknowledged and we will be in further contact with them. It should be noted their proposal is not co-located with an adult teaching academic hospital.”
The HSE said it was very conscious of its responsibilities towards the financial aspects of the project.
It added: “The major costs associated with a new Children’s Hospital will centre on running costs and the staffing of the hospital which will far exceed any capital costs involved in the building of the facility.”
The submission from the private consortium to the HSE says that from the date planning permission is granted the new 630-bed hospital, including Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin and the Coombe Women’s Hospital, would be up and running in under three years.
The consortium formed by Alburn Development is believed to include one of the biggest building firms in the country.
A task force, including the HSE and the Health Department, is due to make a decision on the site for the hospital shortly.
The planned National Children’s Hospital, which was anticipated to cost in excess of €500m, will have about 380 beds.
Around seven hospitals, including St James’s, St Vincent’s, Tallaght, the Mater and Beaumont, have made submissions to the HSE in a bid to secure the new hospital project.
The HSE said it was still considering a number of options for the proposed hospital.
A report on international best practice in tertiary and secondary hospital-based paediatric services recommended the establishment of a dedicated National Children’s Hospital.
The study stated the facility should ideally be co-located with an adult teaching academic hospital.