June 21st 1998
On June 21st 1998, 115 patients were transferred to Tallaght from the Adelaide, Meath and National Children's Hospitals in Dublin's city centre. This move happened after months of planning and detailed logistics. During the course of the day 12 Eastern Health Board ambulances transported patients, accompanied by our medical and nursing staff, from the city centre to Tallaght along a planned route via South Circular Road, the Naas Road and the Belgard Road. Intensive Care (ICU) and Coronary Care (CCU) patients were transferred to Tallaght in a high-tech ambulance with its own mobile intensive care unit called MICAS.
A team of medical and nursing staff was on stand-by at the Meath Hospital, National Children’s Hospital in Harcourt Street and in Tallaght throughout the transfer of patients. Prior to opening day, a removal company was hired to pack and move furniture, equipment and files: over 170,000 patient records and almost 50,000 patients' X-Rays. The move to Tallaght was a carefully-planned and extremely smooth-running operation thanks to the huge effort from staff and volunteers. From 23rd June, new patients were admitted to the Hospital and clinical activity built up steadily.
Planning for the move
Planning for the Tallaght development began in 1981 when the Department of Health appointed the Tallaght Hospital Board to oversee the planning, building and equipping of the Hospital. In 1985, architectural competition results were published, with Robinson Keefe Devane Architects being appointed to design the new Hospital. Construction was approved in 1993 and building commenced in October of that year. Construction was completed in 1998. The Hospital was established under a Charter, agreed in Dail Eireann, on 1st August 1996. Today, Tallaght is a public, voluntary, teaching Hospital, funded by the Health Service Executive.
At a capital cost of £140M, the new development at Tallaght was one of the largest capital investments in healthcare ever undertaken by the State. Children, adults and older people are cared for at the hospital, which has 562 beds, 12 theatres, and 14 Critical Care beds.
Built on a 35-acre site, the Hospital’s main corridor, Hospital Street, is 353.1 metres long - about a quarter of a mile.
It is a unique challenge, bringing together over 600 years of medical and nursing care and education from the very different traditions of the Adelaide Hospital, the Meath Hospital and the National Children's Hospital (Harcourt Street).
The Adelaide Hospital
The Adelaide Hospital was founded in 1839 to serve the disadvantaged Protestant population of Dublin. Like the Meath and National Children's Hospitals, the Adelaide Hospital was run on a voluntary basis - its survival dependent on the generosity of others and the dedication of its staff. Famous for its nursing school, which was founded in 1859 by Miss Bramwell who had worked with Florence Nightingale in the Crimea, the Adelaide has been at the forefront of many medical advances. It was, for example, the first general hospital in Dublin to introduce a skin clinic (in 1868), a gynaecological unit (in 1868) and the bacteriological control of milk (in 1904).
The Meath Hospital
The Meath Hospital is the oldest of the three hospitals, founded in 1753. Situated in the ‘liberty’ of the Earl of Meath, the Hospital was opened to serve the sick and poor in the crowded area of the Liberties in Dublin. In the 19th Century the Meath Hospital achieved world-wide fame as a result of the revolutionary teaching methods and groundbreaking research carried out by Graves and Stokes, physicians of the Hospital. In more recent times, the Hospital developed specialised services in the fields of urology, psychiatry, orthopaedics, haematology, endocrinology and nephrology.
The National Children's Hospital
In 1821 a number of eminent Dublin doctors - concerned with the lack of treatment available for sick children in the city - founded the National Children's Hospital. It was the first hospital devoted exclusively to the care and treatment of sick children in Ireland and Britain. Indeed, one of the hospitals’ early students, Dr. Charles West, returned to London and founded Great Ormond Street Hospital in 1852.