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The Government intends to relocate the National Maternity Hospital (NMH), Holles Street, to the St Vincent’s University Hospital Campus at Elm Park it has been announced. An indicative sum of €150m has been approved the HSE’s Capital Plan to allow this project to proceed.

The purpose built hospital will be designed to accommodate up to 10,000 births per year and accommodation at the new hospital will include a High Dependency Unit (HDU), a Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and a Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU). Ante- and post-natal care will be provided in mostly single, en-suite rooms.  Birthing accommodation will include operating theatres, birthing rooms (including for multiple births) and a midwife-led birthing unit.  

The HSE has calculated estimated costs for each major element of the project but they cannot be released because they are commercially sensitive. An estimated €25m in capital funding would be required for the NMH, in the short-term, if it were to remain in situ. There are significant capacity and risk issues to address in the existing buildings, and while these are being actively managed from an operational perspective, the longer the hospital stays in its current location, the greater the capital investment requirement will be.

The proposed relocation addresses a key recommendation in the 2008 KPMG Independent Review of Maternity and gynaecology services in the greater Dublin area report that Dublin maternity hospitals should be located alongside adult acute services. Co-location of maternity hospitals with adult acute services is the optimal solution for the provision of hospital-based maternity services, as it can provide access to the full range of medical and surgical specialties and clinical support services in sufficient volume and complexity to provide added value. This is particularly important for high-risk mothers and babies.

Welcoming the announcement, Dr Rhona Mahony, Master of the NMH Holles Street, said that “currently NMH is situated on Holles Street in an old building no longer fit for purpose. A new facility is urgently needed. The relocation of NMH will address this need and will achieve our strategic aim of close location with St. Vincent’s University Hospital.”

Mr Nicky Jermyn, CEO of St Vincent’s Hospital Healthcare Group said they “look forward to closer physical proximity and enhanced collaboration in the best interest of patients. The aim is to provide clinical excellence for the delivery of the maternity services enhanced by close organic linkage to the wider clinical research and medical services of St. Vincent’s Healthcare Group/St. Vincent’s University Hospital.”