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Prof Fergal Malone said the long-term solution to the limitations of the Rotunda’s infrastructure was co-location as a newly-constructed maternity hospital on the campus of another general hospital in Dublin.
Government policy confirming future co-location on the Connolly Hospital campus was announced in 2015.
“The Rotunda Hospital immediately embraced this policy direction and has spent two years and €1 million of its own financial reserves in driving forward this project,” outlined Prof Malone in the Rotunda’s 2017 annual report, which was published in late 2018.
He wrote that there had been little progress from outside the Rotunda in moving “this urgent project forward”, such that the realistic timeline to complete co-location “is now at least a further 10 years away”.
In considering this likely timeline, it was “crucially important to understand the physical limitations of the current Connolly Hospital infrastructure”.
The Rotunda currently exists as a virtual co-located hospital with the nearby Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, and many consultants are joint appointments, according to Prof Malone.
“Potentially transporting critically ill mothers from a new Rotunda building on the Connolly campus back to the Mater Hospital for life-saving care does not represent progress in this regard and is not in keeping with the goals of the National Maternity Strategy.”
A Rotunda spokesperson told the Medical Independent: “Connolly Hospital is subject to a draft Protected Control Development Plan, which must be approved by RCSI Hospitals Group/HSE in order to be progressed. Included in this plan is Rotunda relocation. The expectation is that all upgrades will happen before the Rotunda relocation. There are no indicative timeframes for the Connolly development plan.”