Issued by the Government Press Office
The Government has today published the Report on the Independent Review of Escalation in National Children’s Hospital Costs carried out by PWC, and accepted its recommendations.
The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform & the Minister for Health will revert to Government in a month to outline an implementation plan for the recommendations contained in the Report.
The Report acknowledges that the National Children's Hospital is a project which is unique in scope, scale and complexity in comparison to any other health infrastructure project in Ireland's history and is explicit in stating that the project's complexity should not be understated. However, it identified a series of weaknesses in terms of set-up, planning, budget, execution, and governance.
The Report says that the vast majority of the €450 million increases was down to an underestimation of the real cost of the project. Other factors include consequential costs like VAT, delays and changes to regulation and building standards.
The National Children’s Hospital is a vital and much needed project. It is recognised that a programme of work of this nature can never be fully de-risked. Many difficult issues have been overcome which have brought us beyond the false starts of the past. Nevertheless, it is clear from the findings and recommendations that there were significant weaknesses which led to escalation of cost which only became known at far too late a point in the process.
The report also considered the alternative option of re-tendering the works. It concluded that this was an unrealistic fall-back option and would have increased costs further and would have in all likelihood resulted in no hospital being built.
The priority now is to ensure that the National Paediatric Hospital Board and the Executive are fully focused on ensuring enhanced delivery and oversight arrangements which deliver 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 report makes recommendations both in respect of the National Children’s Hospital and capital infrastructure projects generally. It is clear that there are lessons to be learned both in relation to this project and other major capital projects. This includes strengthening the rules that govern public sector spending and providing a central assurance and challenge function to provide consistent challenge and review of major projects through their lifecycles.
The Taoiseach stated that:
Recommendations from the PWC Report
Children's Hospital Project
Other Capital Infrastructure Projects