This is Aisling McNiffe.
Yesterday she was part of a panel who were answering questions from the Oireachtas Health Committee at a hearing into the decision to locate the National Children’s Hospital at St James’s.
Gráinne Faller writes:
The clip is short and powerful. Please watch it.
Aisling’s son is in and out of hospital. The people advocating the St James’s site have consistently failed to address two incredibly important issues. 1) The maternity hospital which is essential to this hospital, and 2) access.
Let me be clear, the research shows that measures to speed up ambulance access do not work in built up areas. You don’t get more built up than that location. The access issue is about so much more than ambulances (traffic, helicopters etc), but I cannot imagine how slow every extra minute must seem when your child needs urgent treatment.
Can you honestly tell her and the many like her that their concerns are unfounded?
St James’s isn’t even accessible to Dubliners by car and make no mistake, car and taxi is how sick kids are brought to hospital. The research is unequivocal. Public transport is relevant to staff and maybe outpatients. It is important but it is not going to alleviate the problems.
There is a children’s hospital in Boston which has really encouraged public transport use which has worked well for staff and some outpatients. But even that hospital has over six car parking spaces per patient because that’s how sick kids get to them.
Guess how many spaces St James’s will have per patient? Two.
Guess how many they will add if and when the maternity hospital is built? Zero.
St James’s has a large range of clinical specialties. However these are adult specialties. Paediatric medicine is entirely different. There is very little crossover between adult and paediatric services. I wish we were wrong about this. I wish I could see a reason for choosing St James’s as a location for this facility. I can’t.
Previously: This Could Be A Catastrophic Mistake