An Taoiseach and Minister for Health turn the first sod for the new Paediatric Outpatients and Urgent Care Centre on the ground of Connolly Hospital while also welcoming the name for the Children’s Hospital Group
Phoenix Children’s Health
The Phoenix – a mythological symbol of renewal, representing the birth of opportunities, regeneration, vision, hope and inspiration
Dublin, Monday October 23rd 2017: An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD and the Mayor of Fingal Mary McCamley joined teams from the Children’s Hospital Group and the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board at Connolly Hospital today to mark two significant milestones for paediatric healthcare in Ireland. The official sod turning for the paediatric outpatients and urgent care centre at Connolly Hospital took place and it was followed by the announcement of the name for the new legal entity which will include the new children’s hospital, the two paediatric outpatients and urgent care centres at Connolly and Tallaght Hospitals, and the three existing paediatric hospitals. It will also, in time, be the name for the clinical network of paediatric services in Ireland. The new name is – Phoenix Children’s Health.
The official sod turning marked the commencement of construction of the 5,000M2 paediatric outpatient and urgent care centre which will be called Phoenix Children’s at Connolly. This new facility will be operational in the summer of 2019 and will be followed in 2020 by a twin facility at Tallaght Hospital. Enabling works have started in Tallaght and an official ground breaking will take place there within weeks.
Phoenix Children’s Health
Following the sod turning ceremony at Connolly, the name Phoenix Children’s Health was revealed. The name was selected following a nine month comprehensive and inclusive process involving staff of the three children’s hospitals, the paediatric units of the regional hospitals and the children’s hospital group. Children from the Youth Advisory Council (YAC), as well as current and former users of acute paediatric services and their families, also participated in the naming process. Following more than 300 submissions of suggested names from staff and service users and a selection process overseen by a Naming Steering Group*, the name was selected and recommended in May 2017 to the Children’s Hospital Group Board, who were proud to endorse it.
Participants in the process were asked to suggest a name that reflects the values and vision for paediatric services; a single, memorable and descriptive word that is easy to read and pronounce and is inclusive and relevant for all members of the community that the services will support. Another requirement was that it should be easily translated into Irish. The chosen name originated from a staff suggestion and performed well against the criteria set.
The new children’s hospital, which is currently under construction, will be known as Phoenix Children’s Hospital Ireland. It is central to a clinical network of paediatric services to be operationalised and called Phoenix Children’s Health. The centres at Connolly and Tallaght Hospitals will be known as Phoenix Children’s at Connolly and Phoenix Children’s at Tallaght and will provide paediatric outpatient and urgent care.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD said: “The new Children’s Hospital project represents the most significant healthcare investment ever undertaken by the State – one that will have an impact on children, young people and their families in Ireland for decades to come. The two new centres at Connolly and Tallaght Hospitals will be an integral part of the new children’s hospital project and will be of significant benefit to the people living in the local area, bringing paediatric services to the thriving communities in Blanchardstown, as well as providing outpatients and urgent care for children in the Greater Dublin Area.
“I feel a special connection to Connolly Hospital because I worked here as a doctor in 2004 and 2005 and it was a very happy and rewarding time. I saw first-hand that it is the commitment and dedication of the staff which makes Connolly Hospital so special. The team here at Connolly should be commended for all they do and also for their commitment to the future and for coming together to forge a new identity and a new tradition as part of Phoenix Children’s Health.”
The Minister for Health Simon Harris TD said; “This is an extremely important day for the future of children’s health services in Ireland and I’m delighted to participate in the sod turning at the paediatric outpatients and urgent care centre at Connolly Hospital.”
“This facility will be an incredible asset to the people in North and West Dublin, and in Kildare and Meath, making paediatric healthcare in the community convenient and local to many families and GPs.”
“I am also delighted that we have reached another key milestone today in the journey towards the new Children’s Hospital with the announcement of a name. Having a name – Phoenix Children’s Health – now makes the project even more real and meaningful. As the name is introduced over the coming years across the country, children, young people and their families will have a better understanding of how the services connect together on their behalf. Our dedicated staff will truly become one team under a single name, all helping to deliver the vision for the future of healthcare for children.”
Dr Sean Walsh, Paediatric Emergency Medicine Consultant and Clinical Director at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, and member of the Naming Steering Group said; “We are extremely grateful to the hundreds of staff and service users who took part in the naming process. As important and exciting changes are underway for all of us in children’s healthcare in Ireland it was really encouraging to see the pride and commitment staff took in suggesting their names. Therefore, it is very fitting that our new name, which was very strong throughout the naming process came from a member of staff.”
Speaking today, parent Caitriona Sharkey said; “As a parent representative on the Naming Steering Group I am delighted to have been involved in this process. It is important that the views of parents were reflected. The name is child friendly, and reflects the ambition to deliver an inclusive, world-class healthcare service for all the children of Ireland.”
The Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is a group of 20 children and young people that have been sharing their experiences as users of hospital services in order to improve the care children and young people receive in acute paediatric services. YAC took part in the naming process and in the design of the new facilities including the new paediatric outpatients and urgent care centre at Connolly Hospital. In a joint statement they said; “It was important to us that the new name of the Children’s Hospital was “friendly” and not medical. This mythical name will give reassurance to patients and their families. We were delighted to be included in the process and happy that the name Phoenix responds to our feedback during the naming sessions. We are also delighted to see the continued progress with the project with the construction starting in Connolly today.”
Commenting, CEO of the now named Phoenix Children’s Health, Eilísh Hardiman said; “I am proud to announce and share our name with you all today. I would like to thank the Naming Steering Group who worked tirelessly throughout a comprehensive and creative process. They have taken on board the input, views and guidance from a number of focus groups held with staff, children and young people and services users whose input into their process was extremely valuable. The name that came through the engagement process was suggested by a member of staff.”
“It is wonderful that we are announcing the name on this important milestone day. With construction under way on the new children’s hospital and now also on the paediatric outpatients and urgent care centre at Connolly Hospital, we are continuing to make progress. Our new name, Phoenix Children’s Health, represents renewal, the birth of opportunities, regeneration, vision, hope and inspiration. The ability to deliver our services is 100% dependent on the talent and commitment of our staff and therefore for the name to come from within the staff community is fitting, as it is this name that will define the services in years to come,” she said.
Phoenix Children’s at Connolly and at Tallaght Hospitals
Today’s sod turning event marked the beginning of construction on the 5,000M2 paediatric outpatients and urgent care centre, which will be called Phoenix Children’s at Connolly. It is expected to be completed by the Summer of 2019.
More than 82,000 children and young people will be treated at the two outpatients and urgent care centres every year for planned outpatient appointments and for urgent (but not emergency) care. Children that require emergency or specialist care will be cared for in the existing children’s hospitals and then at the new children’s hospital when it opens in 2022. This new model of care will ensure that children are treated as close to their homes as possible, as is considered best practice clinically, and it will also support the delivery of more efficient services.
Commenting today, John Pollock, Project Director, National Paediatric Hospital Development Board said: “This is another milestone day in this important project with work commencing on the paediatric outpatients and urgent care centre here at Connolly Hospital. Site clearance and decant works has also just begun on the Tallaght centre and work is well underway on the new children’s hospital on a campus shared with St. James’s Hospital. All of this follows four years of work on the design of these facilities, securing planning and finalisation of a comprehensive tendering process. We are delighted to move to this phase of the project which will see the world-class vision and design that has to date existed in images, start to come to life through bricks and mortar.”