There are currently no plans for the provision of staff crèche facilities in the New Children’s Hospital (NCH), the Medical Independent (MI) has been told.
The issue of staff childcare facilities in new hospitals was raised by the President of the Medical Council Dr Suzanne Crowe at the IMO’s conference on gender equality in Dublin in February.
“I would like to see really clear acknowledgement that the world we are living in is changing,” Dr Crowe told attendees.
“With particular reference to the demographic changes, and a work/life balance and workforce strategy that is put in place to manage that… that is going to help doctors of every gender.”
Dr Crowe added this meant more working flexibility and accessible childcare.
“Any new hospital that is being built, that is not taking into account childcare needs, is a hospital and health service that doesn’t understand its workforce,” she said.
“I can’t be clearer about that. I am not going to call out individual institutions, but there are a number of major State infrastructural projects occurring at the moment that, as far as I know and I am open to correction, do not take into account childcare. This is a major failure.”
When questioned on the issue by MI, a spokesperson for Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) said that “there are no plans to date for a staff crèche facility in the New Children’s Hospital”.
Separately, the CHI spokesperson said the NCH remains unnamed and the “process for naming the New Children’s Hospital is currently under consideration”.
The joint Oireachtas committee on health was told last October that the NCH would be open by the end of 2024 at the earliest. The NCH is currently under construction on the campus of St James’s Hospital in Dublin.