Ambulance service is ‘not good enough’

The state of the local ambulance service was highlighted once again this week with the news that a man was left lying injured in a cold yard at Greenore Port for almost two hours while waiting for an emergency vehicle to arrive.
The ambulance was eventually despatched from Blanchardstown over 100km away due to a lack of cover in the North-East area.
Fianna Fáil TD for Louth Declan Breathnach hit out at what he called ‘the appalling state of the ambulance service in the North East’ despite him raising the issue with the Minister in the Dáil and receiving assurances promising additional staff.
“This is not a criticism of the dedicated staff in the ambulance service in the North East who are working in extremely difficult conditions and prevented from carrying out their duties properly because of lack of personnel and vehicular resources.
“I have been advised that following an accident at Greenore Port, a man was left lying on the cold yard in severe pain for nearly two hours while waiting for an ambulance to arrive. The ambulance which eventually came had been dispatched from Blanchardstown in West Dublin.
“A few weeks back, also in Greenore, a woman lay on the road while an ambulance eventually came from Malahide.
“This simply is not good enough. I will continue to voice these concerns in the Dáil and have written to the Minister seeking urgent action and improvement to the ambulance service North East,“ noted Declan.
Last month the Fianna Fail TD highlighted the issue of staff shortages in the local ambulance service when revealing that within the nine stations around the North East a total of just twelve staff were rostered rather than the twenty-two who were supposed to be working on that particular evening.
Many of the stations had just one member of staff on duty which is a major issue as there needs to be at least two people to take out an ambulance when on a call. According to Breathnach ongoing staff shortages are due to a combination of sick leave, annual leave and the simple fact that there are not enough staff employed.
Six new staff members had been promised by HSE management to ease the pressure on the local service but as of last month these positions still had not been filled.

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