"I think the scope for a children’s hospital should be such that you've a very large site because we don't know what's going to happen in the future”
– Jimmy Sheehan, Orthopaedic surgeon and founder of three adult hospitals; the Blackrock, Galway and Hermitage Clinics
We do not know what new medical developments are coming in the future and there is no way of planning for these. Reserving additional land for future expansion is critical to evolving in line with modern technology and life-saving treatments.
To understand typical expansion requirements, we have only to look at other Irish hospitals. The Galway Clinic has expanded the hospital facilities 7 times in 11 years. Crumlin has increased its facility by 75% in the last 15 years.
The new Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in the UK, opened in Oct 2015, was built in adjacent parkland. Patients were wheeled in their beds via a temporary corridor from the old hospital to the new one. The old hospital will be demolished and the parkland re-instated on the site. This “Hospital in the park” approach can be re-used many times for future new builds. The new Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne on the edge of the 280-acre Royal Park is similarly future-proofed.