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Latest: No extra beds in new National Children’s Hospital

Update 10.56am:The huge cost overruns of building the National Children’s Hospital will not lead to any extra hospital beds for sick children.

It is expected the project will cost €1.4 billion, which is double the initial construction estimate of €640 million.

Members of the board overseeing the hospital’s construction are appearing before the Oireachtas Joint Health Committee this morning to answer questions on how the project cost continues to spiral.

John Pollock, Project Director, was asked by Fianna Fáil’s Stephen Donnelly about the number of extra beds that would now be part of the project as a result of the spending increase.

"The hospital is about far more than just beds," he replied.

The project has 470 beds. It has the same number of beds as we had. There are no extra beds in the hospital.

Earlier: Chair of new National Children’s Hospital to address Joint Oireachtas Health Committee

Update 9.50am: The Chair of the board overseeing the new National Children’s Hospital will tell TDs and Senators that if they were to start the project again, they'd adopt the same approach.

Tom Costello is addressing a Joint Oireachtas Health Committee this morning to discuss the spiralling cost of the project.

The final project cost is now expected to be between €1.4 billion and €1.7 billion, far exceeding the €983 million approved by the government in 2017.

Mr Costello will tell the committee the “right procurement strategy” had been taken, but lessons can be learned.

The Taoiseach says other health projects will be affected in order to fund the hospital.