About Us

The Current National Children's Hospital

Plans for the children's hospital in Tallaght began in the 1980's.  The Adelaide and Meath Hospital, incorporating The National Children's Hospital opened on the 21st June 1998. The National Children's Hospital to-day comprises of a children's emergency department, children's x-ray, children's outpatient's department, children's operating theatre and the following ward areas:

Beech Ward: a 16 bedded surgical ward for children aged over one year of age requiring management of conditions such as Ear Nose & Throat (ENT), Orthopaedic and General Surgery.

Beech Day Ward: a 10-bedded / cot unit, where children requiring surgery and medical investigations/treatment are managed during the day time. Children and young people attending the Day Ward generally go-home on the same day following their surgery or investigations or treatment. Should the need arise they are admitted to the inpatient wards.

Maple Ward: has 21 cubicles, including five parent and child rooms. Children aged 0-1 year requiring management of medical and surgical conditions are generally admitted to Maple Ward. However, children or young people older than one year may also be admitted to Maple Ward if their condition requires him/her to be nursed in a single room.

Oak Ward: consists of 21 beds/cots and three High Dependency Unit (HDU) beds/cots. Oak ward is the children's medical/surgical ward for children older than 12 months of age admitted for management of an acute medical and surgical condition. Children of all ages needing close observation are nursed in the HDU.

Philosophy of Care

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History of the National Children's Hospital

In 1821 the first children's hospital in Ireland and Great Britain known as the "Pitt Street Institution" was founded.  It was the first hospital in Ireland and Britain established specifically for the care and treatment of children and they "sought to improve child and family centred care."  Dr. Charles West who worked in the hospital went on to found Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children in 1852.  In 1875 the National Orthopaedic and Children's Hospital was established and it was formally joined with the Pitt Street Institution in 1884.  They both moved to "Harcourt Street" in 1887.  The stated objective of the hospital at that time was, "to educate mothers and nurses regarding the proper management of children in both health and disease."

From its earliest days, The National Children's Hospital placed strong emphasis on the concept that trained nurses are needed to deliver nursing care.  As a result, in 1884, The National Children's Hospital in conjunction with The Meath Hospital and County Dublin Infirmary established the Dublin Red Cross Training School for Nurses which was "the first in Ireland".  In 1965 The National Children's Hospital established "the first Irish paediatric haemotology service".  The first Bone Marrow Transplant in Ireland was performed by Professor Ian Temperley in the hospital in 1978.

As far back as the 1960's "visiting restrictions were relaxed" and "open visiting" was introduced at the National Children's Hospital. In the 1970's Dr Mervyn Taylor pioneered the "introduction of parent accommodation within the hospital so that parents could stay in hospital with their children."

It was acknowledged that "parents are not visitors" yet in 1972 only nine mothers stayed with their children in hospital that year.  By 1985 funding was provided by the Department of Health and Children for a purpose built "Mother and child Unit" which was opened by President Patrick Hillery - a former medical student of the Hospital.

The first schooling for children was provided at the child's bedside by Mrs O'Riordan in 1966. Play was seen as an important element in the welfare of the sick child and therefore books and toys were wheeled around on trolleys daily for selection by children.  The first playroom was established in the Hospital in 1971.

The first schooling for children was provided at the child's bedside by Mrs O'Riordan in 1966. 

National Children's Hospital Harcourt Street

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The New Children's Hospital

Plans are well underway for the development of a new children’s hospital for Ireland in Dublin 8.  

Click here for further information about the new children’s hospital.

The new children’s hospital will see the National Children’s Hospital at Tallaght University Hospital, Temple Street Children’s University Hospital and Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin come together under one roof in an exemplary facility on a campus shared with St. James’s Hospital and a new maternity hospital. 

The tri-location of the hospitals on the same campus will facilitate the transition of medical care at all stages of life, offering the best possible care for infants, mothers, children and young adults.

David Slevin, CEO, Tallaght University Hospital: “The completion of the new children’s hospital will enhance how acute children’s health services are delivered resulting in improved survival rates for the sickest children and young people. For the first time in Ireland all paediatric specialities will be ‘under one roof’. The development of the satellite centres at Tallaght and Connolly Hospital will also enable the delivery of general paediatrics and urgent care in the location that is closest to the child’s home. This is recognised as the optimal model of care for children.”

Eilísh Hardiman, CEO of the Children’s Hospital Group, said: “The new children’s hospital is the largest and most significant capital investment project ever undertaken in healthcare in Ireland.  It is appropriate that this significant investment is being made in children and young adults as they are our most vulnerable citizens and deserve - and are entitled to - the best possible care at all times but specifically when they are critically ill. We are getting closer to delivering to them the hospital that they deserve.”

In addition to the regular drop-in and information sessions, CONNECT is newsletter developed by the Project Team as a way of sharing information. It updates readers on key developments, provide project news and answer additional queries that we receive.

June 2017

For the latest information on the delivery of Ireland's new children's hospital please click here